Rights and obligations – regulations for studying at Bachelor’s and Master’s level (first and second-cycle) at Södertörn University

“Rights and obligations – rules for studying at first and second-cycle level at Södertörn University” is a local set of rules that include decisions about the relationship between students and the university. The purpose of these rules is that all students at Södertörn University will be treated equally and your rights and obligations as a student are easily understandable.

1. Introduction

On 9 June 2020, the vice-chancellor validated the following rules and regulations for education at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels (first and second-cycle) at Södertörn University, applicable from the autumn semester of 2020. These rules and regulations replace Student Rights and Obligations – regulations for studying at Södertörn University, reg. no. 1692/1.1.2/2015. Specific regulations apply to doctoral (third-cycle) education, preparatory education and contract education (including Police Education), so they are not covered by these rules and regulations.

­­A number of laws and ordinances govern higher education in Sweden. In addition to these, there are local regulations for Södertörn University. To increase legal certainty at the university and to clarify the terms of the relationship between the student and the university, certain acts, ordinances, rules and local regulations that relate to studying are compiled in this document. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations in this document are local regulations for Södertörn University. ­

The relationship between everyone who is active at the university, whether student or employee, must be characterised by mutual respect. An important element of this is knowledge of which regulations apply to activities, and compliance with them. It is the responsibility of every student to be aware of the regulations and instructions that apply to the university and to their own education.

1.1 Students at Södertörn University

A student at Södertörn University is exclusively a person who is admitted to and registered on a freestanding course or a course on a programme (Chapter 1, Section 4, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Only students at Södertörn University are entitled to participate in teaching and examination.

1.2 Guidelines for where to turn with a question about legal rights for students

Questions relating to student rights and obligations must be resolved as close to the student as possible, primarily by a teacher or the person responsible for the module/course. The following order applies if a student wishes to bring up an issue of student rights or make a complaint.

  • the relevant teacher
  • person responsible for the module
  • course coordinator
  • programme convenor, subject coordinator or director of studies, in cases where that role exists
  • head of department
  • head of school or academic leader
  • vice-chancellor

Any of the above people can be consulted on issues that relate to the university’s routines and measures to combat discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and other victimisation. The head of school or academic leader is responsible for investigating allegations within these areas. (Also see chapter 3.)

Students are also welcome to talk to the students’ union.

2. The university as a public agency

2.1 Good administration

Södertörn University is a public agency that reports to the government. Decisions taken by the university must be covered by the fundamentals of good administration (Sections 5–8 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

University decision-making that relates to an individual must have legal certainty. Legal certainty means that there must be predictability regarding legal issues; one condition of this is the rules and regulations are unambiguous, publicly available and correctly applied.

2.2 Conflicts of interest

An employee at an authority who processes and makes decisions on cases must do so in an impartial and objective manner (Chapter 1, Section 9, of the Administrative Procedure Act). A conflict of interest is a circumstance that may have a negative effect on the reliability of a specific person’s impartiality when processing a case. Examples of situations in which a conflict of interest may occur are decisions relating to examinations, exemptions, credit transfers and admissions.

Situations in which an employee is regarded as having a conflict of interest include if the employee or a person close to the employee can be expected to benefit from or suffer injury due to a decision on a case. Other situations include circumstances that could negatively affect confidence in an employee’s impartiality, for example if:

  • the employee is a friend or antagonist of a party in a case,
  • the employee is financially dependent on a party in a case,
  • there is a conflict of interest or other circumstance that means the authority’s credibility may be harmed

A person who has a conflict of interest may not process the case or be present when a decision is made about the case (Section 17 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

The officer/decision-maker is responsible for checking whether there is a conflict of interest. If they believe one exists, the officer/decision-maker’s manager must consider whether to transfer the case to someone else.

Even if there is no conflict of interest in the legal sense, in some situations an employee may feel uncomfortable about processing a case. In these instances, to avoid any doubt about a decision’s impartiality, it may be a good idea for the employee to refrain from participating in processing the case.

2.3 Public access and confidentiality

The Principle of Public Access applies to all activities at the university. This means that most of the university’s activities are transparent to the general public and the mass media. One of the most important expressions of the principle of public access is the right to see official documents kept by public authorities.

A request to see an official document must be responded to promptly. Exam questions, students’ examination assignments, and exam results are examples of documents that are regarded as official documents. Questions for written examinations become official documents after the examination has been completed, so as not to undermine the purpose of the examination.

After a student’s examination has been assessed and the result has been registered, the student’s work becomes an official document. This means that other people can request copies of it.

Copies of official documents that are ten pages long or more are supplied at a charge. In cases where the rules for charging fees are obviously being abused, the university may charge from the first page (Sections 15-16 of the Fees Ordinance).

An official document may be classified as secret and is thus not public. Rules about public access and secrecy are found in the Freedom of the Press Act and the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act.

2.4 Obligation to provide service

Public authorities must be accessible to the general public. Among other things, this means that it must be possible to contact a public authority via email and telephone.

The obligation to provide service also means that the person who contacts the university must receive an answer as soon as possible, usually within a few days (Sections 4-5 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

Contacting the university must be easy and convenient.

The university must provide students and other individuals with the help and support that will allow them to enjoy their rights and benefits. This help must be provided to the extent deemed appropriate, considering the nature of the matter, the individual’s need for assistance and the university’s activities. The person who responds to an issue on behalf of a public authority determines the form in which the answer is provided.

3. Equal treatment

Equality between men and women must always be observed and promoted in the university’s activities (Chapter 1, Section 5 of the Higher Education Act).

The university is subject to the Discrimination Act, the purpose of which is to counteract discrimination and to promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnic origin, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age (Chapter 1, Section 1, of the Discrimination Act). The Discrimination Act forbids discrimination and protects applicants to higher education and those studying in higher education (Chapter 2, Section 5, of the Discrimination Act).

Discrimination, in the terms of the law, covers direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, a lack of accessibility, harassment, sexual harassment and instructions to discriminate (Chapter 1, Section 4, of the Discrimination Act).

3.1 Work to prevent harassment and discrimination

Södertörn University must work actively to prevent discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment. Within the framework of its activities, the university must conduct active and targeted work to prevent discrimination and promote equal rights for students, regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnic origin, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. (Chapter 3, Sections 15-20, of the Discrimination Act).

3.2 Actions in cases of discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment

If anyone from the university staff becomes aware that an applicant or student considers they have been a victim of harassment or sexual harassment by another student or a member of the university staff, the university is obliged to investigate what happened. The head of school/academic leader is responsible for the investigation taking place. The university must, in relevant cases, also take the action necessary to prevent future discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment (Chapter 2, Section 7, of the Discrimination Act).

An employee who becomes aware of circumstances such as those described above must contact their line manager or head of school/academic leader. The university’s officer for equal opportunities can be contacted for advice.

A student who believes that they have experienced harassment or sexual harassment can talk to any member of the university staff or the students’ union. It is not necessary to have made a formal complaint for an investigation to begin.

A student or applicant to the university who believes they have been discriminated against can report this to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO).

3.3 Consequences

The disciplinary measures of warning or suspension may be used against a student who subjects another student or an employee at the university to the harassment or sexual harassment described in Chapter 1, Section 4, of the Discrimination Act. Cases of this kind will be dealt with in accordance with Chapter 10 of the Higher Education Ordinance. Read more in Section 28 on disciplinary measures.

The Staff Disciplinary Board at Södertörn University may decide on consequences for an employee who has subjected another employee or a student to harassment or sexual harassment (Chapter 2, Section 15, of the Higher Education Ordinance; Section 25 of the Government Agency Ordinance).

In discrimination cases, the university may be obliged to pay compensation. The same applies if the university does not investigate and take action if harassment or sexual harassment occurs. (Chapter 2, Section 2, of the Discrimination Act).

4. Work environment, resources for students and insurance

The students’ work environment is regulated in the Work Environment Act (Chapter 1, Section 3, of the Work Environment Act). The Discrimination Act also regulates the students’ work environment in relation to the grounds of discrimination. (Chapter 3, Section 17, of the Discrimination Act.)

4.1 Rules for a good work environment

A good work environment creates the right conditions for learning and wellbeing, for both employees and students. To promote this, teaching staff at Södertörn University may establish rules for seminars, lectures, etc. These could cover late arrivals, food and drink, and the use of mobile phones and other electronic equipment, for example.

4.2 Healthcare

The university is responsible for ensuring the students have access to healthcare, particularly preventive healthcare that aims to promote their physical and mental health (Chapter 1, Section 11, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The Student Health Centre specialises in study-related health problems and should be regarded as a complement to other healthcare services. Information about the Student Health Centre is available on the university’s website.

4.3 Campus resources

Students at Södertörn University must have reasonable access to the resources necessary for their education, which could include computer rooms, Wi-Fi and a library with course literature, reference books and other sources of scholarly information, as well as reasonable guidance in the use of these sources. There must also be spaces such as reading areas, group rooms, a quiet room and student kitchens, as far as is necessary for the students to be able to undertake their studies.

These resources must be available to students outside of scheduled hours as much as possible.

4.4 Careers and study guidance

Students must have access to study guidance and career orientation. The university must ensure that those who intend to start a course or programme have access to the necessary information about it (Chapter 6, Section 3, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The university offers careers and study guidance to potential and existing students.

4.5 Personal injury insurance

Students are covered by state personal injury insurance that is paid for by the university. This insurance is valid in Sweden during educational activities and for travel between the student’s home and the location of the educational activities. (See also Kammarkollegiet’s insurance terms and conditions for students 2010.)

The insurance policy covers accidents and some cases of illness due to infection (Chapter 1, Section 11a, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Personal injury insurance does not cover distance studies conducted anywhere other than on university premises. The university takes out personal injury insurance for incoming and outgoing students from and to higher education institutions with which Södertörn University has an agreement (Chapter 1, Section 11b, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

More information about student insurance is available on the university’s website (sh.se).

5. Student influence and course evaluations

In accordance with the Higher Education Act, students are entitled to exert an influence on their education. The university must endeavour to enable students to play an active role in the continued development of courses and programmes (Chapter 1, Section 4a, of the Higher Education Act).

Students are entitled to representation when preparatory processes are carried out or when decisions are taken on issues that are important to their education or situation (Chapter 2, Section 7, of the Higher Education Act).

At Södertörn University, this means that a course, programme or subject coordinator, head of department, head of school or other manager must decide on issues of educational importance or which are important to the students’ situation in general, and is responsible for consulting with the student representative. This consultation must take place well in advance of the decision being made.

5.1 Students' union

An association of students that wishes to become a designated students’ union may apply to the university for this status. The university decides which associations will receive students’ union status (Chapter 4, Sections 8-14, of the Higher Education Ordinance; Sections 3-6, of the Student Union Ordinance).

A university’s decision on whether to give an association students’ union status, and a decision to remove that status, may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Section 10 of the Student Union Ordinance).

The students’ union at Södertörn University represents all students, regardless of whether they are members of the students’ union or not.

5.2 Student representatives

The students’ union appoints and discharges student representatives (Section 7 of the Student Union Ordinance). The students’ union decides how student representatives are appointed. Students are entitled to have three representatives as members of the Governing Board (Chapter 2, Section 7a, of the Higher Education Ordinance) and two members on the Disciplinary Board (Chapter 10, Section 4, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Students are entitled to have at least three representatives as members of boards and other bodies that decide on issues relating to the design, execution or quality of courses and programmes. However, the number of student representatives may be fewer considering the total number of group members (Chapter 2, Section 6, of the Higher Education Act and Chapter 2, Section 14, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Students must have representation on other decision-making and preparatory bodies that are important to education or student welfare, in accordance with the current agreement between Södertörn University and the students’ union.

Each student representative is entitled to have a substitute with the right to attend and to express an opinion. Södertörn University must help students combine studying with a position as student representative by:

  • where possible, adapting the student’s timetabled classes based on current positions of trust, and
  • after agreement with the examiner, providing the opportunity to retake course modules that the student has missed due to their position. One condition for this is that course modules can be compensated for, or that absence is so limited that it does not affect the student’s education.

5.3 Student associations’ right to use teaching premises

A democratically constituted association for students at the university may, under certain conditions, use the university’s teaching premises for meetings for its members. The conditions for this are regulated in Chapter 1, Section 13, of the Higher Education Ordinance.

5.4 Course evaluations

The university must provide students with the opportunity to present their experiences of and opinions about the courses they have studied via a course evaluation. The course evaluation must be organised by the university. The university must compile the course evaluations and announce the results, as well as informing the students of any decisions on measures due to the students’ opinions. The results must be available to the students (Chapter 1, Section 14, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

At Södertörn University, the head of school or academic head is responsible for all the above being completed when a course is provided. Time for completing the course evaluation should be stated in the timetable. Course evaluations should preferably not be conducted in association with examinations.

Course evaluations are answered anonymously.

6. Fees and expenses

The general rule for Swedish higher education institutions is that education is free (Chapter 4, Section 4, of the Higher Education Act). However, the student is liable for some costs related to the course or programme.

6.1 Costs while studying

The student pays for their own course literature and other aids for personal use. The university is entitled to charge a reasonable price for items such as the provision of study materials in the form of compendiums. This price may not be greater than the cost of producing the material (Sections 4-5 of the Ordinance on Fees). If the course or programme includes modules that entail costs in addition to those usual for the student, the university may – in some cases – be forced to provide an alternative that is free of charge.

6.2 Costs for study trips

If a subject chooses to locate a course or part of a course in another country, or to conduct an obligatory study trip within Sweden, the university must pay the costs necessary for the course’s completion. These could be costs for external teachers or premises. If a study trip entails costs in addition to those usual for students, the university shall either provide a free alternative to the study trip or offer students a significant grant for the costs that arise in association with the study trip (Avgiftsfri utbildning, 1996:3 R, p. 14). Whether a course or programme will include a study trip and whether it is wholly or partially conducted in another country must be clearly stated in course and programme syllabuses and in the university’s information material.

6.3 Registration and tuition fees for specific students

The university must charge application and tuition fees to applicants and students from a third country. A third country is a state outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. Education is provided without charge to Swedish citizens and others who fulfil the requirements for exemption from application and tuition fees (Chapter 4, Section 4, of the Higher Education Act). Exceptions to the fee requirements are regulated in Section 2 of the Ordinance on application and tuition fees in higher education. The size of the tuition fee is decided by the university (Section 6a of the Ordinance on application and tuition fees in higher education).

7. Course and programme syllabuses and reading lists

Every course at the university must have a syllabus (Chapter 6, Section 14 of the Higher Education Ordinance). Every programme at the university must have a programme syllabus (Chapter 6, Section 16 of the Higher Education Ordinance). Course and programme syllabuses contain directives and are thus binding, which means that course and programme syllabuses must be adhered to by both staff and students at the university. Course and programme syllabuses must, for studies the following semester, be validated and compiled on the university website before the application period opens.

In addition to what is stated in the syllabus, there is usually more detailed information about the course content and design in a course manual or similar, made available to the students by the start of the course. Because the content of the course syllabus is binding for the university, the content of the course manual or similar must always follow the directives of the course syllabus

7.1 Content of a course syllabus

Every course syllabus must include the following (Chapter 6, Section 15, of the Higher Education Ordinance):

  • the level at which the course is offered,
  • how many credits the course is worth,
  • the course’s intended learning objectives,
  • entry requirements,
  • the methods used for assessing the students’ performance and
  • other necessary directives.

In addition to the above, course syllabuses at Södertörn University must state the following:

  • language of instruction,
  • grading scale,
  • the primary content of the course,
  • compulsory elements,
  • whether the examination format changes after a specific number of retakes are offered,
  • any limitation in the number of retakes, such as for placements or the equivalent, and whether the course includes a substantial study trip and/or is partially located in another country.

7.2 Content of a programme syllabus

Every programme syllabus must include the following (Chapter 6, Section 17, of the Higher Education Ordinance):

  • the courses included in the programme,
  • entry requirements and,
  • other necessary directives

In addition to the above, programme syllabuses at Södertörn University must state the following:

  • language of instruction,
  • programme-specific intended learning outcomes,
  • applicability,
  • the name of the qualification,
  • programme description,
  • any elective courses on the programme

7.3 Reading lists

The reading list is an appendix to the syllabus and is validated before each semester. The university’s Delegation of Authority states which unit at the university makes decisions about reading lists.

A reading list is validated by the turn of May/June for the autumn semester and November/December for the spring semester, and must be available the student well before the start of the semester. The reading list is also sent to the bookshop and the university library for purchasing. Students who need audiobooks are responsible for informing the library if these are missing, so that they can be ordered.

Changes to the reading list may only occur if the validated literature is not available, or for similar reasons, and should not be made later than 15 working days before the start of the course.

8. Language of instruction and examination

Swedish is the main language of instruction and examination for courses and programmes at Södertörn University. However, there may be elements of teaching and reading in English on courses offered in Swedish; on such courses the student must always be able to be examined using Swedish.

If a course or programme is taught and examined in a language other than Swedish, this must be stated in the syllabus. The course and programme syllabuses for education where the language of instruction is not Swedish must be validated in Swedish and supplemented by a translation to the relevant language.

9. Recording teaching

Audio and visual recording of teaching or other presentations on university premises is not permitted unless specifically stated.

When teaching, a teacher may specifically provide permission for students to record it and may state the conditions under which this can happen. The teacher must consider whether other students object to this recording.

The recording may only be of the teaching or presentation (i.e. the teacher and the board/screen). Photography and/or och filming of students during teaching is never permissible unless they have provided consent. A student who makes a recording must be present when the recording is made and may only use the recording for personal use. The student has no rights to disseminate the recording, whether to another student or, for example, by publishing it. A person who disseminates recorded material may be liable to pay compensation (Chapter 7 of the Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works).

Students with disabilities who have a certificate with recommendations for educational support (a Funka certificate) in the form of recording, must provide information about their requirements well before the lecture/seminar and show the certificate, after which recording must be permitted with the above limitations. Other participating students must be informed that recording will occur and must, if requested, be given the opportunity to ask questions in private after the lecture/seminar ends.

9.1 Recording as part of the course or programme

Courses on which students must make recordings as part of their studies (teaching or examination) must have specific instructions that state how the recorded material is to be managed. For example, this may be a film recording that is part of an examination or audio recordings of interviews.

10. Cancellation of advertised courses and programmes

A decision on admission to higher education is an advantageous administrative decision (Section 37 of the Administrative Procedure Act). Therefore, if the university cancels advertised courses and programmes, this must be done before admissions have taken place. If a course is cancelled, applicants must be informed.

11. Deferment, registration, approved leave and non-completion

11.1 Post-admission deferment of the start of studies

Someone who is admitted to the university must start their studies in the semester of admission. If they are unable to begin their studies at the prescribed time they may, in exceptional circumstances, defer the start of their studies (Chapter 7, Section 33, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Exceptional reasons for deferment may be social, medical or other exceptional circumstances, such as caring for a sick child, national service, students’ union duties, basic military training under the ordinance on basic military training, or delayed leave under the Employee’s Right to Educational Leave Act.

Exceptional circumstances may also include fixed-term probationary employment in accordance with Section 12 of the Act on Specific Employment in the Swedish Armed Forces, or service in the Swedish Armed Forces for employees who are periodically serving section commander, soldier or sailor under this act (Statute Book of the Swedish Council for Higher Education 2013:3).

The period of deferment may be no longer than 18 months, unless there are exceptional circumstances that support a longer period.

The person who has been admitted must themself apply for a deferment via Student Support Services at Södertörn University in the manner described on Södertörn University’s website (sh.se).

The reasons given must be documented, e.g. with a doctor’s certificate, extract from the population register for a child, decision on enlistment or employer’s certificate.

A person who, after being granted deferment, wishes to start studying, must re-apply for the same course or programme via Antagning.se/Universityadmissions.se before the deadline. Instructions for how to do this are appended to the decision on deferment. Studies can begin on the condition that the course or programme is offered. A student who does not follow the instructions for application risks losing their place on the course or programme.

Decisions on deferment are made by Student Support Services.

A decision to reject an application for deferment may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

11.2 Registration and re-registration

A person admitted to a course or programme and who intends to start studying must register on the course or programme. The student must register no later than one (1) week after the start of the course, unless informed otherwise by the course/programme.

Registration means that the student is registered on the course or programme and that this is documented in the Ladok student registry.

Registration on a course normally occurs in association with the start of the course.

A student who has previously been registered on a course without achieving a pass grade and who wants to sit the examination must re-register. This may be done provided that the course is still offered.

A re-registered student may, when places are available, participate in the modules in which they have not yet achieved a pass. A decision about whether a place can be offered is made by the course coordinator, who must also consider the provisions of sections 17.1 Number of examination opportunities: general rule, and 17.3 Examination on courses that are not offered during the semester.

There is no established time period for when a non-registered student ceases to be a student at Södertörn University and is thus unable to re-register on a course. This must be assessed from case to case, considering the time that has passed and other relevant factors.

11.3 Approved leave from studies with guaranteed admission

In exceptional circumstances, the university may grant a student approved leave from studies with guaranteed admission (Chapter 7, Section 33, of the Higher Education Ordinance). This means that the student has the right to resume studying at the time stated in the decision (Section 5 of the Statute Book of the Swedish Council for Higher Education 2013:3), provided that the course or programme is offered.

Approved leave from studies with guaranteed admission can be provided for both programmes and freestanding courses. Exceptional circumstances that allow a student to be granted approved leave with guaranteed admission may include social, medical or other exceptional circumstances, such as caring for a child, national service or students’ union duties (Section 4 of the Statute Book of the Swedish Council for Higher Education 2013:3).

A student who wishes to take approved leave must apply for this in the manner described on Södertörn University’s website (sh.se). The university’s Delegation of Authority states who takes decisions on leave from studies.

A decision to reject an application for leave may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

A person who wishes to recommence studying after being granted leave must inform the university of this in writing, by 15 April for the autumn semester and 15 October for the spring semester. Other dates may apply in exceptional cases; if so, these will be provided by the department.

If the student cannot recommence studying at the time stated in the decision, they must submit a new application for leave. A student who does not submit a new application risks losing their guaranteed place on the course or programme.

11.4 Other leave from studies

A student who wishes to take study leave for reasons other than those stated in Section 11.3 may only resume studying when places are available, i.e. there is no guaranteed admission, unless the course or programme says otherwise.

11.5 Non-completion of studies

A student who wishes to terminate their studies within three (3) weeks of the start of the course takes ‘early non-completion’. This means that the student can apply for the same course again on a later occasion. For a student on a programme to be able to re-apply for the programme, early non-completion must be conducted within three (3) weeks of the start of the programme. The student must contact the programme and say that they wish to take early non-completion. Early non-completion is then registered in the Ladok student registry.

A student who terminates their studies later than that stated above cannot re-apply for the same course or programme. However, the student may de-register from the course or programme. For more information about what de-registration entails, see Section 11.2 Registration and de-registration.

12. Exemption: exceptions to entry requirements

Each course syllabus states the entry requirements for that course. To fulfil the entry requirements for the next level (e.g. B or C courses, Master’s, specific courses on programmes), it is usually necessary for a student to have completed all the credits at previous levels.

An exception to the entry requirements may be permitted in some circumstances. The head of school or academic head decides whether it is possible to make exceptions to the entry requirements for a subject or a programme and, if so, which exceptions are possible. This is called a general exemption. Examples of when a general exemption may be applicable are when the results from a course cannot be validated in time for a student to be eligible for the next course. The programme must inform the students about whether a general exemption is provided.

In addition to the general exemption, a student may apply for other exemptions from entry requirements. A student who wishes to apply for an exemption must apply for this in the manner described on Södertörn University’s website (sh.se). Decisions on exemption cases are taken by the head of school or academic head according to the Delegation of Authority. If an application is denied or only partially approved, the decision must be motivated and include information about the appeals process.

A decision to reject an application for exemption may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Read more in section 27. Appeals.

13. Credit transfers and degrees

13.1 Credit transfers

If a student has successfully completed a higher education course or programme, they are entitled to transfer the credits awarded for this to another higher education institution. This provision applies to higher education in Sweden and in some other countries. One condition for credit transfer is that there is no significant difference between the courses/programmes (Chapter 6, Section 6, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

A student may also have the right to transfer the credits from education other than that mentioned above, provided that the knowledge and skills for which the student wishes to transfer credits are such that they generally correspond to the course or programme to which the credits are to be transferred. The same may also apply to knowledge and skills that the student has acquired professionally (Chapter 6, Section 7, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Credits may only be awarded to a student, unless otherwise stated in a statute or ordinance (Chapter 6, Section 8, of the Higher Education Ordinance). A student who wishes to apply for a credit transfer must do so in the manner described on Södertörn University’s website (sh.se). Decisions on credit transfers are made by the head of school or academic leader unless otherwise stated in the university’s Delegation of Authority.

A decision on a credit transfer in association with a degree application is made by Student Support Services. A decision to reject an application for credit transfer may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Read more in Section 27 Appeals. Complete regulations regarding credit transfers are found in Chapter 6, Sections 6-8 of the Higher Education Ordinance, Section 7 of the Ordinance on contract education at higher education institutions, and Rules for Credit Transfer at Södertörn University, reg. no. 4315-1.1.2-2019.

13.2 Degrees

A person who fulfils the requirements for a degree must, on request, receive a degree certificate from the university (Chapter 6, Section 9, of the Higher Education Ordinance). The degree certificate is issued digitally.

Södertörn University’s website (sh.se) has information about what to do if you wish to apply for your degree. The university’s degree regulations are also available on the website.

A decision to reject an application for a degree certificate may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Read more in Section 27 Appeals.

14. Support for students with disabilities

A student with a lasting disability that is a barrier to their studies, i.e. an impairment, may receive compensatory educational support. One prerequisite for this is that the student has a documented disability.

A student who needs compensatory educational support must contact the university coordinator for support for students with disabilities. If the student fulfils the conditions for compensatory support, the coordinator issues a certificate (a FUNKA certificate) with a proposal for educational support. This student must produce this certificate when they wish to utilise compensatory educational support. Other types of confirmation/certification do not provide entitlement to support at the university.

The student is responsible for making the necessary contacts with the university staff, in good time, if they wish to use compensatory educational support they have been granted.

14.1 Adapted examination

A student who needs adapted examination arrangements due to a lasting disability may be granted these in the confirmation letter issued by the coordinator.

Examples of examination adaptations may include an extended writing time or the chance to sit the exam in a smaller examination room. Adaptations of this type must not lead to the examination deviating from the directives stated in the course syllabus.

14.2 Alternative examination formats

A student who is unable to use the examination format stated in the course syllabus due to a lasting disability may, in some circumstances, be permitted an alternative examination format. A decision about an alternative examination format entails a deviation being made from the syllabus’ directives on examination format. However, the alternative examination format must always be decided based on the course’s intended learning outcomes.

The certificate issued by the coordinator to a student with a lasting disability may include alternative examination formats as a potential form of compensatory educational support. Even if a student has been given this option in the certificate, it is the examiner who decides whether it can be permitted for a specific examination. A student who wishes to use an alternative examination format must contact the examiner well before the examination date.

15. Times for instruction and examination

Courses held during the day must be given Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 18.00. Evening courses are to be held between 18.00 and 22.00, Monday to Friday. These times apply to both teaching and examination. Exceptions to these times may be made in association with excursions, study visits, placements, examinations or similar.

Written examinations may only be scheduled on a Saturday in exceptional cases. Written examinations that are solely resits may, in addition to the times stated above, also be held on Saturdays and Monday to Friday evenings.

15.1 Timetable

A preliminary course timetable must be available by the time of the first admission decision. The preliminary timetable must include teaching and, if possible, examination. Examinations must normally be scheduled within the timeframe for each module.

16. On examination and the examiner

16.1 What is examination?

Examination is the assessment and grading of a student’s knowledge, skills and understanding in a subject, based on the intended learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. The course syllabus states which methods of examination are used on a specific course.

Examples of examination forms are written examinations, take-home examinations, group work, written assignments, essays, placements and oral presentations, as well as participation in seminars.

16.2 Information about examination

The examiner is responsible for compliance with the examination formats stated in the course syllabus. The course coordinator is responsible for providing information to the students about relevant examination formats, rules and grading criteria at the start of the course.

16.3 Examiner

Decisions about grades are made by the person who is appointed examiner (Chapter 6, Section 18, of the Higher Education Ordinance). The university’s Delegation of Authority states who makes the decision to appoint examiners.

16.4 Change of examiner

A student who has taken at least two (2) examinations for a course or module without achieving a pass grade is entitled to have another examiner appointed for the next examination, unless exceptional circumstances suggest otherwise (Chapter 6, Section 22, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

A student who wishes to change examiner must submit a written request in the manner described on Södertörn University’s website (sh.se). The university’s Delegation of Authority states who makes the decision on a change of examiner.

A change of examiner means that the student may undertake a new examination task according to the syllabus for an “ordinary” examination.

If the examiner and the teacher marking the exam have been different, the teacher should also change when the examiner changes.

16.5 Examination during placements

For examination on a placement, the student is entitled to change examiner after one opportunity for examination.

17. Number of opportunities for examination – re-examination

17.1 Basic rule

The university must offer at least five (5) opportunities for examination of the course/module’s main examined elements over a period of two (2) calendar years from the date the student registered on the course.

At least three (3) of these must be during the first calendar year after the start of the course. The number of times that a student is offered the opportunity to take an examination is what counts, not how many times the student has actually taken the examination. It is the responsibility of the student to find out the dates of examinations.

The syllabus and reading list that were valid at the time of registration apply to the abovementioned opportunities for examination. After two years from the date the student first registered on the course, examination is conducted in accordance with the current syllabus and reading list. The timeframe for examination in accordance with the syllabus valid at the time of registration is thus two years.

The course coordinator may decide other time intervals for examination formats that require specific conditions for them to be conducted. For example, examinations that require a specific number of students or which must be conducted at a specific time of year. These examination formats could be group work, seminar series, excursions and lab work. If other time intervals for examination are applied on a course, students must be informed of this at the start of the course.

17.2 Examination for courses not offered during the semester

The university must offer at least (1) examination opportunity per examined element and semester even if the course is not offered during the current semester, provided that one student re-registered on the course when it started.

The academic school may decide on exceptions to this regulation for specific examination formats, such as those that require a specific number of students or must be conducted at a specific time of year. This may include group work, seminar series, excursions and lab work.

17.3 If a course is discontinued or a new syllabus is validated

The following applies when a course is discontinued or if a new syllabus is validated.

If a course is discontinued

If a course is no longer offered, students who have been registered on the course are offered at least three (3) opportunities for examination per examined element over a period of at least one (1) year. Examined elements are based on the most recently validated syllabus.

Students who have been registered on the course and not yet achieved a pass grade must be informed that the course will be discontinued via a letter to their registered address. This must include information about the period during which it is possible to take an exam for this course. Students who wish to be examined on the course must contact the university for re-registration on the course within the given timeframe. If a student does not inform the university that they wish to be examined on a discontinued course, the opportunities for examination that the student must be offered are considered as having been used.

Students who studied the course in the last two years are covered by Section 17.1 for at least five examined elements over a period of two years.

If a new syllabus is validated

If a syllabus has a new course code and rule 17.1 has been fulfilled for the course code to which the student was admitted, students who did not achieve a pass grade on an old course code may be admitted on the new one. Decisions on this are made by the course coordinator.

Students who studied on an earlier syllabus may apply for credit transfers for completed modules to get a grade for the entire course. (See Chapter 13.)

17.4 Limitation in the syllabus on the number of opportunities for examination

The number of times that a student must be offered the opportunity for examination on a specific course is governed by the above basic rule in this chapter. The number of times that a student may undertake an examination or placement may, in some cases, be limited due to the directives in the syllabus. Such a directive may only be included if a lack of such a limitation would entail an unreasonable waste of resources.

17.5 Placements

Placements or equivalent periods of education may be limited to at least two (2) occasions (Chapter 6, Section 21, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

If the number of occasions for examination or placement are limited, those counted are the ones the student has completed, not the examination opportunities that have been offered. Students on courses where there is a limitation must be informed that there is a limit and what this entails.

18. Instructions and rules for examinations

There must be written instructions and rules for how students will be examined for every examined element. It is the responsibility of the student to know the rules and instructions that apply to each examination.

18.1 Compulsory attendance

Compulsory attendance is sometimes a requirement associated with a form of examination that requires the student’s presence, such as written examinations and active participation in seminars.

If a course includes examined elements that require compulsory attendance, this must be stated in the syllabus. The students must be informed about which parts of the course have compulsory attendance no later than the start of the course. In association with this, students must also be informed of the consequences of absence from these compulsory elements. If absence from an element with compulsory attendance may be compensated for in a way other than participation at another time, this must be stated in the syllabus.

Compulsory attendance must be checked, documented and archived using registers or other appropriate methods. Other students may not sign an absent student’s name on the register.

18.2 Group work

Group work is a form of examination that must be conducted as a collaboration between two or more students. The group has shared responsibility for the assignment’s execution and the resulting product. When a teacher corrects or grades group work, an individual assessment must be made.

18.3 Individual examination tasks

An individual examination task is one that must be completed autonomously. The student’s own performance is the basis for assessment.

The basic rule is therefore that during work with an individual examination task, there may be no collaboration with other students. In cases where collaboration is permitted during some part of the work on an examination task, this must be stated in the instructions for the examination task.

18.4 References and source management

In an examination task, the student’s own words, ideas, conclusions, structures, reasoning, analyses, questions, etc, must always be clear. The basic rule is that everything the student takes from another source – published or unpublished – must be presented in the manner stated in the task’s instructions. Sources include reading lists, articles, other students’ work, a student’s own previous work, the internet, interviews, observations, television and radio programmes, statistics, pictures, tables, maps and lab results.

18.5 Reuse of the student’s own text

The general rule at the university is that each opportunity for examination requires a new performance by the student. This means that a student may not reuse a piece of work on which they have been examined on a previous occasion. Exceptions may be made, such as the re-examination of essays or additions to take-home examinations.

In cases where the re-use of previous text is permitted in a re-examination, this must be stated in writing in the instructions for the examination task.

18.6 Plagiarism checks

Written examination tasks are usually checked using a text matching tool when they are submitted. The aim of this is to prevent and discover plagiarism in examinations. Employees are obliged to submit a disciplinary report if there is reason to suspect plagiarism or other attempts at deception in association with examination. Read more in Section 28 Disciplinary measures.

The instructions for a written examination task should always state the requirements for the presentation of sources. There are different systems for references. More information about source management is available on Södertörn University Library’s website.

19. Essay supervision (degree project)

Students are often offered some supervision during the writing of a major essay. A supervisor may never prevent a student from having their essay examined, regardless of the supervisor’s assessment of the student’s potential to achieve a pass grade.

A person who has supervised an essay must not be the examiner for that essay. If exceptional circumstances make this impossible, the same person may be both supervisor and examiner.

It is solely the examiner who decides the grade. However, the supervisor’s and the examiner’s assessments of an essay must not differ too greatly; they must be based on the intended learning outcomes in the syllabus. One condition for this is clear assessment criteria, as well as continual dialogue between the supervisor and examiner on the grading criteria. It is also important that the different roles of the examiner and supervisor are clarified for the students.

A student’s right to supervision for an essay or degree project is tied to a specific course occasion. Continued supervision may be provided after the end of a course for a student who has not achieved a pass grade. If the subject does not have a routine for supervision after the end of a course, the course coordinator must investigate the opportunities for further supervision for a student who has not achieved a pass grade on their essay. Regardless of whether the student receives further supervision, they are not entitled to re-register on the course for re-examination.

19.1 Change of supervisor

In exceptional circumstances, a student should be given the opportunity to change supervisor. A student who wishes to change supervisor submits a written request as instructed and provides the reasons for requesting a change. The academic school appoints the person who decides on such cases.

20. Written examinations

Registration for written exams is compulsory. A student who has not registered may not sit the examination. The registration period starts three (3) weeks before, and ends one (1) week before, the written examination. After the registration deadline, late registration for a written examination may be possible if places are available. A student who wishes to register late must contact the examination coordination office as soon as possible with their request.

To sit a written examination, a student must be registered, arrive punctually and be carrying valid ID. Complete information about written examinations is available in Rules for Written Examinations, reg. no. 2418-2.2.5-2018.

20.1 Written examinations at another site for courses offered by Södertörn University

A student who is studying a course at Södertörn University and who wishes to sit a written examination on this course at another site is responsible for contacting their examiner in good time. If the examiner grants the student permission to sit the examination at another site, the student is responsible for contacting the university, public authority or equivalent at which the student wishes to sit the written examination. The written examination must be conducted at the same time as for other students on the course, unless the examiner decides otherwise.

The examiner or person appointed by the examiner is responsible for the administration and quality assurance of the examination.

21. Submission, marking and return of examinations

21.1 Submitting an examination

The deadline for the submission of take-home examinations and hand-in assignments must be announced by the course coordinator no later than the start of the course.

Unless otherwise stated, a take-home examination or hand-in assignment that is submitted late will not be marked. The student is instead instructed to submit the work on the next opportunity for submission.

21.2 Submission of blank or incomplete examination papers

A student who submits a blank examination paper receives a Fail (U) grade.

A student who submits an incomplete examination paper receives a Fail (U) grade, or the opportunity to supplement it.

21.3 Marking period and results reporting

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the student must be informed of the results as soon as possible, in accordance with legislative requirements that cases must be processed quickly. (Section 9 of the Administrative Procedure Act). Students must receive their result no later than 15 working days after the stated day of submission, provided they submitted the assignment by a previously determined submission date. The results of the examination must be promptly reported using the Ladok study documentation system.

21.4 Announcing examination results

The students on a course must receive information about how the results of the course’s various examination elements will be announced. In cases where the examination results are provided in a way that make a student’s personal details available to others than themself, personal details must be anonymised. This could be done by only publishing the first six numbers of the students’ personal ID numbers.

21.5 Returning examination tasks

After the examiner has graded a submitted examination task, the student receives the digital version by collecting it from Infocenter. These returns take place as soon as possible, no less than 14 calendar days before the next opportunity for examination. The legislation on rapid processing also applies here. (Section 9 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

It may be reasonable for a person who is considering requesting a reassessment to first collect a copy of his or her examination task. Read more in 26.2 Reassessment.

Two (2) years after the examination, the university may remove and dispose of uncollected examination tasks.

22. Barriers to examination due to errors by the university

22.1 Barriers caused by the university in association with examination

EA student who has been unable to sit an examination due to a mistake by the examiner or the university is entitled to a new examination. A new date for the examination must be decided in consultation with the student, so it is on an occasion that suits the student. Regardless of the circumstances that led to the original problem, the format of the examination must always comply with the syllabus.

22.2 Missing examination tasks

There must be an examination task as a foundation on which an examiner can make an assessment and set a grade. If it can be proven that a student has submitted an examination, but the examiner cannot set the grade because the examination cannot be found, a new examination date must be decided. The new date must be decided in consultation with the affected student and be one that suits the student; the examination format must also comply with the syllabus. If an examination has disappeared after the examiner has set the grade and it is apparent that the grade is correct, the grading decision stands. If there is doubt about the correctness of the grade, the student must be offered a new examination date instead. The new date must be decided in consultation with the affected student and be one that suits the student. The examination format must also comply with the syllabus on the new opportunity for examination.

23. Barriers to examination due to religious or ethical reasons

23.1 Examinations on religious holidays

If an examination is scheduled to coincide with a religious holiday within a faith observed by a student, the student is entitled to another examination date. At the start of the course, the student must inform the course coordinator that the examination coincides with a religious holiday. Provided that the student has informed the course coordinator at the start of the course, the student is entitled to a new opportunity for examination date close to the normal examination date. The university may request certification or similar from the student’s religious community or equivalent, to confirm that the day is a religious holiday.

23.2 Befrielse från obligatoriskt utbildningsmoment

Exemptions from compulsory components may be permitted in exceptional circumstances. In this case, exceptional circumstances are primarily ethical and religious reasons. A student who wishes to be exempted from a compulsory component must make a written application to the examiner. The application must state the reason for exemption. The examiner assesses the reasons presented by the student and whether it is possible to achieve the intended learning outcomes of the syllabus in different way to the compulsory component. A student who is granted exemption from a compulsory course component must complete a compensatory task that provides the equivalent knowledge and is of a scope equivalent to the compulsory course component. The examiner decides the format of the compensatory task. The decision not to grant a student exemption from a compulsory component may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Read more in section 27 Appeals.

24. Incomplete examination, compensatory tasks, supplementation and re-examination

24.1 Incomplete examination

Make-up tasks are usually given for examinations that a student has not completed. If a student has an incomplete examination, this means that a grade cannot be set for that examination until the student has completed it. A make-up task is usually conducted using the same format as the original examination.

24.2 Compensatory task

A compensatory task is a type of make-up task that is carried out in a format different to that of the original examination. One example of this is a written hand-in assignment as compensation for absence from a seminar. The syllabus must state whether an examination task can be compensated for using a format different to that of the original examination.

24.3 Supplementation

In some cases, students may be offered the opportunity to supplement an examination task that is close to achieving a pass grade. Supplementation must be based on the same task as the original examination and provide the student with the opportunity to develop or redo parts of the task.

The examiner sets the deadline and the scope of the supplementation.

The opportunity to provide a supplement must be used sparingly. Supplementation must normally only be able to result in a student receiving a Pass (G) or a Fail (U). If the examiner does not feel that the submitted supplement fulfils the requirements for a pass grade, the examiner must set the grade as Fail (U).

Unless otherwise stated, the student has one (1) year in which to complete the supplementation. If the student has not submitted the supplement within the stated time, the examiner sets a Fail (U) grade for the original examination assignment.

If supplementation is possible for examination tasks, students must be informed of this at the start of the course.

24.4 Re-examination

Dates for the first opportunity to resit an examination must be announced at the start of the course. The period between the return of an examination task and a resit must always be at least fourteen (14) calendar days.

A student must be registered on the relevant course during the current semester to take a resit examination.

25. Grades

Grades must be given for completed courses. Grades are decided by an examiner (Chapter 6, Section 18, of the Higher Education Ordinance). An examiner's decision about a grade cannot be appealed.

Södertörn University uses the following grading scales: Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with credit (VG); or Fail (U) and Pass (G).

The grading scale must be stated in the course syllabus and applies to normal examinations and to re-examinations. For courses that are offered in English, the grading scale A to F is used.

To obtain a grade of Pass with credit (VG) on a completed course, at least 50% of the credits on the course must have been awarded a grade of Pass with credit (VG). If the course includes an essay, this must be included in the credits awarded as Pass with credit (VG).

Any exceptions to this rule must be stated in the course syllabus. (Riktlinjer för betyget Väl godkänd (VG) på hel kurs, dnr 491/40/2009 [Guidelines for the grade of Pass with credit (VG) on entire course, reg. no. 491/40/2009])

A student who has received a Pass (G) grade cannot have the grade changed to Fail (U) on their request. A student who has achieved a pass grade on an examination does not have the right to resit the same examination. Nor may a student withdraw a submitted examination with the aim of avoiding a grade being awarded.

25.1 Grading criteria and point boundaries

At the start of the course, the students must be informed in writing of the grading criteria for the course, i.e. the criteria and the grounds for evaluation that apply to attaining a specific grade.

The grading criteria must have a clear link to the intended learning outcomes stated in the syllabus.

Some examinations have point boundaries for a specific grade stated in advance. In cases where applying the point boundaries would result in an inaccurate grade, the examiner may adjust the point boundaries when marking. Examiners must inform the students about adjustments made to point boundaries.

25.2 Grading decisions

Grading decisions are documented in the Ladok study documentation system. The general rule is that the date of the grade is the day that a written examination was held or the final date for the submission of a hand-in assignment.

If teachers other than the examiner have participated in assessing a student’s work, their names must be stated in the grading decision (Section 21 of the Government Agency Ordinance).

25.3 Motivation for grade decisions

Decisions on grading do not need to be justified. However, a student is entitled to see the material that has been provided as input for the grade, if the student requests this. One example could be written comments about the student that the placement supervisor has presented to the examiner. (Section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

Depending on the examination format, motivation for the grades may be appropriate. If no motivation is given for a decision on grading and the affected student requests to know the reasons for the decision, the examiner should provide information about this afterwards (Section 32 of the Administrative Procedure Act). Making notes in the examination paper during marking, holding a post-exam review or providing a written answer key are examples of how students can be made aware of the basis on which an examiner has made decisions.

In cases where an oral post-exam review will be offered, the students must be told the date for this at the start of the course. An oral post-exam review should be held at least seven (7) week days before the resit.

26. Changes to decisions: correction and reassessment

A public authority must amend a decision that, for some reason, contains an error. Changes to decisions may be made at the request of the person affected by the decision or on the authority’s own initiative.

A grading decision can always be changed before the student has been informed. If a change must be made at a later date, the conditions for changing the decision depend on the type of error.

More information on reassessment and corrections is available under the below headings.

These provisions not only apply to grading decisions; they may also apply to other types of decisions at the university.

26.1 Correction

If a grading decision is correct but has been erroneously presented or announced, the examiner may correct this regardless of whether it is to the student’s advantage or disadvantage. Corrections of this type may take place due to typos, i.e. if a decision has been announced using inaccurate words or figures. Corrections may also be made if one person has been mistaken for another or if the same thing has happened to examination assignments. Before the examiner makes a correction that is to the student’s disadvantage, the student must normally be given the opportunity to state his or her opinion (Section 26 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

Corrections to grades must be conducted with great caution.

26.2 Reassessment

If a grading decision is obviously erroneous, the examiner is obliged to change the decision if this can be done rapidly, easily and without the grade being lowered (Chapter 6, Section 24, of the Higher Education Ordinance). Changes of this type may occur if the examiner, after the student has been informed of the grading decision, discovers that there has been an error in the assessment. For example, this could happen if, after the grade has been announced, the examiner discovers that a page in the student’s exam paper hasn’t been marked.

A student who wishes to apply to have a grade reassessed must do so on a specific form. Because a reassessment must only occur if it can be done quickly and easily, the student’s request must clearly show the obvious errors they believe the decision contains. A request for reassessment should be made as soon as possible after the results are announced.

A student who has collected an original written examination may not be denied reassessment. However, it may be difficult for an examiner to determine what was originally written, which may reduce the chances of a legally certain reassessment. A student who wishes to request reassessment should therefore ask for a copy of the examination instead of collecting the original.

27. Appeals

Only some decisions made by a university can be appealed. For example, a decision about grades cannot be appealed. If a decision can be appealed, this must be stated when the decision is announced, as well as how it is done (Section 33 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

Depending on what the decision refers to, appeals should be sent to either the Higher Education Appeals Board or the Administrative Court in Stockholm, see Section 27.2 Higher Education Appeals Board or Section 27.3 The Administrative Court.

27.1 How to appeal a decision

Anyone who wishes to appeal a decision must do so in writing. The appeal must contain the following:

  • which decision is being appealed
  • the desired change to the decision
  • any request for inhibition
  • name and personal ID number
  • address
  • email address
  • telephone number.

An appeal regarding a decision must have been received by the deciding authority (Södertörn University) within three weeks of the date that the appellant received the decision from the authority (Södertörn University). (Section 44 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

When the university receives an appeal, it must first assess whether it must correct or amend its decision. The university subsequently performs a review of the time limit for the submission of documents, which means that the university reviews whether the appeal was received within this time limit. If this is the case, the university sends the appeal and other case documentation to the authority that will assess the appeal. If the appeal has been submitted too late it must be dismissed (Section 45 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

27.2 Higher Education Appeals Board

The Higher Education Appeals Board is a national authority that is tasked with hearing appeals regarding specific decisions made by higher education institutions.

Under the provisions of Chapter 12, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance, the following decisions are among those that can be heard by the Higher Education Appeals Board:

  • a decision that an applicant does not fulfil the entry requirements for admission to a course or programme.
  • a decision that exemption will not be granted from the general entry requirements.
  • a decision to deny a credit transfer application.
  • a decision to reject a student’s request for exemption from compulsory course components.
  • a decision not to grant deferment of studies or continued studies after approved leave.
  • a decision to deny a request for a degree or course certificate.
  • a decision that contravenes a prohibition against discrimination and reprisals (Discrimination Act).
  • a decision to give a student group the status of a students’ union or if a students’ union is no longer to hold such status (Students’ Union Ordinance).

The decisions of the Education Appeals Board cannot be appealed (Chapter 12, Section 5, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

27.3 The Administrative Court

The Administrative Court is a court that hears cases regarding decisions made by authorities that relate to individuals.

Appeals that originate from Södertörn University are heard by the Administrative Court in Stockholm.

Examples of cases that can be appealed to the Administrative Court are:

  • Disciplinary Board decisions on warnings or suspensions (Chapter 12, Section 3, of the Higher Education Ordinance).
  • Decisions on expulsion from courses and programmes (Chapter 4, Section 7, of the Higher Education Act).

27.4 The Administrative Court of Appeal

The Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm hears appeals relating to decisions made by the Administrative Court in Stockholm. Both the student and the university can appeal decisions made by the Administrative Court to the Administrative Court of Appeal. For the Administrative Court of Appeal to hear an appeal made by the Administrative Court, the Administrative Court of Appeal must grant leave to appeal.

A decision made by Södertörn University to withhold a public document may be appealed directly to the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

Decisions from the Administrative Court of Appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court. For the Supreme Court to hear an appeal made by the Administrative Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court must grant leave to appeal.

28. Disciplinary measures

In certain circumstances, a university may enforce disciplinary measures against a student. The disciplinary measures are warning and suspension. A decision on suspension can be for no more than six months (Chapter 10, Section 2, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The university may not take disciplinary measures against a student more than two years after the incident that led to a case (Chapter 10, Section 1, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The circumstances that may lead to disciplinary measures are if a student:

  • tries to cheat during an examination
  • disrupts or prevents teaching, examination or other activities that are within the remit of the course or programme
  • disrupts activities at the university library or other establishment at the university, or
  • subjects another student or an employee at the university to harassment or sexual harassment (Chapter 10, Section 1 of the Higher Education Ordinance)

An employee who has a well-founded suspicion about any of the above incidents must submit a disciplinary report (Chapter 10, Section 9, of the Higher Education Ordinance). The report is investigated by the Disciplinary Board’s advisers. Decisions on disciplinary cases are made by the vice-chancellor and, where relevant, by the Disciplinary Board.

A student who has received a warning from the vice-chancellor can request that this is tried by the Disciplinary Board (Chapter 10, Section 10, of the Higher Education Ordinance). A student may appeal Disciplinary Board decisions on warning or suspension to the Administrative Court (Chapter 12, Section 3, of the Higher Education Ordinance).

29. Expulsion

A student who has been found guilty of a serious crime, suffers from a serious mental disorder or who abuses alcohol or drugs, may be expelled from his/her studies. In addition to this, a condition is that the student may injure other people or valuable property during his/her studies (Chapter 4, Section 6, Higher Education Act).

The Higher Education Expulsions Board hears expulsion cases (Section 6 of the Ordinance on the expulsion of students from higher education). The Higher Education Expulsions Board is a national authority that hears cases following a report from a university’s vice-chancellor. Decisions made by the Higher Education Expulsions Board may be appealed to the Administrative Court (Section 20 of the Ordinance on the expulsion of students from higher education).

Expulsion from studies means that the student may not continue with their education. It may also mean that the student cannot be admitted to similar courses or programmes at another higher education institution, or to higher education in general. An expulsion decision is not limited in time but applies until further notice; the earliest it can be reconsidered is two years after the original decision (Sections 3-4 of the Ordinance on the expulsion of students from higher education).

List of sources

  • Acts and ordinances
  • Arbetsmiljölag [Work Environment Act] (1977:1160)
  • Avgiftsförordning [Fees Ordinance] (1992:191)
  • Diskrimineringslag [Discrimination Act] (2008:567)
  • Förordning (2010:543) om anmälningsavgift och studieavgift vid universitet och högskolor [Ordinance on application and tuition fees in higher education]
  • Förordning (2007:989) om avskiljande av studenter från högskoleutbildning [Ordinance on the expulsion of students from higher education]
  • Förvaltningslag (2017:900) [Administrative Procedure Act]
  • Högskoleförordning (1993:100) [Higher Education Ordinance]
  • Högskolelag (1992:1434) [Higher Education Act]
  • Lag om upphovsrätt till litterära och konstnärliga verk (1960:729) [Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works]
  • Lag om vissa försvarsmaktsanställningar (2012:332) [Act on Specific Employment in the Swedish Armed Forces]
  • Myndighetsförordning (2007:515) [Government Agencies and Institutes Ordinance]
  • Offentlighets- och sekretesslag (2009:400) [Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act]
  • Regeringsform (1974:152) [Instrument of Government]
  • Studentkårsförordning (2009:769) [Student Union Ordinance]
  • Tryckfrihetsförordning (1949:105) [Freedom of the Press Act]


Regulations

  • Statute Book for the Swedish Council for Higher Education on deferment of studies and approved leave from studies (UHRFS 2013:3)

Local decisions

  • Regler för tillgodoräknande vid Södertörns högskola [Rules for credit transfers at Södertörn University] reg. no. 4315/1.1.2/2019
  • Salsskrivning – Rutiner och regler [Written Examinations – routines and rules] reg. no. 2418-2.2.4-2018
  • Rutiner och åtgärder mot diskriminering, trakasserier och sexuella trakasserier för studenter vid Södertörns högskola reg [Routines and Actions for Students at Södertörn University in Cases of Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment] no. 3487-1.1.2-2018

Other sources

  • Avgiftsfri utbildning [Free education] 1996:3 R, Swedish National Agency for Higher Education