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Reporting Student Misconduct

Section 1 of the Discipline (Student) - Guidelines

1.1  General Misconduct

The term "general misconduct" covers any behaviour which damages or endangers people or property or which interferes with or intimidates other people. Examples of general misconduct are given in S3.2.

In most cases, an act of general misconduct should be reported to the relevant associate dean (teaching) who may fine the student and/or suspend the student for up to 8 weeks OR refer the case to the faculty discipline committee. (S4.1) Note: different processes apply to library, IT, sport, mobile phone in exam or issues involving students from a number of faculties or impacting the University as a whole.

It is important that the student be given an opportunity to present his/her side of the case before being fined or suspended.

An associate dean (teaching) should refer the matter to the FDC through the faculty manager if

  1. the matter needs to be investigated further;
  2. the charge, if proven, deserves a heavier penalty than the associate dean (teaching) may impose under S4.1.1.

1.2  Misconduct committed by students from more than one faculty

Cases of misconduct involving students from different faculties should be reported to the Director, Executive Services, who will refer the matter to a subcommittee of the central discipline committee (S4.5).

1.3  Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct means cheating/attempting to cheat /or assisting to cheat. A misconduct charge should be heard by the FDC of the faculty in or through which the student is pursuing the course of study or, in the case of a student undertaking a double degree, the administering faculty.

Cheating is defined in S1.1 as being any means by which a student seeks to obtain an unfair advantage in the work submitted for assessment. A student will usually cheat by plagiarising another student’s work, material published on the internet and/or excerpts from journal articles or text books. Both published and unpublished works may be plagiarised.

Plagiarism (See definition in Guideline 3.3.1)

Plagiarism does not necessarily amount to cheating. The definition of cheating requires that the student was seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in the assessment. As it is not possible to seek something unintentionally, plagiarism cannot constitute cheating unless the student knew that the material copied should have been acknowledged or formatted as a direct quote, and was therefore intending to pass off another author's work as the student's own. A charge of cheating will not succeed unless there is some evidence of intention for example, the student had received written information on how to reference correctly/the student had received a prior warning about plagiarism/the student is in the second or third year of the course which would normally raise an inference that he/she was aware of academic citation requirements.

1.3.1  Cheating in examinations

When an invigilator or other staff member believes that cheating has occurred in an examination, the matter should be reported to the faculty manager at the first opportunity. (S7)

1.3.2  Non-examination cheating

If a staff member believes that cheating has occurred in a non-examination context, the matter should be reported to the chief examiner/staff member in charge of the subject. (S8.1)

If a chief examiner believes there are reasonable grounds for believing that cheating has occurred, the chief examiner may decide either to:

  • disallow the work and not give it an assessment; OR
  • refer the matter to the faculty manager (S8.2).

1.3.3  Chief examiner must report decision

If a chief examiner decides to disallow work, this must be reported in writing to the student and to the associate dean (teaching). The student must be informed that he/she has 20 working days in which to appeal the decision to the faculty discipline committee. (S8.3.1). Allow time for the decision to be communicated before starting to count the time limit for the appeal, and the first day of the 20 day period starts the day after the day of communciation.

1.3.4  Referral to faculty manager

If the chief examiner considers that it would be more appropriate for the matter to be investigated by a faculty discipline committee, or that the misconduct, if proven, merits a more serious penalty than disallowing the work, the chief examiner should refer the matter to the faculty manager who must then establish a faculty discipline committee to hear the case. (S8.2)