UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 there has been more recent guidance on RGU academic processes and procedures published. Please visit RGU Coronavirus Guidance for the more up-to-date information.
This page will be able to help you understand what misconduct means and what you can do in the instance of alleged misconduct. However, the best thing to do, to get a comprehensive understanding of RGU's stance on the matter, is to read through the regulations. It is also good to be aware of your obligations as an RGU student, which are specified in Regulation A3.1 Academic Appeals and Regulation A3.2 Student Misconduct Procedure.
Academically, misconduct could be doing something that could give you an unfair advantage (i.e. plagiarism, collusion, contract cheating, etc....). Non-academically, it could be unacceptable or improper behaviour/conduct as an enrolled student of the University (i.e. harassment, harmful acts, damage to university property etc.).
Misconduct is treated very seriously by RGU and penalties/sanctions can be given. It is therefore very important that you become familiar with what is expected of you, what is expected of your conduct, and also what happens once misconduct has been alleged.
Student Obligations and Conduct
Student obligations and expected conduct are specified in Regulation A3.1, Regulation A3.2 and for research students Regulation A6. As an overview, you must meet attendance requirements, attend assessments and submit work for assessment on time. You must notify your tutor/Head of School of any special circumstances which may adversely affect your academic performance. You need to ensure all University or partner institution fees, loans, fines and rent, and if you are a resident of University accommodation, ensure you are in compliance with the ’Conditions of Lease’ throughout your tenancy. Try to conduct yourself courteously and don't engage in behaviour which is likely to be prejudicial or harmful to the reputation of the University. Ensure you treat all University property and equipment with respect and abide by all requirements for professional conduct and adhere to the requirements of any applicable legislation.For further information, read the University's academic regulations.
Academic misconduct is defined by the University as any attempt by a student(s) to effect an unfair advantage in any assessment. The following are some types of academic misconduct: Plagiarism (presenting the work of another as original, without acknowledgement of the original source); Contract Cheating (submitting work which has been generated using a range of services provided by a third party); Collusion (submitting work, produced by more than the individual student without prior authorisation, as their own work); Personation (Undertaking, preparing or submitting an assessment in place of the student to whom the grade would be attributed); Cheating (the processes of trying to gain an unfair advantage). Any student who assists a fellow student(s) commit academic misconduct, shall be deemed to have committed academic misconduct also! For further information, read Regulation A3.2.
Non-academic misconduct could be in reference to any actions or activities, services/facilities enjoyed, as a student of the University - or in the vicinity of any premises owned, leased or managed by the University. The following are some types of non-academic misconduct: Breaches of stated instructions/regulations issued by RGU, associated professional, statutory and/or regulatory bodies; Harmful or inappropriate acts or actions such as assault/threatening behaviour; Harassment/bullying/discrimination towards others on the grounds of gender, sexuality, disability, age, race or religion; Conduct that may endanger the safety or well-being of others; Damage to students, staff or RGU property; Conduct that brings (or could bring) the reputation of the University, or associated professional, statutory and/or regulatory bodies, into disrepute. For further information, read Regulation A3.2.
Student Misconduct Procedure
When there are reasonable grounds to believe misconduct has taken place, the Head of School will be notified. A hearing shall be arranged and the student will be informed of the hearing details (date, time, location) and told they can be accompanied by up to two people, call witnesses and can contact the RGU:Union Advice & Support for advice. In the hearing, the panel shall examine the facts of the case and interview the student. When academic misconduct has been alleged, the Head of School may question the student on aspects of their work (methods, key sources, subject knowledge etc…). The student should receive, via e-mail, notification of the outcome within 5 working days. If the panel decides misconduct has not been established, no further action will be taken. If they decide misconduct has been established, an appropriate and proportionate sanction will be placed upon the student.
Student Misconduct Appeal
Any student wishing to appeal the decision and/or sanction imposed due to misconduct needs to complete the Student Appeal Form: Misconduct. Students are entitled to appeal against the decision and/or the sanction(s) (though not replacement costs) or against the sanction(s) if the student has admitted to the misconduct, (though not replacement costs). An appeals needs to be based on one or more of the following grounds: there has been a significant procedural irregularity/material administrative error resulting in an unfair or unreasonable decision; the evidence of alleged misconduct is deemed insufficient to substantiate the allegation; there is substantial evidence that was not previously known at the time of the Misconduct Hearing or demonstrates a sanction is disproportionate or that shows the criteria used to determine a sanction were not appropriately applied. For further information, read Regulation A3.2.
Student Misconduct Appeal Procedure
An appeal needs to be submitted within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the hearing. The Head of School copies the appeal, together with a report of the circumstances, to the Assistant Chief Academic Officer and the Academic Quality Officer, who will consider the appeal and either recommended to the principal that the case be dismissed or refer it to the Head of School or the Student Appeal Committee. In the latter case, the Head of School will liaise with staff involved in the original misconduct hearing and reconsider the case. For further information on the appeal procedure, read Regulation A3.2.
If you have been accused of misconduct, then contact the Advice and Support department at RGU:Union who should be able to help you in understanding what to do next. Likewise, if you are considering appealing the outcome of a misconduct hearing, then you can contact the department for advice and support.
*Updated for the 2019-2020 Academic year.
Contact RGU:Union Advice and Support via the below links or via the chat-widget on this page, and to provide feedback on the service, please complete the Advice & Support Survey.