Student's and doctoral student's ombudspersons - what they can help you with

Regardless of what you study at Karolinska Institutet, you can turn to the student's and the doctoral's student ombudspersons Nazira Hammoud Shahwan and Ninna Oom on various issues concerning your student rights and study environment.

Picture showing Student and doctoral student ombudsperson. From left: Nazira Hammoud Shahwan and Ninna Oom. They look happy and stand in front of the building Alfred Nobels Allé 8.
Student and doctoral student ombudsperson, from left: Nazira Hammoud Shahwan and Ninna Oom. Photo: Daniella Nordman

The student and doctoral student ombudspersons is an independent body, employed by the student union Medicinska Föreningen, that all students at KI can turn to in various matters. They are available for students at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral level.

As a student, you can turn to the ombudspersons if you want help to understand your rights and obligations as a student, need help to handle a conflict between you and KI, handle complaints or investigate whether KI follows the rules in the handling of your cases. It can be disciplinary matters such as plagiarism, questions about the handling of re-examination or if the communication between student and supervisor or teacher does not work as it should. They work with many kinds of issues and the idea is that the students should be able to turn to the ombudspersons in any matter. If necessary, they can refer students to another point of contact.

Students and doctoral students can also turn to the ombudspersons if they experience discrimination or harassment. This may, for example, be about offensive comments due to a student’s origin or that the student is feeling unfairly treated by teachers due to their disability.

However, the ombudspersons cannot take sides or instruct KI to decide in a certain way in a case. Their job is to be there to support the students. 

The student and doctoral student ombudspersons have a duty of confidentiality and do not pass on any information without permission from the student.

What can you do as a student / doctoral student if you are harassed, discriminated against or treated unfairly?

If you feel harassed, discriminated against, or treated unfairly, it is a good idea to contact the ombudspersons as soon as possible. Then they can support you in the best possible way and inform you about the various possibilities that exist for resolving the problem.

The ombudspersons often suggest that the student sends in an incident report on KI's website. If necessary, the ombudspersons can support in the writing of such a report and support the student throughout KI's investigation of the case by, for example, participating in meetings.

Students and doctoral students can also turn to the student safety representatives at the departments if they feel that they want support locally. Student’s and doctoral student’s ombudspersons can also refer students to the student health centre or occupational health care (for employed doctoral students) where they can receive support to be able to process a difficult experience. The university church also offers support and you do not have to be of a certain religion to get help from them.

Contact 

Usually, the ombudspersons work on campus (both Solna and Flemingsberg), but due to the pandemic they are working from home. The best way is to contact them via their contact form online or via email.

Responsibility for your own studies 

As a student, you must take responsibility for your studies. It is important that you familiarize yourself with your obligations and rights to know what you are expected