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Ethical guidelines for students

Both students and employees at UiS must comply with applicable acts and regulations for the learning and working environment.

In addition, there are also ethical expectations regarding the daily activities at UiS. 

Applicable requirements for employees are stated in «Ethical Guidelines for the Public Service» and «Ethical Guidelines for Supervisors/Employees at UiS» (under revision).

This document describes the moral and ethical requirements that apply for you as a student at UiS. These guidelines address the fundamental values of UiS as an institution. These indicate what standard the university wants everyone to abide by, and what actions are not acceptable.  

1. Attendance

As a student you must show up on time for lectures, supervision, practice, etc. You must allow enough time to register your attendance, find a seat, etc.

You must be prepared in advance whenever this is expected. Academic progress depends on your participation.

Do not unnecessarily interrupt or interfere with the lecture/teaching/practice, etc. Any use of mobile telephones, tablets and similar devices must not interfere with the learning situation.

2. Respect

It is expected that you as a student will be respectful of employees and other students and refrain from statements/actions that may be perceived as condescending or offensive. It is expected that you contribute to an open and inclusive studying environment.

In connection with all verbal participation, you must address both employees and other students in a polite manner. Everyone must interact in an open, unbiased and objective manner.

3. Confidentiality

The university handles many types of personal information, as well as information on technical systems and procedures, in addition to operational and business secrets.

If you gain knowledge of this type of information over the course of your studies at UiS, you may not use, disclose or make such information available to any unauthorised internal or external parties. You may also not use the information for purposes other than those assigned to you by UiS.

Section 4-6 of the Universities Act reads as follows:

«A student who in connection with his or her studies becomes acquainted with anyone’s personal circumstances is obliged to observe secrecy according to the rules that apply to professional practitioners in the vocation concerned. The institution shall draw up a declaration of secrecy which must be signed by the students to whom this applies.»

Breach of the duty of confidentiality is punishable, and the duty of confidentiality also applies after you have completed your term as a student/practice period.

Even if there should be no statutory or contractual duty of confidentiality as a student, please be aware that personal information that is shared may result in considerable suffering for those involved.

4. Bullying and harassment

At UiS there is zero tolerance for bullying, harassment and discrimination based on nationality, religion, ethnicity, age, gender, gender expression, sexuality, language or disability. Discrimination or harassment based on the above factors, as well as sexual harassment, is unlawful according to Section 13 of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act.

The following is quoted from this section:

«Harassment means acts, omissions or statements that have the purpose or effect of being offensive, frightening, hostile, degrading or humiliating.

Sexual harassment means any form of unwanted sexual attention that has the purpose or effect of being offensive, frightening, hostile, degrading, humiliating or troublesome.»

Please note that something intended as a joke, may instead be experienced as harassment.

5. Netiquette

As a student you may not use the IT services of UiS for making defamatory or discriminatory statements, illegal downloading of music/film/pornography or distribution of confidential information, invasion of privacy or encouraging or contributing to acts of an illegal or rule-breaking nature.

More information on UiS' IT rules is available here.

6. Let us know

Both you as a student and the employees are responsible for ensuring well-functioning mutual relationships/collaborations. Both parties are also responsible for finding solutions in the event of any challenges.

If you should experience the relationship with a supervisor or teacher to be very difficult, a third person may be helpful in clarifying the best course of action. You may use the Let us know system, or contact StOr or the Student Ombudsman.  

7. Suitability assessment

Several studies have special professional and personal requirements relating to those who are to practice the profession – for example the teacher training and social and health care studies.

If you are in doubt whether a student is suitable for his or her future profession, you are encouraged to speak up. Nobody is served by unsuitable students becoming graduates.

Further information about suitability assessments and contacts is available (at present in Norwegian only) here: student.uis.no/studiehverdag/rettigheter-og-plikter/skikkethetsvurdering/.

8. Cheating

You are responsible for ensuring that you use approved referral routines and obtain permission for use of the material of others if relevant. In Storting Proposition 158 L (preparatory work for the Research Ethics Act), it is noted that:

«The most common definition of plagiarism is to publish the work of others as one's own, and in this manner delude the reader as to who has performed the work, for example written the text. Sciences and disciplines have varying publishing traditions, but the need to credit the work of others and one's own previous work when establishing new knowledge and new reasoning based on this is a common feature of all of them».

Plagiarism and other types of cheating, such as the use of illegal aids during examinations, may result in annulment of the examination and exclusion from all universities and university colleges in Norway.

Please use the Let us know system or those listed as contacts if you become aware of such practices taking place. Read more about academic misconduct here (at present in Norwegian only).

9. Double relationships

The everyday life as a student may be affected by the relations between employees/supervisors and you as a student, for example family or social relationships. In case such relations should prove challenging, it is recommended that you seek advice as early as possible in order to consider other solutions.

Love relationships between employees/supervisors and students may also occur. The general rule in such situations is that the supervisor relationship will be suspended.

If it is impossible to suspend the supervisor relationship for some reason, the parties must try to find some other suitable solution. The parties must then be aware that they are breaking the general rule and thus exercise great care during their continued collaboration.

Neutrality issues may occur in the wake of double relationships in connection with the evaluation of the student's work. It is not just the student's integrity that must be safeguarded. There shall be no doubt regarding the division between one's private and professional life, nor regarding the impartiality and objectiveness of a supervisor.

Double relationships are not illegal, but may prove a challenging aspect of the everyday life as a student. You are welcome to contact  StOr or the Student Ombudsman if you want to discuss how to resolve issues of significance for your studies.

10. Gifts

UiS encourages students to be careful of accepting gifts from employees or giving gifts to employees.

11. Breach

The consequences of a breach of the ethical guidelines will depend on what actually took place. If a student's behaviour repeatedly is perceived as interfering or offensive, the matter will be discussed with the student in question.

Section 4-8 of the Universities Act grants the Board or Appeals Committee of UiS the right to exclude a student who:

  • repeatedly behaves in a manner which seriously disturbs the work of fellow students or other activities at the institution
  • by dishonest means gains admission to the examination/test/course, or has cheated in the course of the examination or test
  • has behaved in such a seriously censurable manner as to endanger the life or health of patients, clients, children or others
  • commits serious breaches of the obligation to observe secrecy vis-á-vis users
  • has behaved with gross indecency vis-á-vis users

 

Adopted by the Learning Environment Committee on 22 May 2018.