If you have been advised that your university is conducting disciplinary inquiries, you may be wondering:
- What is non-academic misconduct?
- How do I respond to accusations of misconduct in a university?
- Will I be required to appear at a university disciplinary hearing?
- Can the university expel or exclude me?
Within their respective internal regulations, universities will outline the required norms of student conduct. A student may be subject to investigations and face accusations of “non-academic misconduct” if a university believes that they have breached their behaviour policies. Non-academic misconduct may include:
- Antisocial conduct
- Conduct deemed to bring the university into “disrepute”
- Sexual misconduct
These accusations are distinct from situations involving “academic misconduct,” which include allegations related to exams, assignments, and coursework.
The university should conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry, making sure to speak with every relevant individual and gather every piece of information available. These investigations need to be finished as soon as possible.
If you are invited to a meeting or interview, your university may rely on these conversations as evidence. Therefore, it is essential that careful and persuasive response is given. You may also be asked to appear in a hearing in front of a disciplinary committee to give a thorough explanation and respond to questions.
Sanctions that your university may impose range widely and can include:
- Restrictions on facilities (such as the Students’ Union)
- A warning that will be noted on your record
- Permanent exclusion
If you are a student on a professional course (e.g. medical students, nursing students, law students), the university may commence ‘fitness to practise’ proceedings (see below).
If you have been given an unfair penalty, you should be given the chance to make an appeal. We can also assist you in filing a complaint with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) if you filed an appeal that was denied.