Equal opportunities for students

KI aims to have a good work and study environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying. While prevention is the main focus, in cases where it does occur it is dealt with immediately.

Equal Opportunities is the term used for KI's work to promote equal rights, opportunities and obligations, and to eliminate all forms of discrimination, abuse and exclusion. It also includes gender mainstreaming and the broadening of recruitment and participation for all individuals.

Equal opportunities are both a legal right for you as a student and raise the quality of education. A study environment that is free from offensive behaviour leads to a more inclusive and accessible teaching and learning process, and an equal opportunities perspective can also enrich the content of the subject being taught. 

The Discrimination Act 

Prospective and current students at KI are protected by the Discrimination Act (2008: 567) that describes the responsibilities of education providers. This means that KI must work to promote all students' in pursuing their studies regardless of gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability.

Bild på en hammare och böcker

The Discrimination Act includes: 

  • Prohibition against discrimination 
  • Requirements to prevent discrimination and harassment 
  • Duty to investigate 

The law defines 7 grounds of discrimination: 

  • sex 
  • transgender identity or expression 
  • sexual orientation 
  • ethnicity  
  • age 
  • religion or other belief  
  • disability 

For KI as an education provider, the Discrimination Act applies if a student in an educational context such as examinations, lectures, seminars, or work-based education, is subjected to discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment by other students, teachers or other KI representative.

  • Discrimination can be briefly described as a disadvantage, i.e. that someone is treated differently than another person in a similar situation.
  • Harassment is described as a situation in which one or more individuals abuse another person through their comments or actions.

For the Discrimination Act to apply, the disadvantage of the harassment must be linked to one of the 7 grounds of discrimination. 

KI is obliged to work preventively with: 

  • admissions and recruitment procedures 
  • teaching methods and organization of education 
  • examinations and assessments of students' performance 
  • study environments
  • opportunities to combine study and parenthood 

The Discrimination ombudsman is a supervisory authority with the responsibility to assess that KI complies with the law and works preventively.           

What does KI do?

Computer and notebook.

Web course on Equal Opportunities

KI provides a web course focused on discrimination and equal opportunities that is aimed to all KI employees and students.  

The purpose of the course is to learn about the legislation that applies to every university in Sweden with regard to discrimination, harassment and discriminatory abuse, as well as KI's policies and case management.

Preventative work for a successful university 

KI's strategy 2030 states that equal opportunities and a good study environment are required for KI to be a successful university:

  • KI’s activities shall be characterised by a good physical, organisational, and social study and work environment that is free from discrimination, offensive behaviour, and harassment. 
  • Widening access, equal opportunities, and fair and equal treatment must be well established in the university. 
  • We must secure equal conditions and career paths for all employees, regardless of background.
  • We must also ensure that our educational programmes provide knowledge about gender, power and equality that is fundamental to equity in healthcare. 

KI has established 3 current action plans that include measures for equal opportunities for students: 

KI students have the support of specific coordinators for:

  • Equal opportunities
  • Student law issues
  • Support for work environment issues
  • Support for students with disabilities.

Contact information is given at the bottom of the page.  

Disabilities

KI should provide education and study environments that are accessible and inclusive for students with disabilities, as well as specific support that students can apply for. Read more on the page Studying with disabilities.  

Study and work environment 

Your study and work environment must be free from discriminatory abuse, such as slander, insults, bullying, overcritical or negative treatment (e.g. mockery, exclusion, neglect). 

If you have issues with your study or work environment, talk to HR at your department, the student representative, your program's student safety representative or the department's student safety representative (studerandeskyddsombud). You can also make a comments or suggestions for improvement via KI's incident reporting system.  

Reporting harassment or discrimination 

Several ways to report 

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed because of gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, religion or other belief or disability, or if the harassment is of a sexual nature:

  • First contact the department responsible for the course. If you do not feel comfortable with this there are several other KI representatives that you can turn to. For example, a teacher, study counsellor, program director, head of department, HR administrator, or someone else you trust. 
  • Contact the coordinator for student law issues directly, the coordinator for equal conditions or the coordinator for students with disabilities. You can also make a report to KI's President. 
  • Write a statement describing the perceived harassment or discrimination (no specific format).
  • Report discrimination or harassment through KI's incident reporting system. If you make an anonymous report there is a risk that an investigation cannot be carried out because of lack of information (see below "If you want to be anonymous"). 
  • Submit tips and complaints about harassment or discrimination to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO).  

Investigation

According to the Discrimination Act, KI is obliged to investigate cases of student harassment or discrimination, and of any KI representative.

  • The department responsible for the course is responsible for the investigation and can receive support from the university administration.
  • For a complete investigation carried out in accordance with the Discrimination Act at KI, it is not possible for the complainant to remain anonymous if they are the victim.
  • While information is usually confidential, a person blamed for discrimination has the right to receive information about the background to the report.
  • It is forbidden that anyone involved in the case be further discriminated or harassed.

Read more: 

  • The Discrimination Ombudsman's page has information about how to report discrimination and harassment.
  • Reporting to UKÄ (the Swedish Higher Education Authority) - If you believe that KI has violated any law or other rule within the higher education area (e.g. Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Ordinance or the University and College Council's regulations).          

If you want to be anonymous 

The Student Health Centre 

When you feel discriminated against or harassed, you may feel the need to talk to someone. Students at KI have access to Student Health Centre (psychologist, counsellor and doctor). Employees at the Student Health Centre and the study counsellor have a duty of confidentiality, everything that is said to these people stays between you unless you agree otherwise.

KI's incident reporting system 

Report harassment and discrimination using KI's incident reporting system

Student and doctoral student representatives 

Confidential support from the student and doctoral student ombudspersons at Medicinska Föreningen (student union) is for all students and doctoral students at KI and the service is free (you do not have to be a member of any student union).

What applies to on-site training (VFU)? 

For training conducted outside of KI the same Discrimination Act applies to this workplace. 

  • If a student experiences discrimination or harassment they should primarily contact the KI department responsible for the course and the manager of the workplace.
  • You can also contact a teacher, security manager or other employee you trust or the student/doctoral student ombudspersons.
  • Every case should be dealt with according to KI guidelines.
  • At the department, the student can be given support through contact with study counsellors and referral to the Student Health Centre.  

The Stockholm Region, in collaboration with KI, has produced "Information for students about abusive discrimination and harassment (In Swedish)"