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Unclear rights for students and indirect supervision of teachers

In accordance with MBL § 19, the employer informed about minor changes in the Students' Rights List. A close reading of the document shows that this document is an indirect way of supervising teachers.

When it comes to teaching and research, our members' work obligations are primarily regulated through the staff plan and the Working Time Agreement for Teachers. In practice, it is then the head of department, the director of studies and the course coordinator who, following a decision by the department board on courses, distribute the teaching. Only through such collegial local governance can the highest quality of education be achieved according to SACO-S and this is an aspiration that we and our members share with the students.

Saco-S has written a note to the minutes to draw attention to the fact that the Students' List of Rights in some cases constitutes indirect management outside the control of the Head of Department and that there is no support for this in collective agreements and the Vice-Chancellor's decision. We also question whether the Students' Rights List is actually a list of rights for students as it promises a lot and is thin on closer reading. Future updates must therefore take into account both teachers' working conditions and management when students' rights are taken into account.

"Saco-S believes that the students' list of rights has a de facto supervisory function outside the regular course of supervision, without the list sufficiently clarifying whose task it is to ensure that each right is met. The lack of clarity creates uncertainty and, in the long run, stress among employees. Such indirect work management also makes it more difficult for employees to obtain managerial support when practical problems arise with the application of the rights list.

Saco-S recommends that the list of rights be shortened to only include the specific commitments that Lund University wishes to make to the individual students and that do not follow from other statutes or regulations that government employees in the higher education sector are already obliged to follow. The parts of the text in the list of rights that are information attributable to statutes and the University's other governing documents can and should be provided to students through other channels.

To this list of rights, a corresponding list of supervisory instructions should be attached that clearly state in what way and which office-holder's task it is to ensure that these rights are secured to the individual student. Such instructions clarify the employer's right to supervise work, while employees can rely on instructions for the work being given in the prescribed order."

The list of rights is available on https://www.lu.se/studera/livet-som-student/rattigheter-och-skyldigheter-som-student  

Published: 2023-12-10

Updated: 2024-01-31

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