Student working conditions

Guidelines on working conditions for first- and second-cycle students at Uppsala University as of 2010-01-01.

1 Introduction

All students at Uppsala University must be provided with a good study environment and a structured study situation that is appropriate for the level and nature of their studies. Full-time study normally involves an average commitment of 40 hours of work per week.

Uppsala University is committed to a working culture characterised by mutual respect and trust. Everyone at the University has a shared interest in and responsibility for a good study environment. These guidelines have been produced to clarify certain aspects of students’ working conditions. The guidelines have been approved by the Vice-Chancellor and are a binding document.

Physical and psychosocial work environment
Student influence and quality enhancement
Course planning and timetabling
Tuition and educational materials
Independent projects (degree projects)

2 Physical and psychosocial work environment

2.1 Students have a right to a good physical and psychosocial work environment. Responsibility for the work environment lies with the heads of department. At the University Library, responsibility for the work environment lies with the head librarian. All students and employees also have an individual and a joint responsibility to contribute to a good work environment characterised by mutual respect.

2.2 Timetabled teaching must include regular breaks.

2.3 Students with disabilities have a right to special support. At the beginning of a course or programme, students must be informed who their contact for students with disabilities is. A student with a disability is personally responsible for contacting the coordinator for students with disabilities at the Student Affairs and Academic Registry Division to obtain access to the special support to which they are entitled.

2.4 Each department must also be prepared to provide students who are temporarily sicklisted or are caring for sick children, for example, with individually tailored solutions regarding examinations and compulsory course components, where this is possible.

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3 Student influence and quality enhancement

3.1 Under the Higher Education Act, students have the right to be represented in all decision-making and deliberating bodies whose activities affect their education and situation. The students themselves select their representatives via the students’ unions or via bodies appointed by the students’ unions.

3.2 To enable them to participate in meetings of various university bodies, elected student representatives must be given the opportunity to take compulsory course components at another time, or to make up for them in another acceptable manner, where this is practically and economically feasible.

3.3 Course evaluations must be carried out every time a course is given, in accordance with university guidelines.

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4 Course planning and timetabling

4.1 Timetabled teaching and independent study time must be planned to make up normal 40-hour working weeks or a corresponding number of hours for less than full-time study.

4.2 Unless otherwise indicated at the time of registration, both compulsory teaching sessions and examinations should be held on Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00 (08:00–19:00 for examinations in examination halls). Special reasons may require examinations at other times, for example, in the case of retakes. Placements may also take place on evenings and weekends; this must be stated in the course syllabus.

4.3 The disciplinary domain/faculty board concerned is responsible for ensuring good coordination between the courses in its degree programmes.

4.4 Syllabuses for programmes and courses must be in place well ahead of the deadline for applications.

4.5 A broad timetable of compulsory teaching sessions, examinations and retakes, as well as a reading list, must be in place at least five weeks before a course starts. A finalised timetable must be available at least one week before the course starts. In those parts of the University that divide the academic year into periods, a finalised timetable must be available at least one week before a new period starts.

4.6 A timetable may only be modified in the case of unforeseen events. The students must be promptly informed of changes.

4.7 Compulsory course components must be based on the intended learning outcomes for the course. A compulsory component must either be part of the examination process for the course or be of such a nature that the students have to participate actively in order to learn effectively.

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5 Tuition and educational materials

5.1 Students are personally responsible for obtaining relevant information about courses and programmes.

5.2 Students covered by the Ordinance on application fees and tuition fees at higher education institutions (‘third country students’), pay application fees and tuition fees for their education. For other students, education within the meaning of the Higher Education Act is free.

5.3 Registration (or re-registration) for a course is required to participate in tuition, but not to participate in an examination retake. Re-registration is possible if resources allow (the department concerned decides).

5.4 In accordance with the special decision of the Vice-Chancellor on allowances to students for extra costs in connection with compulsory study trips and compulsory unpaid placements, the University assists students in defraying costs associated with travel, placements and field trips.

5.5 It is the responsibility of the students to obtain access to assigned literature on course reading lists. Students must not be required to pay for literature, compendia, computer licences or other study material. The University cannot guarantee all students unrestricted access to literature on reading lists, but the University Library will ensure that the literature is at least available for reference. Similarly, departments will ensure that other materials, such as compendia, are available for reference.

5.6 The University will strive to give students access to electronic information resources, reference copies of literature on course reading lists and other reference literature, advanced IT equipment and other facilities such as reading places, group study rooms and other working spaces needed for their studies. Necessary computer licences will be installed on campus computers. As far as possible, these resources will also be available in the evening and at weekends.

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6 Examination

6.1 Examination is an exercise of public authority and is conducted by each examiner on their own liability for acts in office. In cases where several teachers are engaged at the same time in the same course or the same examination process, they must consult with one another to ensure that their assessments of the students’ performance are consistent with one another. The assessment process must be transparent and the students must receive information about how the assessment is carried out.

6.2 The same grading criteria must be used on all occasions when an examination is given the same time a course is offered. The criteria must be made known to the students well before the examination. Students must be informed of the rules that are in effect for a particular examination, for example, what aids are allowed or (in the case of group work) what is demanded in terms of individual performance, and what kinds of behaviour are deemed fraudulent in connection with an examination (such as plagiarism, unauthorised collaboration, prohibited aids and alteration of a paper after it has been marked). Fraudulent behaviour in connection with an examination can lead to suspension from studies for a maximum of 6 months.

6.3 When a written examination is given in an examination hall, codes must be used for anonymity unless there are special reasons not to do so.

6.4 All examination components must have a clearly specified final date. This also applies to retakes.

6.5 Unless there are special reasons to the contrary, students have the right to have all types of examinations marked and graded within a maximum of 25 calendar days and at least 14 calendar days before a retake. After the marking and grading is completed, examination results must be documented promptly in Ladok.

6.6 A student who shows that they need a special certificate attesting their study activity must receive such a certificate without delay.

6.7 Each time a course is offered, students must be offered at least one opportunity for a retake. Several opportunities may be offered if resources allow. Retakes must be scheduled in accordance with the guidelines of the relevant disciplinary domain/faculty board and so as not to unreasonably hinder students’ chances of continuing to receive student aid and of continuing their studies.

6.8 Students who, for special reasons, such as an accident or sudden illness, have been unable to complete a compulsory course component must be offered the opportunity to make up for this at another time or in another way.

6.9 Retakes for different courses or modules during a particular semester should be scheduled for different dates, and on different dates and at different times than compulsory components of other modules that semester.

6.10 Any student whose examination has been lost and any student who has received incorrect information about the date, time or place of an examination must be given the opportunity to take a new examination without delay, if it can be shown that the University is responsible for what has happened. This also applies in cases where special assistance during an examination has been granted but has failed to materialise.

6.11 No student may be denied the opportunity to take an examination because of failure to complete all compulsory components of a course before the time of the examination. To receive a passing grade, the student must instead afterwards complete the compulsory component or make up for that component, in accordance with point 6.8. However, in the case of examinations involving a third party (such as a patient) or where it is necessary for safety reasons, the completion of relevant course components can be required before the student is allowed to take part in the examination.

6.12 If Uppsala University has approved special educational support for a student because of a disability, the examiner determines whether and how the examination will be adapted bearing in mind the intended learning outcomes for the course.

6.13 A student who has twice taken an examination for a course or a part of a course without obtaining a passing grade and is therefore entitled to have another examiner appointed, but who for special reasons cannot be assigned a new examiner, is entitled to a different mode of examination.

6.14 The right to take part in an examination or to carry out a placement in order to obtain a passing grade may only be limited by decision of the Vice-Chancellor and, under the Higher Education Ordinance, may not be limited to fewer than five opportunities to take an examination and two opportunities to carry out a placement.

6.15 For courses that have been discontinued or have undergone major changes, at least three opportunities must be given to take an examination during a time period that should extend over at least three semesters. Students are personally responsible for finding out about changes in the contents of the course. However, the department must assist students with such information.

6.16 Each time grades have been assigned, students must be given the opportunity to receive an explanation from the examiner of why a certain grade has been assigned. If students come to collect their examination papers, they must be informed that this may make it more difficult to have the grade reassessed or corrected later. Students must in this case be offered the option of taking a copy of the documents with them or photographing the documents.

6.17 Grades are not subject to appeal. However, an examiner must reassess a grading decision if it is clearly incorrect in light of new circumstances or for some other reason (for example, points may have been added up incorrectly or a question may have been left unmarked). This may be done if it can be done quickly and easily and if it does not mean lowering the grade.

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7 Independent projects (degree projects)

7.1 The independent project (degree project) is a course or in some cases part of a course and set dates must therefore be established both for examination and for retakes. The information must make it clear when a final version must be submitted.

7.2 A student producing an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 credits must have the right to choose freely between established scientific theories, methods and research perspectives, as far as this is practically and economically possible.

7.3 Guidelines for supervision of independent projects (degree projects) must be available at faculty and/or department level. Students must be informed about these guidelines at the start of the course. The information should include details about the division of roles between supervisor and examiner, the scope and nature of supervision, the dimensions and formal design of the essay/degree project, and the procedure for public discussion and examination.

7.4 Neither a supervisor nor an examiner may deny a student the opportunity to present their independent project (degree project) for examination at a regular scheduled examination or scheduled retake.

7.5 If there are special reasons, a student should be given the opportunity upon request to change supervisor for their degree project. If no change can be made within the department, an external supervisor must be engaged if this is practically and economically feasible.

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Download the Student Working Conditions