In situations where laws and regulations or other ethical standards have been violated, and in other serious circumstances in which the university or society as a whole can potentially be harmed, it is important that you, the student, report this. Whistle-blowing also applies in cases of bullying, discrimination, and harassment.
The student representative can assist individual students in cases of this kind. The representative will get involved in the case at the point at which the student requests assistance. The student or the representative can approach STA for help if it is appropriate to take things to a higher level.
Your report will be handled confidentially. If you do not wish to report yourself, you can contact the representative of your study programme or STA, who then have the possibility to report the case on your behalf.
Norwegian law allows for students to be able to report incidences both internally and externally. In the case of external reporting, certain demands must be met if you are to have sufficient just grounds for the criticism you level. As whistle-blower, you should also be able to provide a justification for having not made use of the internal routines for whistle-blowing.
Whistle-blowing externally will normally amount to reporting to supervisory authorities, for example:
Reporting to the Ministry or supervisory authority
If the follow-up of a given case reveals violations of laws and rules of a particularly serious nature, the University Directors shall notify the applicable supervisory authority directly.
Whistle-blowing to the media/general public
UIA aims for openness regarding circumstances at the university, and accepts that staff and students choose to inform the general public (the press, and on social media such as blogs, Facebook and so on) regarding what they believe to be incidences of wrongdoing. In order to ensure that public whistle-blowing is justified, you can assess the following points in advance:
Are you certain that there are serious incidences of wrongdoing? Investigate the actual circumstances as thoroughly as possible.
Have you considered whether internal whistle-blowing, addressing the senior authorities in question, or reporting to public supervisory or control authorities is possible, appropriate, and a better starting point for creating positive change?
Are there good reasons that those outside UIA should know about the circumstances in question?
By making these assessments, you can help prevent staff, students, and UIA as a whole from being seen in a negative light in situations where it is not justified. It is, unfortunately, difficult to correct erroneous claims in retrospect, so be careful.
If you are unsure, you can contact either a representative or the student ombudsperson at UIA.
Are you unsure about which rules apply? The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority´s answering service answers questions about everything connected to the working environment on telephone number 815 48 222.