The Higher Education Appeals Board

The Higher Education Appeals Board is the public authority responsible for hearing appeals against decisions made in the higher education sector and in the sector for post-secondary higher vocational education. The Higher Education Appeals Board is the final appeal body and its decisions may not be challenged.

Making an appeal

If an individual wants to appeal against a decision to the Higher Education Appeals Board, the individual must do so in writing. This letter must state which decision the individual is appealing against and how, in his or her view, the decision should be changed. The reason why the decision should be changed must be clearly stated. The letter should include the individual's address, telephone number, and email address, and should be signed. An appeal may only be made by an individual who has been affected negatively by a decision.

Where to send an appeal

The letter should be sent to the higher education institution that made the decision and not to the Higher Education Appeals Board.

The time limit to appeal

Any appeal must reach the higher education institution that made the decision within three weeks of the date that the individual received notification of the decision.

Note: If an employment decision is posted on a institution´s notice board, the time allowed for making an appeal is calculated from the date the employment decision was posted on the notice board.

It is important that the time limit is adhered to. If an individual does not appeal within the time limit, the institution responsible for the decision is entitled to dismiss the appeal.

The appeal process

When an appeal reaches the higher education institution responsible for making a decision, a check is made to ensure the appeal has been made within the stated time limit. In certain cases, the institution may revise its original decision. If this does not happen, the appeal and all the records about the matter are forwarded to the Higher Education Appeals Board.

If the basic prerequisites are in place, the Higher Education Appeals Board decides whether the appeal should be upheld or dismissed. If an appeal is upheld it means an individual´s request for a change of decision is granted, for example a student is considered to meet the entry requirements for the study programme applied for, a student is entitled to have credits for courses transferred, or an individual has the right to be employed in a particular position at a higher education institution.

Right of appeal

It is not possible to appeal against all decisions made by higher education institutions. The right of appeal exists in the areas stated below.

Right of appeal in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100)

Decisions by higher education institutions, in accordance with chapter 12, section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance, may be appealed against to the Higher Education Appeals Board. They are:

  • Employment decisions at higher education institutions accountable to the Government (with the exemption of doctoral studentships)
  • A decision that an applicant does not meet entry requirements or not being exempted from entry requirements for courses or study programmes at first (undergraduate) and second (Master´s) cycle
  • A decision on transfer of credits for courses and study programmes or professional or vocational activities
  • Rejection of a student’s application for exemption from compulsory study components
  • A decision to withdraw study resources for a doctoral student or refusal to restore resources
  • Rejection of a student’s request to be issued with a degree or course certificate
  • Refusal to allow a student admitted to a course or a programme at first (undergraduate) or second (Master´s) cycle to defer their studies or to continue their studies following a study break.

This also applies for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and The Swedish Defence University.

Right of appeal in accordance with Ordinance (1995:938) regarding doctoral grants

Decisions regarding demands to repay doctoral grants may be appealed against.

Right of appeal in accordance with the Discrimination Act (2008:567)

Some decisions by higher education institutions may be appealed against on the ground that the decision is in conflict with the Discrimination Act.

Right of appeal in accordance with the Ordinance on Student Unions (2009:769)

A decision to grant an association of students’ status of a student union.

Right of appeal in accordance with the Ordinance (2012:730) on application fees and tuition fees at higher education institutions

An appeal may be made against a decision to expel a student who has not paid tuition fees.

Right of appeal in accordance with Ordinance (2009:130) regarding Higher Vocational Education

Decisions by higher education institutions or regarding the refusal of a student´s request for the issue of a degree, diploma or course certificate may be appealed against. The following decisions by higher education institutions accountable to the Government may also be appealed against:

  • a decision that a student does not meet the entry requirements to be admitted to a course or study
  • a decision not to accredit prior learning

Decisions by the Swedish Agency for Higher Vocational Education according to the Ordinance (2015:545) a Framework for Lifelong learning

Decisions regarding level within the framework may be appealed against.

Right of appeal in accordance with the Ordinance (2016:706) regarding grants for students with a doctoral degree studying programmes leading to a Degree of Master of Arts/Science in Secondary/Upper Secondary Education

Decisions regarding grants may be appealed against.

Contact details

Överklagandenämnden för högskolan (Higher Education Appeals Board)
Box 7249
SE-103 89 STOCKHOLM
Sweden

Tel: + 46 (0)8 563 087 00
Fax: + 46 (0)8 563 087 10
Email: onh(at)onh.se