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Students get complaints officer

Aftermath of Penkowa-scandal has University setting up an 'ombudsman', a kind of complaints officer to prevent students from being victimised

A new student representative, an ‘ombudsman’, is to refer student complaints on scientific malpractice.

This is one of the initiatives that has been set up in the wake of the Penkowa fraud scandal as presented at the special Penkowa hearing Thursday by management. The student representative will be able to raise independent investigations when needed.

An attempt to frame her student assistant was a key part of the Milena Penkowa fraud case at the University of Copenhagen.

Limited powers

Henrik Dam, Dean of the Law faculty is one of the designers of the initiative. He explained to a sceptical questioner from the audience that the Penkowa case highlighted the need for the role.

»Having a student ombudsman is new to the University of Copenhagen,« he said.

The student ombudsman will have limited powers. If another institution is already making an investigation on a given case, the student ombudsman may not act as a competitive investigator. The student ombudsman may also not have a decisive say, if another institution is more relevant to make a decition. .

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