According to the Higher Education Act, the students shall be entitled to exert influence over the courses and study programmes at higher education institutions. The students are also entitled to representation when decisions or preparations are made that have a bearing on the courses or programmes or the situation of students.

This web page on student influence is aimed at staff at the university. For students, including doctoral students, the corresponding page can be found here.

Studentbild
Photo of students

 

Below is a description of Stockholm University's view on students and various forms of student influence, as well as the university's responsibilities. “University” refers to all levels and parts of the university, i.e. general university level, scientific area level, faculty level and department level, as well as the University Administration.

Students as active co-creators

At Stockholm University, the students should be seen as active co-creators with an important role to play in affecting and developing their education and study situation. The university should therefore encourage, support and facilitate students wanting to become involved in work concerning student influence.

Student influence is also an important part of the university’s quality work. For example, student influence is assessed through the university's systematic reviews of all study programmes and courses at undergraduate, advanced level and postgraduate level.

Contact persons for student influence

All levels at the university should have contact persons for student influence. For example, the Head of Department or equivalent should ensure that there is one or several people at the department or equivalent acting as contact person for the student council, the PhD student council and the student union in matters concerning student influence.

Read more in Regulations for student influence.

Student representation

Students should be represented in all preparatory and decision-making bodies and groups that handle questions about the university's programmes and courses or the students' situation. For example, students have the right to be represented in the groups that review the university's programmes and courses.

Student representatives (except those employed by the student union) should also receive financial compensation meetings attended. Doctoral student representatives are instead to be reimbursed by an extension of employment. If a student representative needs a certificate of attendance, the chair or equivalent in the relevant body or group will provide one.

Read more in Regulations for student influence.

The regulations for student influence also state the process for appointing a student representative to bodies and groups. This process is primarily overseen by the student union, but some parts of the regulations describe the university's responsibilities, e.g. where to send a request for a student representative to a new body or group.

Support during the assignment

The student representatives need support from the university and the student union during the assignment. For example, the chair or equivalent in every decision-making or preparatory body or group, or individual decision makers, are to ensure that every new student representative is introduced the function and the way of working of the body or group.

See Checklista om studentrepresentation (144 Kb) (document in Swedish).

A course for student representatives is currently being developed. The course will take place in Athena (the university's learning platform) and is expected to be ready in 2021.

Agreement regarding student representation

An agreement regarding student representation has been reached between Stockholm University and Stockholm University Student Union (SUS). The agreement is valid until 30 June 2022.

Read more in Överenskommelse om studentrepresentation (112 Kb) (document in Swedish).

Attached to the agreement is a list of which permanent (> 1 year) bodies or groups the students are to be represented in, and the number of student representatives in each body or group, such as a council, steering group, working group, project group, reference group, committee or forum. The list is updated every year by the Office of the President in consultation with, among others, SUS.

Read more in 2021 års förteckning över studentrepresentation i stadigvarande organ och grupper (176 Kb) (document in Swedish).

Note that the list does not include preparatory bodies and groups at departmental level nor temporary (<1 year) bodies and groups at different levels. Further, it does not include occasions when a single person, e.g. Head of Department, Director of Studies or Dean, make or prepare a decision. These bodies, groups and occasions should also have student representation, if they handle questions about the university's programmes and courses, or the students ' or doctoral students' situation.

Read more in Regulations for Student Influence.

Course evaluations and complaints concerning education

Another important way for students to exert influence over their education is through course evaluations.

Read more about course evaluations in section 1.5 in Regulations for education and examination at first-cycle and second-cycle level.

Yet another way to influence is to submit complaints about the education directly to the Director of Studies or the Head of Department, for instance.

Read more in Procedure for handling complaints from students regarding education.

Student council, PhD student council and student union election

There are two other primary ways the individual student can exert influence over his or her edcuation. By joining a student council or PhD student council at the department, students gain influence over their education. The councils belong to the student union but are independent in that they decide for themselves what to focus on and how they want to work. Furthermore, the students can vote in the student union election. This process is controlled by the student union.

Read more about student councils, PhD student councils and the student union election here.

If there is no student council or PhD student council at the department, the contact person, in collaboration with the student union, should actively work to form such a council.

The right to a course location in Athena

Student councils, PhD student councils and representatives also have the right to a course location in Athena to be able to communicate questions about student influence to students and doctoral students, as well as meeting invitations to different councils at different levels. Each department provides the technical support for the establishment and maintenance of the course location with the support of the IT department.

Read more in Student- och doktorandråds rätt till Athena - beslut av rektor 2020-06-18 (66 Kb) (document in Swedish).

Read more in SUS ombud med fleras rätt till Athena - beslut av IT-chefen 2020-11-16 (189 Kb) (document in Swedish).

Contact

Departmental level

If you have questions about student influence at the departmental level, please contact the Head of the Department or equivalent to get in touch with the contact person/s for student influence at the department.

Scientific area level or faculty level

If you have questions about student influence at the scientific area level or faculty level, please contact the Head of Faculty Office to get in touch with the contact person/s for student influence at these levels.

General university level or University Administration

If you have questions about student influence at general university level or within the University Administration, please contact Anna-Karin Björling, anna-karin.bjorling@su.se, at the Office of President.

Student

If you are a student and have questions about student influence, please e-mail studentombud@sus.su.se, or if you are at the Department of Computer and Systems Science, please e-mail studiebevakning@disk.su.se.