Background: Postgraduate lost her job of wrong reasons

Background: Postgraduate lost her job of wrong reasons

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The postgraduate student lost her position on a false premise. In spite of the decision having been revoked by the university Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson, she remains without the doctoral student slot she is formally entitled to and returning to Lund University might be difficult.

June 1st 2011, the postgraduate student accedes to her position at Lund Institute of Technology, LTH. At that time, she has distinguished herself among 128 applicants aspiring for that position, which she chooses instead of a similar one which had been offered to her by ChalmersUniversity, Gothenburg.

From the very start, however, the postgraduate student is tormented by stress and a poor work environment, and her results from that term are remarkably poor. Internal documents from LTH express a disappointment among the members of the administration: They believe she lacks the knowledge required to conduct research and to pass her postgraduate studies.

The atmosphere between the postgraduate and her supervisor keeps deteriorating. At one point, the postgraduate student has to visit the hospital due to urgent stress pains. Despite the fact that she is working hard, even weekends and evenings, she also fails an important exam.

Just a little over a year after having acceded to her position, her own supervisor begins to more thoroughly examine the specifications provided in her CV. He then comes across two articles which were labeled “submitted” in the CV which don’t seem to have been revised or published by the magazines having received them, even though they are several years old.

On this premise the LTH board of administration, with the approval of LTH Chancellor Anders Axelsson, decides to revoke her admission.

Without this position, she has no possibility of renewing her visa, and thus she is forced to move back to Iran. She applies for another doctoral position, but when her application is refused after the ones in charge having found out about her lost position at LTH, she gives up her attempts to accede to a different doctoral position.

Her academic career seems ruined. With her dreams crushed, the postgraduate student enters a depression and begins to use antidepressants. For an entire year she falls deeper into the depression, pushing her further away from the scientific community.

Until Lund University’s board of directions suddenly reinstates her admission entitlement.

At this juncture, university legal entities have reached the conclusion that the concept of “submitted” doen’t carry any legal weight and that the postgraduate student can’t be accused of having violated any regulations.

University board of directions, with the key figure Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson, decides to repeal the LTH decision in the early part of summer, 2013. The university overruling the LTH administration is openly criticized by Anders Axelsson, who is of the mindset that the university repeal damages the scientific probity.

With the summer break coming to an end, the issue remains unclear in term of what will happen, despite two months having passed since the University repeal of the LTH decision.

Many factors point to the probable outcome that the postgraduate student will be granted to complete her research studies at one of the LundUniversity partner universities instead of returning to her previous position.  Because in Lund, except entirely legally, all bridges are burned.

Text: Tor Gasslander

Illustration: Fredrik Toreblad

Translation: Maximilian Aleman Tennell

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