Student rights and responsibilities
Here you find information and documents regarding legal issues that concern you as a student. These include guidelines for equal treatment of students and policy documents for student influence at the University.
Governance documents and guidelines
- The Rights and Responsibilities of Students at Malmö University
- Addition to 'Student rights and obligations at Malmö University' for fee-paying students
- Policy for student influence at Malmö University
- Malmö University policy on equal opportunities for students
- Guidelines for the handling of student complaints
- Procedure for the handling of student complaints at the Faculty of Culture and Society
Rights and responsibilities for students
We greatly appreciate our active and committed students, and value student input to develop and ensure the quality of education. In order to achieve good cooperation between students and the University’s personnel, we have established clear rights and responsibilities.
Grades, exams and evaluation
Students’ are always assessed based on the educational goals stated in the course syllabus. These goals determine the grading scale for each examination. Grading is carried out by an examiner appointed by the University.
Exam schedules will be published no later than four weeks prior to the start of the course. It is the student’s responsibility to register for examinations. Resits cannot be scheduled at the same time as ordinary examinations for the following semester.
Written examination at a different location
In special circumstances, it might be possible to take a written examination at a different location. For instance, you have medical or social reasons or are on an exchange semester. You submit a written application, including a confirmation of the reason, to your examiner. It is your responsibility as a student to arrange for an examination location, invigilator and contact person at an institution, school or similar.
Examination of internships
If a programme or course includes an internship, specific rules may apply regarding the total number of examination opportunities. If a student is at risk of receiving a failing grade for their placement/internship, they should be made aware of this at the earliest opportunity.
Notification of results and post-exam reviews
You will be notified of the results of an exam as soon as possible: no later than fifteen working days after the examination and ten working days before re-examination. The results may be posted on Canvas or sent to you by email. Reporting in Ladok must be completed no later than five working days after you have been notified of the result. An oral and/or written review of the examination is to be carried out no later than ten days prior to re-examination.
Written examinations will be returned to students or archived. Examination results will be archived by the University for a period of two years. Once the results of an examination have been posted, examination papers, as well as written comments by supervisors or examiners, become public documents and can be released upon request. The return of written examinations may only happen once the examination results have been registered in the University's student administration system, Ladok.
Students who receive a passing grade for a course or a module are not permitted to resit examinations in order to improve their grade. There are certain exceptions to this rule in Swedish-taught programmes.
Limitations on total examination sessions
The University may only decide to limit the number of re-examinations if an unlimited right would lead to an unreasonable waste of resources. If the number of examination sessions for a certain course is to be limited, there are to be two opportunities to retake the examination in addition to the three sessions mentioned above, so that the student is offered at least five examination sessions in total.
Replacement of examiners/supervisors
If you have failed the same examination twice by the same examiner, you have the right to have a different examiner appointed for your next exam, unless there are specific circumstances preventing this. In the event of a failing grade for a placement or internship, you also have the right to change examiner/supervisor.
Previous examination papers
Students are entitled to view previously-used examination papers/assignments. The examination forms/assignments are public documents and may never be classified
If you need special support
Exceptions from the assessment methods stated in the syllabus may be granted in special circumstances, for example, if you are a student with functional variations or disabilities. Students with disabilities should be informed of these special circumstances at the start of each course or programme.
If required, you can submit an application for an individually adapted examination to the examiner. You can do this together with the University’s disability service. They can then recommend an individually adapted examination, but ultimately it’s up to the examiner.
Review and justification of grades
Your examiner is obliged to provide a written justification of your grade if you request one. You can also request a review of the grade you receive. If the examiner reaches the conclusion that the initial decision was incorrect, then the grade will be changed. If the examiner independently discovers that a grade is incorrect, the grade will be changed regardless of whether or not the student requested a review. An examiner is never permitted to lower an already issued grade except in the case of cheating, plagiarism or administrative errors.
There is no time limit on when you can request a review; however, the sooner you make a request, the easier it is for the University to deal with the matter.
Cheating and plagiarism
Plagiarism means that a student uses another person's work and text as if it were their own without marking quotes or indicating the source.
Plagiarism is not always intentional but can be related to the student not knowing what rules apply when referencing. It is therefore important that this issue is discussed and that both teachers and students are aware of what rules apply.
Plagiarism control software
To uncover plagiarism and cheating in written reports and essays, Malmö University uses the plagiarism control software Urkund.
The software works by scanning the document and checking it against internet sources, course literature and previous student material. If a document shows similarities to other content, the system flags for possible plagiarism.
The difference between unauthorised plagiarism and relying on sources needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The software reacts to any plagiarism, but it is always up to the examining teacher to assess whether it is an authorised use of the source or not.
Disciplinary measures in cases of plagiarism
- The consequences for students who have been found to be cheating can be serious. It can lead to either a warning or suspension.
- Disciplinary measures must be taken no later than two years after the plagiarism/cheating occurred. A suspension means that the student is prohibited from participating in lectures, examinations or other activities within their education at the University.
- Both the Vice-Chancellor and the Disciplinary Board at Malmö University may decide to issue a warning to a student. Any decision to suspend a student must be taken by the Disciplinary Board. A student is entitled to make an appeal to the Disciplinary Board against a warning issued by the Vice-Chancellor. Decisions by the Disciplinary Board (such as a warning or suspension) may be appealed to a general administrative court.
Fees and expenses
Students who are citizens of an EEA country or Switzerland do not pay tuition fees. However, studying a programme or course does involve other expenses such as purchasing course literature, study materials, travel in connection with placements/internships and the cost of living and accommodation.
The University is not permitted to charge fees or expenses for compulsory activities, such as study trips, unless an equivalent, free-of-charge alternative is also offered. If specific course activities are to take place at a different university, Malmö University is responsible for any fees charged by that institution, while students are responsible for the cost of transport and accommodation.
Course and degree certificate
If you request a course certificate after successfully completing a course, you have the right to receive the document within ten working days. The department or school offering the course is responsible for issuing the certificate. If your request for the certificate is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Higher Education Appeals Board.
Read more about rules and regulations regarding your degree certificate via the following link:
Leave from studies
The deferment period, leave from studies, shall not exceed 18 months unless special grounds exist. Applications for leave from studies should be submitted to the appropriate function at the university. A decision to grant a leave of absence from studies with guaranteed readmission shall be for a fixed period, after which the student has the right to retake their place in the course or study programme.
An admitted student who has been granted a deferment is responsible for notifying the University when they intend to recommence their studies. The student shall give notice of their wish to resume studies in the upcoming term no later than 15 April or 15 October respectively.
Students may appeal against any decision to reject a request to defer studies to the Higher Education Appeals Board.
Errors on the University's part
If the University makes an error that prevents a student from taking an examination or obtaining a degree, the University is required to rectify this error without delay.
As a student, you have the right to exercise influence over your education. Malmö University has established a separate policy for student influence that you can download below.
Students have the right to give feedback through course evaluations, which are carried out at the end of all courses. Course evaluations are a useful tool for influencing and developing your studies. As a student, you are an important stakeholder in the University’s activities and therefore have a responsibility to participate in course evaluations.
If you have been awarded credits from a previous course or programme, you are entitled to apply for credit transfers by sending an application to your faculty. You can also apply for credits based on professional or vocational experience. The University will then assess whether these credits are viable for transfer. Remember that if your application is unsuccessful, you are entitled to appeal the decision to the Higher Education Appeals Board.
Healthcare and student wellbeing
The University is responsible for providing students with access to healthcare, especially preventative healthcare intended to promote physical and mental health. This healthcare functions as an addition to regular, public healthcare. University clerics are also part of the student health and welfare network.
Information about your programme or course
As a student at Malmö University, it's your responsibility to keep yourself informed about your programme. You can get updates on events and news on the University's website, and important information such as schedule changes will be communicated to you through the learning platform Canvas. Your teacher is obliged to notify you at the start of the course about how and when you can contact them. They are also required to reply to any questions from students in a timely manner.
Syllabus and compulsory activities
Course syllabi will be published when the programme opens for online applications. This is where you will find information about the educational aims of the course, as well as how you will be assessed and graded. If a course contains compulsory activities, these will be stated in the syllabus.
In order to pass the course, you are required to complete certain obligatory activities (such as exams or projects) which are outlined in the course syllabus. However, it is possible to request an exemption from a specific activity, providing that there are valid grounds. If your request is rejected by your examiner, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Higher Education Appeals Board.
As a student, you have the right to complete an internship if this is included in your programme syllabus.
Finding your course literature
The syllabus includes a list of all the literature you are required to read during the course. Newly-published articles and additional readings can only be added to the list in exceptional circumstances, and only if it does not interfere with students' ability to reach the course's learning outcomes.
When is the schedule published and what happens if it's changed?
Schedules for courses shall be available to students no later than four weeks prior to the start of the course in question. Alterations to course schedules are only permitted when special grounds exist. Non-compulsory and unassessed course elements may, however, be added to the schedules. All schedule alterations shall be notified to affected students in an unambiguous manner, preferably on the university’s learning platform Canvas.
Study and career guidance
As a student, you are entitled to get guidance about your studies and career opportunities. This support is available both through the University's study and career advisors, as well as from your teachers.
Withdrawal and leave from studies
You can apply to defer your studies providing that you demonstrate special grounds. If you do not intend to complete your programme, you are required to notify the University. Find out more by clicking on the following link:
Involuntary leave from studies
A student who fails an examination in a course that forms part of a programme may be placed on ‘involuntary’ leave from studies, with a passing grade in the course as a precondition for beginning another course. The student can be offered a place on the next course once they have fulfilled the requirements and passed the examination for the course that constitutes the prior-knowledge requirement. In such a situation, however, there is no guarantee of admission, which is dependent on available places.
Your study environment
As a student, you should feel that the study environment is adapted to you and your needs. At Malmö University, we work to obtain a good study environment and prevent any risks of ill health among students. The head of your department is responsible for the students' work environment and safety at the department.
All students have the right to the necessary equipment to be able to complete their studies, including computers, libraries, study areas and break rooms. As a student, you are obliged to comply with the University regulations, use protective equipment when necessary and take precautions to prevent ill health and accidents.
Comments on the study environment
There are several ways for you to influence your study environment, for instance by contacting the Study Programme Board or giving feedback during the course evaluations. You are also welcome to contact the head of your department or your student ombuds, who participates in the University's work environment work.
Equal treatment of students
All students at Malmö University should have the same rights and opportunities regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and age. The University has a policy of equal treatment of students and conducts an active and targeted role to promote students' equality and to prevent harassment.
Victimisation and harassment associated with any discrimination or sexual harassment are considered completely unacceptable. Therefore, the University is to act as soon as it becomes aware that an individual is exposed to any such actions.
What is considered sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is defined in The Discrimination Act as a conduct of a sexual nature that violates someone's dignity.
No matter of gender, an individual can be exposed to sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment can be unwanted suggestions, unwanted touching, gazing, language that is sexually alluring and experienced as offensive. It is the victim who decides what is perceived as offensive. An act can thus be considered offensive by one person but not by another.
The person who is harassing must also be made aware that the behaviour is unwanted and offensive. It is, therefore, important that anyone who feels offended says so or expresses it. Sometimes it may be obvious that the person who subjected someone to sexual harassment should have understood it, and then clarification is not required.
Sexual harassment is particularly serious when a person in a superior position, such as a teacher, supervisor or examiner, sexually harasses someone dependent, such as a student.
What is considered harassment?
The Swedish Discrimination Act defined harassment as:
‘Conduct that violates a person’s dignity, and that is associated with one of the following grounds of discrimination: sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age (SFS 2008:567).’
Examples of harassment may be receiving derogatory, ridiculing or generalising comments. That includes text, images and gestures that allude to any of the grounds of discrimination. It is the victim who decides what is perceived as offensive. An act can thus be considered offensive by one person but not by another.
The person who is harassing must also be made aware that the behaviour is unwanted and offensive. It is, therefore, important that anyone who feels offended says so or expresses it. Sometimes it may be obvious that the person who subjected someone to harassment should have understood it, and then clarification is not required.
Harassment is particularly serious when a person in a superior position, such as a teacher, supervisor or examiner, harasses someone dependent, such as a student.
What is victimisation?
The Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health define victimisation as:
‘Recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community (AFS 1993:17).’
This may involve downgrading behaviour from a teacher or a fellow student; it may involve targeted insults, whether those insults are conscious or unconscious. It can also cover withholding information, slanderous or intimidation and persecution.
Individuals and groups can be affected negatively in both the short and long term. The victim may suffer from reduced self-esteem and discomfort and suffer mental and/or physical health problems.
What to do if you are exposed to harassment
- Inform an employee of the University and have the harassment investigated. It is also possible to make a formal complaint directly to our investigative attorney, Hans Jonsson. It is important to solve the situation as soon as possible.
- Notify the person who exposes you to victimisation, harassment or sexual harassment that you feel offended and you want it to stop. You can also ask someone you trust to talk to the person who exposes you to harassment.
- Take notes of the time, place and what happened, what was said and how you experienced it. Make a record of anyone who might have witnessed the harassment.
- Tell someone you trust what happened so that you can avoid carrying the experience alone.
As a student, you can turn to your lecturer, programme coordinator, head of department or any other staff member if you have been subjected to harassment or sexual harassment. The University is obliged to investigate what has happened to be able to take any measures. When the investigation manager at the University is informed that a student may have been harassed they should make an assessment of the information. The assessment aims to ascertain whether an investigation is necessary.
The issue is taken on by a special expert group
If the investigation manager assesses that a formal investigation should be initiated, the case is presented to a special expert group. This group, which has advisory tasks, includes the head of the secretariat, a lawyer from the secretariat and a student representative. Formal decisions regarding the investigation are made by the head of the secretariat after representation from the lawyer.
Decisions that can be made could either be that the matter should be considered closed or be a stance to what measures should be taken to prevent further violations. If the investigation concludes that the person who has acted offensively may be subject to legal action, the matter is handed over for processing. In some cases, the resulting measures have to be taken up by the relevant dean, head of department or vice-chancellor. For instance, if proposals arise that affects the University’s equality plans.
For additional information, contact Hans Jonsson, the University's lawyer and investigation manager of the expert group.
Advice and support if you have been a subject of harassment
Anyone who has been exposed and has made or will make a formal complaint can contact the Student Union or the Student Health Service for support. Please note that the Student Health Service and Student Counselling are exempt from the obligation to act and investigate the circumstances due to the confidential nature of their services.
Those who want advice and support without making a formal complaint (and thereby start an investigation) can turn to the Student Health Service and the Student Union, as they are exempt from the duty to investigate.
Malmö University’s obligation to investigate harassment
All employees at the University have an obligation to act and investigate the circumstances as soon as they receive information about, or recognise that a student may have been subjected to harassment or abuse. Please note that the Student Health Service and Student Counselling are exempt from this obligation due to the confidential nature of their services.
The University is therefore obliged to undertake an investigation, even in cases where the suspicion of harassment or violations is based solely on rumour, anonymous statements or other circumstances. The same requirements also apply to clients, internships and equivalent.
It is the victim who decides what is perceived as offensive. If the University neglects to act in a suspected case of harassment or abuse, it may be held liable. It is, therefore, the University’s responsibility to have a system that as efficiently as possible captures the cases of harassment and abuses that may occur at the University.
Education quality at the University
All education at the University is to be of high quality and meet the demands for knowledge from both individuals and wider society. Quality enhancement in education is conducted mainly at the study programme level but also across the University. This work is followed up annually, in part by the University's education board.
Make an anonymous complaint
If you have received signals or have suspicions that something is not right within the university, you can use the Whistleblower function.
If you wish to submit tips anonymously, you can also submit a form:
If anonymity is not desired, you can send messages:
- via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- or as a letter to: Registrar, 205 06 Malmö
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