Drawing of people in colour profile

Report from the survey on harassment in the academic sector


For the first time, a national survey has been conducted on the prevalence of gender-based and sexual harassment at Swedish higher education institutions. Today, 20 May, the first report is presented.

Around four per cent of staff and students at 38 at Swedish higher education institutions claim to have been specifically subjected to “unwanted sexual attention in the work/study environment” over the past 12 months. The extent differs, however, among different groups. Six per cent of female students report that they were exposed during this period, as opposed to two per cent of male staff.

Apart from the prevalence of sexual harassment, the survey also contained questions on issues such as the organisational and social work environment, health, bullying, hate and intimidation.

“We started the collaborative research programme in 2018 in response to the #metoo movement,” says Anna Wahl, vice president of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and chair of the programme steering committee. “Our aim was to raise awareness of the prevalence of gender-based and sexual harassment in the academic sector, to analyse underlying causes and thereby to bolster the efforts being made to combat harassment, bullying and other unsolicited and inappropriate behaviour.”

In addition to KTH, the programme is run by Karolinska Institutet (KI), Malmö University and the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research (Gothenburg University).

“This survey is the largest of its kind in the academic sector and can be a valuable complement to SKH's own surveys and an asset in the continuous study and work environment management that takes place at SKH,” says Vice-Chancellor Paula Crabtree.

For more details and results, see the report on the programme website.