Working conditions and equal opportunities

Uppsala University's study and work environment must be characterised by openness and respect. Everyone at the university has a shared interest in and responsibility for a good study environment. Our work with equal opportunity issues is carried out systematically and should comprise an integral part of our operations.

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At Uppsala University there are guidelines for students' working conditions which outline the requirements on such matters as physical and psychosocial work environment, student influence and quality enhancement, course planning and timetabling, tuition and educational material, examination, and independent projects.


Equal opportunities at Uppsala university means to make sure that everyone working or studying at or contacting the University has equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their legal sex, gender identity or gender expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, age or social background.

The university has an Action Plan for Equal Opportunitieswhich describes the ongoing work for equal opportunities, and how this is to be followed up in all of the University’s operations and premises.

At Uppsala University there are two coordinators for equal opportunities. The coordinators work to:

  • explain and clarify what equal opportunities means in practice by highlighting norms and issues of treatment.
  • inform students and others at the university about the Discrimination Act and the university’s Action Plan for Equal Opportunities.
  • organise seminars and workshops.
  • involve students about the work on equal opportunities.

If you want to get in touch with the coordinators for equal opportunities, please email

The university's Equal Opportunities Advisory Board

Uppsala University’s Equal Opportunities Advisory Board advises the Vice-Chancellor in matters relating to long-term and strategic equal opportunities work. The Board also prepares proposals for the university’s central programme and planning documents in the area of equal opportunities, and works to ensure these are anchored and implemented in the organisation.

Every year, the Board announces funds for efforts to promote equal opportunities at the university. Both students and staff are welcome to apply for funds.

If you would like to get in touch with the Equal Opportunities Advisory Board, you can email


The Discrimination Act includes seven grounds of discrimination: sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age. The Discrimination Act specifies six types of discrimination: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, instructions to discriminate, lack of accessibility, harassment and sexual harassment. The university has an obligation to investigate and take measures against harassment. The Discrimination Act also include provisions on active measures, that means that the university is obliged to actively work with active measures to achieve equal rights and opportunities and combat discrimination.

The Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) is a governmental authority that works on behalf of the Swedish Parliament and Government to promote equal rights and opportunities and combat discrimination under the Discrimination Act.


At Uppsala University, we work for a study environment free from discrimination, harassment, and victimisation. However, if you ever feel that you have been the victim of discrimination, harassment or victimisation it is important that you know that there are different kinds of support available to you. Guidelines for dealing with cases of harassment(PDF) under the Discrimination Act constitutes guidelines for how the university deals with harassment and sexual harassment of an employee and/or a student at the university.


Gender mainstreaming means that gender equality is integrated in and becomes part of the higher education institution’s regular activities, for example its management processes. The purpose of the gender mainstreaming is for the higher education sector to contribute towards the nationally declared gender equality objective of women and men having equal power to shape society and their own lives. Read more about Gender Mainstreaming in Academia.

Uppsala University’s Gender Mainstreaming Plan is intended to strengthen a university-wide culture of gender equality and equal opportunities. It has not yet been translated into English but is available in Swedish.


It must be possible to combine studies and parenthood, without this being an impediment to a professional career or studies. Uppsala University therefore has a parental policy.


Everyone at the university has a shared interest in and responsibility for a good study environment and there is a lot you can do. If you are interested in getting involved in issues relating to equal opportunities, you can contact your student union and become a student representative.

As a student representative you can, for example, participate in some of the policy-making organs that deal with questions regarding equal opportunities. You can also get involved in the students unions' own work on equal opportunities or the equal opportunities work at the department where you study. You can also get involved with any of the student organisations that work with a specific topic within equal opportunities.

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Who can I turn to?

Support available at your department

There are many people at your department who can offer you assistance, for example, study counsellors, course or programme coordinators, director of studies or head of department.

As a student, you can turn to any of these people for support. The study counsellors are bound to secrecy about things related to your personal circumstances.

Overall support from the University

If you have questions about the university's work for equal opportunities, you can email the coordinators for equal opportunities. Furthermore, there are study and career counsellors, as well as safety representatives, coordinator for students with disabilitiesombudsman for grading issues and legal officers. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, the Student Health Centre has counsellors and psychologists who will assist you in times of need.


If you would like to make a complaint about your courses, programme or study environment, you should first contact your department. Read more about how you can make a complaint.

Support from student unions

All the student unions have student liaison officers who work with advice and support to students in work environment and study-related issues.

Beside the student liaison officers there are also student and PhD student ombudsmen and safety representatives:

A student and PhD ombudsman can inform you on the rules and rights that apply at the university and provide advice and assistance to resolve problems related to your studies.

The safety representatives work as work environment representatives for students, and you can contact them if there is something that does not work in the physical study environment.

Student unions

Do you need to make an appeal?

Were you not admitted to your programme or course of choice? Do you feel that a decision regarding your studies is incorrect? Some decisions can be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board (Överklagandenämnden för universitet och högskolor). If an appeal is possible, you should be apprised of it together with the decision. In addition, other decisions, except the decision on grades, can be appealed to the Board if you believe they violate the prohibition against discrimination under the Discrimination Act.