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Response: Vice-Chancellor responds to DokSek

The following text is a response to DokSeks debate article DokSek – A forgotten student section to the university. The opinions voiced is belonging to the respective authors, not Lösnummer. Lösnummer is independent from any organisation or viewpoint and is working as a forum for debate regarding Örebro Student Union and Örebro University. If you want to publish a debate article, send an email to

Dear DoKSek, Dear Ph D students,

The long-term development of science is highly dependent on a successful education of doctoral students as our future researchers and academic leaders. In a knowledge driven society such as Sweden, Ph Ds also have an increasingly important role in both the private sector and the public sector outside academia. During 2019, Örebro University had 488 registered Ph D students, among these only 146 were employed by the University. The difference is due to the large number of Ph D students employed by the University Hospital, other parts of the Health care system and the private sector. This further highlights the special situation whereby Ph D students have a dual role as both students and employees, in our case commonly employed outside the University.

The three deans of our Faculties have recently launched a number of initiatives to further improve the situation for our Ph D students. This includes inviting all Ph D students to participate in the questionnaire “Doktorandspegeln”, planning for meetings with DokSek and Ph D students at the different Departments, as well as improving communication in English.

The university management team and the deans are presently very concerned that the corona-virus pandemic will have specific negative effects on the wellbeing of our Ph D students and the progress of their projects. This is particularly true for our international students and for those where corona-virus restrictions prevent the collection of data. We will follow the situation closely and are working closely with the HR-department regarding the possible need for extensions of projects and doctoral studies.

In the meantime, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Prorektor) and I would like to invite DokSek to a digital meeting to discuss broader issues of relevance at the university level.

Johan Schnürer Vice-Chancellor/Rektor


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