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Speak up about the learning environment

Reporting issues that are worthy of criticism

A secure learning environment is UiB’s responsibility. It is also our responsibility to take action if censurable conditions are uncovered. All cases will be handled in confidence. That also means that you as a student shall not experience negative consequences (retaliation) from UiB’s employees.

What does it mean to report a ' red case '?

To report a ' red case ' is to provide information about serious censurable issues, primarily violation of the law and breach of normal ethical standards. This can be particularly relevant if students or staff at the University of Bergen become aware of:

  • unethical, illegal or criminal acts relating to the learning- or working environment, pollution, corruption, misuse of public funds, abuse of authority
  • defects or deficiencies that can result in danger to life or health
  • that fellow students or employees are being bullied, harassed or discriminated against in connection with their activity at the University of Bergen.

As a student, you can also report censurable issues to which you yourself have been exposed.

Safe to speak out via the online form in red cases

UiB’s online form for reporting is transmitted over a secure electronic line to a Speak Out reception in your faculty. They will ensure that the case is dealt with responsibly. Your report will not be anonymous, but the matter will be treated as confidential by employees who have a duty of confidentiality both during the process, and after the case is closed.

Who will know that you have reported something?

Your name will not be known to more people than is necessary to process the case. The person who is accused of something is entitled to know about the complaint, to be given insight and to respond to the complaint. In most cases, this will mean that the person accused would be able to know who is making the complaint.

Verbal notification of serious, censurable issues

You can report verbally by telephone or by meeting up in person at the Speak Out reception in your faculty. But it is recommended that you use the form.

Anonymous reporting of serious, censurable issues

It is also possible to report anonymously by phone or letter to the Speak Out reception in the faculty. The students’ representative or a lawyer can also report an issue. Please note that anonymous complaints against staff or fellow students will rarely lead to sanctions. In most cases UiB will need to know who you are in order to follow up the case.

UiB’s duty to investigate

If you choose to report verbally to an employee or in writing on the online form, the person who receives your report is obliged to pass on the case to the responsible manager for initiating an investigation and action.

Support

It could be a good idea to discuss the issue with someone before you report it. For example, this could be a student representative or a student adviser from the Sammen Student Welfare Organization. They can participate in meetings with you and give you support during the process. It can be difficult to make a report because you have to describe what you have experienced to those who shall investigate the case. The case handler will follow you up with conversations during the process, and after the case is closed.
You may also be asked to testify if there is a court case. Be prepared for the eventuality that you will experience resistance and denial from the people affected by the case, which can be felt as disagreeable.

Documentation

Take care of documentation that supports the case (emails, text messages, letters, photos, etc.). The documentation can be added to the form, and will be treated as confidential. Write down what you have experienced as quickly as possible after it has happened.

Your word against somebody else

Be prepared for the fact that UiB can have limited possibilities to sanction an employee if there is evidence that something reprehensible has occurred. Nevertheless, your report can have importance in ensuring that the same thing does not happen again.

Protection against retaliation and independent control

Employees are not allowed to subject you to retaliation after a case has been reported (such as a negative impact on grades or career opportunities). The secretariat for the university management at UiB receives a copy of all notified cases and will be able to ensure that the cases have been handled in accordance with the applicable case management routines. If you should nonetheless experience negative consequences by speaking out, please take direct contact with the Secretariat for the university management

Public access

Your notification will be archived in the University's filing system. The title of the case, as well as the time when it was received at the faculty, will be published in the public journal. We do not publish your name or other confidential information that can reveal the identity of yourself and the other parties involved in the case. Publishing in the public journal means that those who may become interested in the case, based on the title, can request to read the documents in the case. This could include journalists, for example: All confidential information will be removed before the documents are made available.

Request to the Police to prosecute

If the incident is a punishable offence, you could be encouraged to report the incident to the police. UiB can also decide to report a case to the police on its own initiative.

False accusation

Please note that it is a punishable offence to accuse someone on false premises.

Contact persons you can consult with

If you are unsure of whether to report an incident, you can contact the Student Representative or Sammen Student Welfare Organization.

Procedure after notification

Read more about the further procedure once you have notified via UiB’s online form.