Student Conduct

Article

 

11 Student Conduct

 

11.1 Students’ conduct shall not (1) cause actual or potential distress or harm to others; (2) cause actual or potential damage to the property or reputation of the College or others; (3) disrupt the normal functioning or operation of the College; (4) impede or interfere with the pursuance of work or study of those working or studying at the College; or (5) contravene any provision of the College’s Charter, Statutes, Regulations, policies or handbooks.

11.2 Conduct by which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in an academic assessment shall be dealt with separately under the Assessment Regulations, and student disciplinary offences in student accommodation are usually dealt with in the Student Accommodation Regulations.

11.3 The College shall maintain procedures for investigating and considering allegations of misconduct.

11.4 The College has the power to take action in relation to any student who is found to have acted in breach of this Regulation, up to and including termination of registration.

11.5 The College has the power to take precautionary action, including suspension or exclusion, in relation to any student who is alleged to have breached this Regulation.

11.6 Any student subject to a final decision made in relation to this Regulation which they are dissatisfied with may submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, an independent agency established to consider complaints from students in higher education. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator will only consider a complaint once the College's own internal procedures have been exhausted. In order to submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator a student must obtain a letter of Completion of Procedures from the Governance & Legal Services Department.

Conduct that may be subject to criminal investigation

Since these Regulations are not an Act of Parliament, nor part of the law of the land, they do not seek to reflect or incorporate the approach of the criminal law in defining criminal offences with great precision. Their purpose is to regulate the contractual relationship between students and the College. 

11.7 If the matter is being investigated or prosecuted under the criminal law, then save for taking any necessary precautionary action, the internal disciplinary process shall usually be suspended until the criminal process is at an end. However, the College may invoke its disciplinary procedures more immediately if it considers this to be appropriate.

11.8 Where the student has received a caution or convicted in relation to criminal offence, the College may take action in relation to them under this Regulation. A caution or conviction establishes responsibility for an act and therefore no further investigation shall be required by the College.

11.9 Where a decision is taken by the police or crown prosecution service not to pursue a criminal case against the student or where the student has been acquitted of a criminal offence, the College may still take disciplinary action if there are outstanding matters of concern which have not been addressed through the criminal process.

Procedure

11.10 Any decision to take formal action against a student under this regulation shall be made by the Warden or a Pro-Warden, on the advice of professional services staff in the Governance & Legal Services Department. Governance & Legal Services administers the procedures set out in this regulation, and should be the point of contact for academic and professional services departments in matters relating to student misconduct. 

11.11 A case officer from the Governance & Legal Services Department will be the administrative point of contact for student and staff in any formal action under this regulation.

11.12 A three stage procedure is operated:

11.12.1 Cases, including a preliminary enquiry, are initially considered by (or on behalf of) the Warden

11.12.2 As a second stage, a case may be considered by a disciplinary committee

11.12.3 Following a disciplinary committee, a student may ask for a review.

11.13 The standard of proof to be applied is the balance of probabilities.

11.14 Disciplinary and Review Committees will be conducted in accordance with a Procedure for Conduct of Student Hearings agreed by Council on the recommendation of Academic Board.

Stage 1 - Warden's Preliminary Enquiry

11.15 For the purpose of these Regulations, reference to the Warden may be taken to refer to a Pro-Warden who shall act for the Warden.

11.16 When a report of misconduct is received, a Preliminary Enquiry shall be held by the Warden, or by his or her nominee, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not a substantive case exists against the accused student.

11.17 The accused student shall be notified of the general nature of the charge under investigation and shall be given an opportunity to make representation in writing to the member of staff undertaking the Preliminary Enquiry. He or she shall be under no obligation to make any statement or give any explanation if he or she does not wish to do so, and shall be so informed.

11.18 If no substantive case is found to exist, all proceedings in respect of that charge shall terminate.

11.19 If the Warden has reason to believe that an offence has been committed, he or she shall have the power to take no further action in the matter, to reprimand a student, to deliver a warning, or to summon a student to appear before the Disciplinary Committee, and at his or her discretion to suspend or exclude a student from the College until such time as a hearing may be convened.

11.20 In the event of the Warden administering a reprimand or warning he or she shall do so in writing. The Warden will offer the student the alternative of having the matter referred to the Disciplinary Committee.

11.21 In cases of urgency, a student may be excluded temporarily by a member of the staff of the College in order to protect the members of the College in general or a particular member or members. Where a student has been excluded as a matter of urgency, by a member of staff other than the Warden, a report on the circumstances surrounding the exclusion shall be made to the Director of Governance & Legal Services at the earliest opportunity.

11.22 Suspension shall involve a total prohibition on attendance at or access to the College and on any participation in College activities; but it may be subject to qualification, such as permission to attend for the purpose of an examination.

11.23 Exclusion shall involve selective restriction on attendance at or access to the College or any premises owned or occupied by the College, or prohibition on exercising the functions or duties of any office or committee membership in the College or the Students' Union, the exact details to be specified in writing.

11.24 Where a student has been suspended or excluded from academic activities associated with his or her programme of study pending a police investigation or prosecution, the decision to suspend or exclude shall be reviewed by the Warden every four weeks in the light of any developments.

Stage 2 - Disciplinary Committee

11.25 The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise:

11.25.1 A Pro-Warden, or other member of the academic staff, appointed by the Warden, as Chair

11.25.2 One Head of an academic department

11.25.3 Either: One member of Academic Board in Class 2 or 3 or, where misconduct falls under 12.9.14 (professional fitness to practise), one person who will normally be registered with the relevant professional regulatory body, and who will not be an employee of the College, but who may be a member of academic staff from another University or relevant institution.

11.25.4 One enrolled student of the College nominated by the President of the Students' Union and shall as far as practicable comprise members from a variety of gender, ethnic, and social backgrounds.

11.26 No one shall serve on the Disciplinary Committee who has prior knowledge of the offence, or who has knowledge of the student being considered.

11.27 The quorum for a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee shall be three members.

Penalties Which May be Imposed by Disciplinary Committee

11.28 The following penalties may be ordered by the Disciplinary Committee:

11.28.1 written warning;

11.28.2 written reprimand;

11.28.3 suspension or exclusion from the College or from premises owned or occupied by the College for a stated period;

11.28.4 removal from a relevant programme of study;

11.28.5 permanent dismissal from the College;

11.28.6 payment of a sum determined by the Director of Finance, not exceeding the cost thereof, for the repair of damage caused by, or the defrayal of other expenses arising from, the offence.

11.29 The Disciplinary Committee shall also have the power to impose combinations of the above penalties.

11.30 The Disciplinary Committee may order that the measures agreed will be imposed immediately or that the imposition will be deferred. The conditions of any such deferment shall be clearly stated as part of the decision of the Committee.

11.31 The Disciplinary Committee will consult the Head of the relevant Department prior to imposing any penalty in respect of a student enrolled on a programme of study which leads to a professional qualification.

11.32 The Disciplinary Committee will pay due regard to any mental health issues that may have affected behaviour when considering the penalty to be imposed,and where necessary may seek advice from the Counselling or Disability teams.

Stage 3 - Review

11.33 student may request a Review of the decision of a Disciplinary Committee, on one or more of the following grounds:

11.33.1 that there was a material procedural irregularity in the process leading to the decision of the Disciplinary Committee or;

11.33.2 that relevant further evidence can be presented which could not reasonably have been made available to the Disciplinary Committee, and casts substantial doubt on the Committee’s decision;

11.33.3 that the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and/or the penalty imposed by the Committee was not reasonable in all the circumstances.

11.34 Review applications must be received by the Director of Governance & Legal Services within fourteen days of the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee; applications based on the ground of further evidence must be supported by that evidence.

11.35 The Director of Governance & Legal Services, or his/her nominee, will consider the Review application. If the application is found to present valid grounds, then a Review Committee will be convened. If the application is not found to present valid grounds, the student will be informed in writing, and a Completion of Procedures letter issued.

Review Committee

11.36 The Review Committee shall comprise three members (but note 11.36 below):

11.36.1 An independent member of Council as Chair

11.36.2 A Pro-Warden OR a member of the academic staff who is also a member of Council

11.36.3 One enrolled student of the College nominated by the President of the Students' Union

11.37 Where misconduct falls under 12.9.14 (professional fitness to practise) the Committee shall additionally include one person who will normally be registered with the relevant professional regulatory body, and who will not be an employee of the College, but who may be a member of academic staff from another University or relevant institution.

11.38 None of the above members shall be persons who have served on the Disciplinary Committee or have been directly involved in the case or in the teaching of the student(s) concerned. All must be present to form the quorum.