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Equal opportunities

Umeå University’s equal opportunities activities follow the Discrimination Act and the government directives on gender mainstreaming. This page introduces Umeå University’s responsibilities as an employer and education provider, and about the existing policy and ambitions, and how the equal opportunities work is organised.

Your responsibility as a student

Students are responsible for treating other students and teachers with respect on an everyday basis and by their actions build a safe study environment free from prejudice. If you experience that you are, or someone else is, being discriminated due to gender, ethnicity or similar, please contact the head of your department. More information can be found on If something happens.

The University’s obligation

Umeå University, as an employer and as an education provider, has an obligation to counter discrimination and to work for equal rights and opportunities for everyone.

At Umeå University, we use ‘equal opportunities’ as a generic term for the work against discrimination and for the equal rights and opportunities of all – referred to as ‘active measures’. The term ‘equal opportunities’ also includes implementing gender mainstreaming. 

Everything is based on the grounds of discrimination

Equal opportunities work is based on the seven grounds of discrimination found in the Swedish Discrimination Act:

  • sex
  • transgender identity or expression
  • ethnicity
  • religion or other belief
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age

Preventive work

In the Discrimination Act, preventive work is called ‘active measures’. Umeå University must, in its role as employer and education provider, conduct preventive work in various areas and based upon the grounds of discrimination. The University is obliged to investigate, analyse, take measures against, and follow up its work in the areas Admission and recruitment, Examination and assessment, Study environment, studies and parenthood, and Teaching formats.

Gender mainstreaming

The Swedish Government has assigned all universities with the task to implement gender mainstreaming in their organisations. Each higher education institution must base their work on an institution-specific plan that in turn is based on needs for development, describes objectives and activities that the University intends to perform, and outlines in which way gender equality is to be integrated into the University’s processes and activities.
Action plan for gender mainstreaming 2021–2025

Equal opportunities organisation

The Vice-Chancellor and the person who has been delegated the work environment responsibility are obliged to ensure that the workplace conducts active work to prevent and counter discrimination, harassment, and bullying. An equal opportunities network supports managers in their active work to prevent discrimination. The network consists of various roles and parties:

  • Equal opportunities representatives support heads of department or equivalent
  • Equal opportunities administrators support deans or equivalent
  • Equal opportunities coordinators support the University Management.

The network also consists of the Strategic Council for Equal Opportunities, which serves as a university-wide advisory and preparatory body that supports the University Management and the sharing of experiences between faculties and the Umeå School of Education. The council also serves as faculty-wide strategic support to the University Management. The chairpersons of the student unions are members of the council.
Strategic councils 

Latest update: 2022-04-20