Working conditions and equal opportunities

Everyone at the university has a shared interest in and responsibility for a good study environment. At Uppsala University, there is zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Our work with equal opportunities is therefore carried out systematically and should comprise an integral part of our operations.

Important for your study environment

Guidelines for student working conditions
Equal opportunities
The Discrimination Act
If you have experienced discrimination or victimisation
Gender mainstreaming
How to combine studies and parenthood
The Council of Equal Opportunity do
How can I as a student get involved?

Guidelines for student working conditions

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

The university's work for equal opportunities means that no one should be discriminated against or harassed because of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. This is regulated in the Discrimination Act.

The university has an Action Plan for Equal Opportunities(PDF) which describes the ongoing work for equal opportunities, and how this is to be followed up in all of the University’s operations and premises. The Action Plan also specifies division of responsibilities for this work.

Read more about how the university works with equal opportunities and how you as a student can get involved.

The Discrimination Act

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.

If you have experienced discrimination or victimisation

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

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. In its appropriation directions for higher education institutions for the 2016 fiscal year, the government states that all higher education institutions must produce a plan showing how they intend to move their work on Gender Mainstreaming forward, so as to contribute towards achieving the goals of gender equality policy. The purpose of the initiative 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(PDF) is intended to strengthen a university-wide culture of gender equality and equal opportunities.

How to combine studies and parenthood

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(PDF).

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. Every year, an equal opportunities prize is also distributed. Students and staff are invited to nominate individuals or groups at Uppsala University who are deserving of this prize. 

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

How can I as a student get involved?

If you are interested in getting involved in issues relating to equal opportunities, you can contact your student union and become a student representative. You can also get involved in the students unions' own work on equal opportunities or with any of the student organisations that work with issues concerning equal opportunities.

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 contact the coordinators for equal opportunities. There are also equal opportunities specialists at Uppsala University who promote the work for equal opportunities and against discrimination for students and staff. 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.