Having some problems? The ombudspersons are here to help you!

Medicinska Föreningen has two ombudspersons employed to help students and doctoral students that you can turn to for advice in any matter regarding problems or concerns about your education. We are both independent experts employed by Medicinska Föreningen to support you – all students of KI.

By Nazira Hammoud Shahwan & John Håkansson


[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e, the student ombudsperson (SO) Nazira, and the doctoral ombudsperson (DO) John, work hard to try to ensure that the rights of the students are respected by all persons responsible for education at KI. This ranges between anything from fair assessment of exams to launching investigations on discrimination or harassment of students.

“We want to ensure that student rights are respected by all people responsible for education at KI.”


The doctoral ombudsperson provides doctoral students with independent advice about rules and regulations at Karolinska Institutet, as well as assist and support doctoral students in any kind of conflict in their workplace, usually with their supervisors or other co-workers in the department. Other common problems relate to the working environment in the group or the lab, or for clinical PhD students, time made available for research which can be hard to get.

One major principle guiding all activity in public administration in Sweden is the principle of public access to official documents. This right ensures transparency in the exercise of public power. Essentially this states that documents are public unless they contain specifically sensitive personal information; therefore some documents are placed under confidentiality according to law.

Since universities are a public administration body, this implies that most of their documents are public, including, for example, exam results. However, since the ombudsperson is an independent authority and not part of the public administration, no documents in the possession of the ombudsperson are public documents.

We maintain complete confidentiality, unless explicitly told otherwise by the student seeking advice. You also have the right to turn to the ombudsperson anonymously – that is you don’t have to give your name if you call the ombudsperson.

Did you know?

During 2014, the ombudspersons handled 68 undergraduate student cases and 63 PhD student cases. The total number of students contacting the SO or the DO for general advice or questions was much higher, at about 250 emails, phone calls or drop-in contacts. Many of the undergraduate student cases are related to problems concerning examination and disciplinary matters, while a typical PhD student case revolves around the relationship between student and supervisor or work environment issues.


Contact information 

Nazira Hammoud Shahwan

Student ombudsperson

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 08-524 830 73


John Håkansson

Doctoral student ombudsperson

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 08-524 830 72

Visiting address: MF Solna, Nobels väg 10

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