Guidance for students: Fitness to Study
The term ‘fitness to study’ relates to the entire student experience, and not just a student’s ability to engage with their studies. The Fitness to Study policy is only intended for use in cases in which the behaviour, disruption, or risk, or perceived or potential risk presented by the student to themselves or others is of a serious or critical nature.
Advice and Support
We want you to be fully supported throughout this process. We recommend that you seek advice from the SU Advice Centre who offer a free confidential service that is independent of the University.
You will be offered the opportunity to bring a friend, family member or other support person to the Fitness to Study Panel.
If you have a disability or any specific needs that require adjustments to this Fitness to Study process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in order for arrangements to be made.
If you have a disability, you can also be accompanied to the meeting by a Disability Support Worker or adviser if required.
Wellbeing support and advice is also available from the Wellbeing team by email to email@example.com.
Following the referral of your case, the Student Casework Manager will set a date for a formal meeting of the Stage One Fitness to Study Panel, to hear the case and invite you to attend to discuss the concerns and all relevant issues.
Prior to the Stage One panel meeting the Senior Case Manager will usually meet with you to complete a risk assessment.
The panel will be made up of appropriate representatives of your academic department (normally the Head of Department) and the Head of Student Policy and Safeguarding. The Senior Case Manager will advise the panel.
You will be given the opportunity to explain your views on the situation and made fully aware of the possible outcomes if the situation does not improve.
The Stage One panel may decide:
- that no further action is required
- to put in place an action plan
- to recommend an individual programme of study
- to consider your case at a Stage Two Fitness to Study panel.
You will be notified of the decision within seven calendar days of the Stage One panel meeting.
You will be informed that unless these arrangements remedy the concerns to the University’s satisfaction, your fitness to study may be considered at Stage Two.
This stage of the procedure will only be implemented following a referral from a Stage One panel or if in the opinion of the Pro Vice Chancellor, the concerns that are raised are critical.
As a first step, it will be considered whether precautionary measures should be implemented, including recommending interim suspension from the University or University accommodation.
The Student Casework Manager will set a date for a formal meeting of the Stage Two Fitness to Study Panel to hear the case and invite the student to attend to discuss the concerns and all relevant issues. Prior to the panel meeting, the Senior Case Manager will usually meet with you to complete a risk assessment.
The panel will be made up of the Pro Vice Chancellor, the Head of Department and a member of Senate who is not a member of the Senate Appeals Committee. The Director of Student Support and Safeguarding and the Senior Case Manager will advise the panel.
The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the concerns presented, including your response to these concerns, and to reach an appropriate decision, action plan or other outcome.
The Stage Two panel may decide one or more of the following:
- to formally monitor the student’s progress for a specified period
- to put an individual programme of study in place
- suspension of studies, exclusion or expulsion
- any other action considered to be appropriate and proportionate
You will be notified of the decision within seven calendar days of the Stage Two panel meeting.
Fitness to Return (following a period of exclusion or suspension)
You will only be permitted to return to study if the University is satisfied that you are fit to do so and able to comply with any conditions imposed on your return.
Following a period of exclusion or suspension as part of a Fitness to Study process, you will be required to contact the Student Casework Manager to notify them of your desire to return to study, normally three months before your intended return date