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Guidance for Students Being Accused of Misconduct

This guidance is for students who have been reported for behaviour that could constitute misconduct

Students reported for misconduct are referred to as the ‘Respondent’.

A person who has been affected or impacted by the misconduct is known as the ‘Reporting Party’ and is often the person reporting the behaviour. Witnesses can also make reports to the University and are known as the ‘Referring Party’.

If behaviour is reported and it is unclear whether it fits the definition of misconduct, more information will be gathered, usually by the Student Discipline Team. This may include meeting with the Referring Party, the Reporting Party and/or the Respondent to help the Student Discipline Team make this determination.

What support is available to me during the Disciplinary Process?

We are aware that it can be difficult and stressful to be accused of misconduct. The University will not make any assumptions, and you will not be considered ‘at fault’ until any allegations have been fully investigated, and you have been given the opportunity to respond. Details on the support available to you is available under Advice and Support here.

Precautionary Measures

The University applies precautionary measures to ensure that risks can be mitigated as fully as possible pending processes including Student Discipline. Any precautionary measures put in place should mitigate risk and protect the parties involved and the University community. These measures may include a no-contact order between you and the Reporting Party throughout the disciplinary process. Additional measures such as exclusion from specific premises and suspension may also be applied.

How will I be informed that a report made against me is being investigated?

You will be informed in writing that the University is progressing a formal investigation in line with Regulation 7 using the [Student Discipline Procedure](/publications/student-discipline-procedure/]. The letter will provide details of:

  • the allegations reported against you and its initial categorisation (A, B, or C, where C is the most serious)
  • the investigative interview the SDT will ask you to attend
  • support provision available to you and how to access it
  • how to request further information to help you prepare for the interview
  • how the outcome decision will be determined

If the alleged misconduct has been reported to the police as a possible criminal act and is being investigated by them, the University will place its Student Disciplinary process on hold until the police investigation has concluded.

What information will be used to make a decision on the case?

The information and evidence you share in your investigative interview will be used, and you will be asked to submit any and all relevant evidence during the investigation. Statements collected from the Reporting Party and any witnesses will also be considered.

The Student Discipline Team will conclude the investigation by producing an investigation report containing submitted information and evidence relevant to the allegations being considered.

The Investigation Report is reviewed to determine one of the following:

  • There has been no breach of Regulation 7
  • There has been a breach of Regulation 7 by the Respondent, confirmed as Category A or B, and what sanction will be applied as a result
  • The alleged breach of Regulation 7 is Category C and requires referral to a Student Disciplinary and Misconduct Panel for decision-making
  • The case should be addressed through an alternative procedure.

The burden of proof for student disciplinary cases sits with the University and it is our responsibility to prove the case being considered. The civil standard of proof is used in such cases, namely ‘the balance of probabilities’. This means that something is more likely than not to have happened and must be supported by evidence.

You will be notified of the outcome in writing within 10 working days of the decision, including any sanctions. Where sanctions have been applied, information that is shared with the Reporting Party and others will be determined by a Data Sharing Impact and Risk Assessment, on a case-by-case basis.

My case has been referred to a Student Disciplinary and Misconduct Panel – what does this mean? Following investigation, if the alleged misconduct in your case is classed at Category C, the outcome will be determined by a Student Disciplinary and Misconduct Panel. You will be invited to attend the Panel meeting and will be given 7 working days’ notice of the meeting date. The Reporting Party will also be invited however you will attend separately from each other. A copy of the Investigation Report and all relevant papers will be shared with you, the Reporting Party and the Panel in advance of the meeting. You have the right to be accompanied at the Panel meeting and it is an opportunity for you to make a statement and answer questions from the Panel. The Reporting Party will be invited to participate in the Panel meeting in the same way. You have the opportunity to review the information contained in the Investigation Report and provide a response and/or any additional information relevant to the case before the Panel meeting. During the Panel meeting, you can give a statement and will be required to answer questions from members of the Panel.

The Student Disciplinary and Misconduct Panel will determine one of the following:

  • The Respondent is not in breach of Regulation 7 concluding the Disciplinary Procedure.
  • The Respondent is in breach of Regulation 7 at Category C, and sanctions.
  • The Respondent is in breach of Regulation 7 at Category A or B, and sanctions.

How long should the Disciplinary process take?

You should normally receive the outcome of the investigation (including any sanctions applied and appeals route) within 60 days of being informed of the start of the investigation.

I am unhappy about the outcome of the Student Disciplinary process, what can I do as a Respondent?

You can use the Student Appeals Policy and Procedure to submit an appeal (within the bounds of this policy) following notification of the outcome of a Student Disciplinary case.

You need to complete an Appeals Form within 10 working days of the outcome of the case. For more information on the Appeals process, please visit the Appeals webpage. If a Reporting Party is unhappy with the outcome of the Student Discipline process they are able to submit an appeal.

Parties to this process are encouraged to provide feedback on any aspect using the anonymous survey distributed after a case has concluded. You can also email at any stage.

Student Discipline

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