Withdrawal of resources

Doctoral students who are unable to carry out studies as set out in their individual study-plans must discuss the matter with their supervisor. This step in itself may suffice to bring about a change in the study plan so that it becomes more realistic.
If the studies begin to go really badly, however, the Vice-Chancellor is empowered to decide that doctoral students who substantially violate the obligations set out in their individual study-plans may have their entitlement to supervision withdrawn together with other resources.

Very unusual

The Vice-Chancellor has no authority to delegate this task to any other body or person. Resources may not, however, be withdrawn in the case of students who have doctoral studentships or receive study grants while an agreement is in force (normally for no longer than one or two years). If such a decision is taken, the resources will be withdrawn as soon as the period specified in the original agreement is over.

The right to speak

Before a decision is taken, the doctoral student and the supervisor have the right to state their views. An assessment is to be made on the basis of the doctoral student's and the supervisor's accounts and other information available to the university. The assessment must also take into consideration how the university itself has fulfilled its obligations as stated in the individual study-plan. The decision must be in writing and must also specify the reasons justifying it.

Appeals Board for Higher Education, ÖNH

Appeal may be made against a university's decision to withdraw resources for a doctoral student's programme to the Appeals Board for Higher Education (ÖNH), according to Section 2.7 of Chapter 12 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The decision of the Appeals Board is final, however.

the Appeals Board for Higher Education (ÖNH) (new window) »

Withdrawn resources can be restored

Even after a decision by the Vice-Chancellor to withdraw resources, the doctoral student continues to be enrolled, and may regain the right to supervision after applying if the university considers that the student has been able to show study results “of adequate quality and extent", or if the doctoral student is able to demonstrate in some other way a likelihood of being able to fulfil the study obligations involved. The student may also continue to study independently and may subsequently apply to submit the dissertation when it is ready.

It is possible to appeal against the rejection of a request to have resources reinstated.


The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education's report, Antagning till forskarutbildning, report 1999:15, only in Swedish, [Admission to doctoral programmes], 1999:15 R  points out that certain departments have withdrawn resources from doctoral students without using the relevant clauses in the Higher Education Ordinance. This was because they wished to protect the student from the public exposure such a procedure would involve. However, such a course of action entails that the student loses any right of appeal against a withdrawal of resources!

Read more in the Admission to doctoral programmes, 1999:15 R, In Swedish. (pdf, new window) »

In addition, it is possible for a research student with a doctoral studentship to be given notice due to lack of funds. You can find out more details about this in the Employment Protection Act, 1982:80, LAS, only in Swedish, and in the collective agreement that applies to all government employees. This agreement can be found at Arbetsgivarverket in Allmänt löne- och förmånsavtal (General Agreement on Salaries and Benefits), ALFA (only in Swedish).
Read more in the Employment Protection Act, 1982:80, LAS, only in Swedish (new window) »

Arbetsgivarverket - Swedish Agency for Government Employers (new window) »
Fortunately this rarely happens, as most departments and faculties take their responsibility for ensuring that doctoral students will be able to complete their training. The period of notice is determined by the length of employment, but is at least one month.

Last updated: 2012-12-10
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