Applicants and students at all levels at KI are covered by the provisions of the Discrimination Act that concern the non-discrimination of students. Consequently, KI seeks to protect the ability of every student to fulfil his/her studies regardless of sex, cross-gender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability.
Non-discrimination is a matter of your own legal security as a student and of raising the quality of education. A study environment that is free from insulting or offensive behaviour helps to make the teaching and learning process more dynamic; moreover, the non-discrimination perspective can also enrich the content of the subject being taught.
The Act contains
- prohibition against discrimination
- obligation to investigate and take measures against harassment
- Information about qualifications
Harassment can be briefly described as conduct that violates a person's dignity. For such behaviour to fall under the Act, it must be associated with, transgender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability.
The Discrimination Act applies if harassment is committed by other students, by teachers or by any other member of the KI staff in an educational context, such as during lectures, seminars or practical on-site training.
Discrimination can briefly be described as the unfair or derogatory treatment of another individual; this means treating someone less favourably than someone else in a comparable situation. The Discrimination Act might apply to such behaviour if it is associated with sex, transgender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability.
If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed on grounds of your sex, transgender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability, you can contact a member of the KI staff, such as a head of department, teacher, study advisor or administrator, for advice. You can also turn directly to the student-rights officer, the coordinator for widening participation and equal treatment, or the relevant administrator at the Department of Research and Postgraduate Education.
KI's compliance with the law and its commitment to preventing harassment and discrimination is monitored by the Act's supervising authority. On 1 January 2009, the Equal opportunities ombudsman (JämO), Ethnic Discrimination Ombudsman (DO), the Disability Ombudsman (HO), the Ombudsman against Discrimination on grounds of Sexual Orientation (HomO), were replaced by one all-encompassing Equality Ombudsman.
What does KI do?
Karolinska Institutet is a modern university at the heart of the community. If we are to achieve our ambitious objectives where research and education are concerned, all students at KI must be able to develop their potential on the basis of their own qualifications, irrespective of, for example, their gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.
There is a Council for Equal Treatment at KI which is to operate strategically with KI:s current Action plan for equal treatment 2013-2015 at central-level, and also to support equal treatment at the local level (departments and study programmes etc.). KI employs a coordinator for widening participiation and the equal treatment of students and a coordinator for students with disabilities.
Advice for students who feel harassed or discriminated against
If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed, you can contact a member of the KI staff, such as a head of department, teacher, study advisor or administrator, for advice and to discuss how the matter is to be handled.
Sometimes the matter can be resolved internally, either within your study programme or the department in which you are studying. If the matter cannot be dealt with informally, you can file a report with the KI President or the Equality Ombudsman (DO). This will entail submitting certain personal details, such as your full name.
All students at KI have access to the Student Health Centre, where welfare officers and psychiatrists are on hand if you feel discriminated against or harassed and need to talk to a professional. Naturally, such conversations are held in full confidentiality, and everyone working at the Student Health Centre is bound by a pledge of secrecy. For more information, see the Student Health Centre website.
You might also find it helpful to talk to one of the three student unions: the Medical Students' Union (MF), the Dental Student' Union (OF), or the Physiotherapy Students' Association in Stockholm (SGS).
Should you have questions about equal treatment at KI, please contact:
Coordinator for widening participation and equal treatment:
Coordinator for students with disabilities
Coordinator for Student rights