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Education processes

Introduction of new doctoral students

At the university level the Human Resources offer newly admitted doctoral students an introductory course once a year.

At the departmental level, an introduction of newly admitted doctoral students is arranged. Information about this is given by each Department.

The university offers a welcome day for new employees, where the university vision, organization and operations are presented.

More information about your employment can be found on the employee website.

The university´s governing documents include policies, rules and guidelines. They include among other things, the university´s work environment policy, equal rights and opportunities policy, guidelines for examining scientific misconduct, guidelines regarding handling of suspected irregularities, and much more.

Individual study plan

An individual study plan shall be drawn up for each doctoral student. This plan shall contain the undertakings made by the doctoral student and the higher education institution and a timetable for the doctoral student's study programme. The plan shall be adopted after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors.

The individual study plan shall be reviewed regularly and amended by the higher education institution to the extent required after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors.  The period of study may only be extended if there are special grounds for doing so. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave. Higher Education Ordinance 6:29 (2010:1064).

The individual study plan is an important document for both planning and follow-up of the doctoral student’s and the supervisors’ work during the programme. As a support for planning how the qualitative targets for the licentiate degree and doctoral degree are to be achieved there is a special section for that in the template individual study plan. A target matrix in the form of a template in which different parts of the programme can be related to different parts of the qualitative targets are also available.

Each doctoral student must have an individual study plan in accordance with the template established by the Vice-Chancellor. The principal supervisor, assistant supervisor and the doctoral student shall sign the individual study plan. If the doctoral student is in external employment, his/her immediate superior must take part in the establishment of the individual study plan. At the end of each semester the student and the supervisors follow up plan so that relevant information is recorded in th student documentation system Ladok.The Head of Department is responsible for that the individual study is followed up at least once a year. The Head of Department is ultimately responsible for measures being taken when shortcomings arise. The individual study plan shall be available in the journal system Platina and dates when the plan is followed up are noted in Ladok.

Credit transfer of prior studies

If a student at a university in Sweden has completed a certain university education with a passed result, the student has the right to credit this for university education at another university. However, this does not apply if there is a significant difference between the educations.
The same applies to students who have completed a certain education with a passed result
1. at a university or other higher education institution in Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway or at a party to the Council of Europe Convention of 11 April 1997 on the Recognition of Higher Education Certificates in the European Region (SÖ 2001: 46), or
2. at the Nordic University of Public Health Sciences. (SFS 2006: 1053).

A student has the right to credit other education than that referred to in section 6, if the knowledge and skills that students invoke are of such a nature and have such a scope that they mainly correspond to the education for which they are intended to be credited. A student may also be credited with corresponding knowledge and skills that have been acquired in professional activities. (SFS 2006: 1053).

The university shall test whether previous education or activities can be accepted for credit.

Only those who are students can be considered for credit, unless otherwise stated by law or regulation. Higher Education Ordinance, 6:6-8 (SFS 2010: 1064).

A doctoral student´s appplication for credit transfer must apply to courses and knowledge that are relevant to the doctoral student´s doctoral program and that address the knowledge requirements contained in the general syllabus for the current research subject, the doctoral student´s individual study plan and tthe Higher Education Ordinance´s degree objectives. The application should be made in close connection with the admission, as a decision on credit transfer early in the doctoral student´s doctoral program provides the conditions for the future planning of content in the program. Assessment and decision of the scope of the credit transfer is made course by course. 

Upon admission to latter part the docotral student applies for credit transfer of previous approved courses.

The Chairman of the relevant Faculty Board decides on any credit transfer.

Departmental duties

A person who are employed as doctoral student should primarily devote themselves to their own education.
However, an employee may to a limited extent work with education, research, artistic research and administration. Such work may, before the doctoral degree or artistic doctoral degree has been completed, not cover more than 20 percent of fulltime work. Higher Education Ordinance Chap. 5 § 2 (2014:1012).

Doctoral students employed at LTU may have departmental duties. It is important that the doctoral student and supervisor, in consultation with the Head of Department/Division, clarify what departmental duties involve in terms of time and tasks. Generally it is considered that a doctoral student should be present reasonably often in the department and participate in joint activities (e.g. departmental/divisional meetings) in the department/division since participation in the research faculty is part of the education. Duties over and above such participation are considered as departmental duties, such as teaching and other specific tasks.

When establishing the extent of teaching duties for each doctoral student, consideration must be given to preparation and follow-up work (including examination) required, which is related to the difficulty and level of the course, the character of the teaching and the subject, the structure of the teaching and method, and the doctoral student’s qualifications and experience of teaching in the course or field. A doctoral student shall have the opportunity of participating in scheduling course elements in those courses that the doctoral student will be teaching.

Before the doctoral student starts to teach, or work with other departmental duties, the individual study plan must clarify what departmental duties involve in terms of time. It is important that doctoral students are provided with good conditions for getting started with their studies. Like local working hours agreements for lecturers at LTU (ref 463-99), the departmental duties of doctoral students shall be planned annually and in consultation with the doctoral student concerned, the supervisor and Head of Department/Division. This may best take place when updating the individual study plan. In the indiviual study plan the departmental duties are planned and followed up. The actual outcome of the departmental duties is the basis for the calculation of the doctoral student´s level of activity. The scope may be specified as hours or as percentage, this is to be the proportion of the annual full-time working hours, currently 1,720 hours (according to Projektredovisning at LTU). For doctoral students with full-time employment, the departmental duties may not exceed 20 percent over time.

Positions of trust are also planned and followed up in the individual study plan.

University teaching basic courses

Courses in teaching in higher education are offered at LTU.  The head of department and supervisor, in consultation with the doctoral student, may decide whether a course in teaching in higher education shall be taken as a part of departmental duties or as a course with credits in the programme.  The agreement shall be included in the individual study plan.

The student documentation system Ladok

The department administrator is responsible for registering admissions and study results in the student documentation system Ladok. Regulations on how the register shall be used can be found in ”Ordinance (1993:1153) on reporting of studies etc. at universities and higher education institutions” .

The principal supervisor is responsible for reporting course- and thesis credits to the departmental administrator. The principal supervisor ensures that the degree of activity and type of funding are reported on at least two occasions per year so that the information is registered in Ladok after the end of each calendar half-year. 100% studies correspond to a workload of 40 hours/week on average during one calendar half-year. A non-active doctoral student has 0% activity; an active doctoral student has 1% activity or more.

Registered information in Ladok is sent each calendar half-year to Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Higher Education Authority for compilation and publication, nationally and internationally. The statistics make up the basis for political decisions at a national level, the university’s annual report and internal reviews and evaluations.  The salary for doctoral students employed is regulated by a “salary scale”, on which the steps are determined by the higher education credits attained. The head of department decides on new salaries that will apply from the month after attained levels in accordance with Ladok.

Follow-up of the university’s control measurements also takes place during the year on 30/4 and 30/9, which means that updated information must be registered in Ladok before these follow-up dates.

Double degree or joint degree

Contract between the university and another Higher Education Institution (HEI) concerning third-cycle studies with the goal of a double or joint Degree of Doctor - can be drawn up. The aim of the contract is to establish new collaborative projects and increase scientific productivity. Double degree means that the PhD student is admitted to and studies at each HEI and that the degree certificate specifies that the PhD student has taken a Degree of Doctor at each HEI following cooperation between the HEIs. Two degree certificates are issued. Joint degree means that at least two HEIs organise and run a joint programme that will result in a joint degree and one degree certificate.

A third-cycle educational collaboration leading to a double or a joint degree cannot be established retroactively, and a doctoral student already admitted to a third-cycle programme at Luleå University of Technology cannot retrospectively be admitted to a joint study programme leading to either a double or a joint degree within the frames of a third-cycle educational collaboration.

Approved leave and non-completion of studies

According to the Higher Education Ordinance the period of study for a doctoral student may only be extended if there are special grounds for doing so. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence force or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave. Higher Education Ordinance 6:29. The doctoral student apply for approved leave.

When a doctoral student, in consultation with a supervisor, decides not to complete studies before the intended degree is taken, the Head of Department shall establish by decision that non-completion is a fact. 

The department administrator is responsible for registering approved leave and non-completion in Ladok.

Change of third-cycle subject area

When a doctoral student wishes to change a third-cycle subject area, the doctoral student must apply for a break in the subject area he/she was admitted for. An application for another third-cycle subject area is made on the form Application for admission to third-cycle studies. A new individual study plan is drawn up. More information is evident in section: Admission to thrid-cycle studies.

Doctoral student representative

A doctoral student representative is for doctoral students who feel the need to discuss their study situation, supervisor or other issues with an impartial person. Doctoral student representatives are qualified at the docent/professor level. A third-cycle administrator may act as a doctoral student representative in cases where the university’s doctoral student representativeis not appropriate due to personal relationships etc.