As I have stated many times before, and also on this blog, Karolinska Institutet maintains absolute and unconditional zero tolerance towards discrimination, intimidation, sexual harassment, reprisals, and victimisation. This does not mean we are free from problems and challenges, and as in the rest of society, we see instances of inappropriate conduct and behaviour within KI’s domains. This we know through previous employee surveys, questionnaires and personal testimony.
We are now taking another step forwards in our effort to come closer to our goal of being free from discrimination and victimisation. Last Friday, we unleashed a pilot survey directed to our first and second-cycle programme students (with the exception of new intakes and students on freestanding courses) in order to gain better insight in the student experience. It is imperative to me as President, and to KI as a whole, that we listen to our students and actively respond to their experiences and views on this matter. Their responses will form the basis of our efforts to create a better study and work environment at KI.
The survey is intended to provide the data we need to follow up, analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of our preventative work. This will subsequently enable us to create inclusive and wholesome study environments for all our students.
This is a priority issue for KI, and one which has received increasing attention in recent years. As our Strategy 2030 clearly states:
“KI’s activities shall be characterised by a good physical, organisational and social study and work environment that is free from discrimination, offensive behaviour, and harassment. Broad recruitment, equal opportunities and fair and equal treatment must be well established in the university.”
– From Strategy 2030
We have also taken initiatives to shed additional light on these issues, including a special research programme on gender-based violence in academia with the Royal Institute of Technology, Malmö University and the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research at Gothenburg University. The programme published its first report last May. The report shows that academia is not immune to harassment and victimisation – and that certain groups, such as female doctoral students, are especially at risk.
The survey is a pilot project that will be compiled, analysed and evaluated by the Sustainable Development and Equal Opportunities Office on behalf of the Committee for Higher Education. I hope that it will prove useful and relevant and that it will eventually become a permanent feature of KI’s continuing quality work. For this to be the case, we need as many responses as possible from our students, so I urge you all to open the survey and answer all the questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
Together and with commitment, through work founded on facts and knowledge, we can make KI even better and achieve our objective of being a university that is free from harassment, victimisation and discrimination.
- If you’re a first or second-cycle student on or beyond the second term of a KI study programme, you should have received the survey, which is in both Swedish and English, to your Ladok-registered address. If you should have received the survey, but cannot find it, search in your inbox, or check your junk mail, for an email from the sender ”Karolinska Institutet firstname.lastname@example.org”. The email would have been sent during Friday teh 7th of October 2022. If you have any queries about the survey, contact Equal Opportunities Coordinator Kristina Ullgren at email@example.com
- KI has a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination, intimidation, sexual harassment, reprisals and victimisation.More on equal opportunities for students.
- If you see or experience anything, report it via the KI incident reporting system (you can choose to remain anonymous). You will also find information here on whom to turn to for help and support.