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A university will have rules and regulations setting out how they expect students to behave and conduct themselves as an enrolled student. If a university believes that a student has breached their rules of expected conduct, they may find themselves subject to investigations and sanctions.
If you are facing allegations of non-academic misconduct or a breach of the university’s behaviour policy, our university law solicitors can help you respond and challenge any serious allegations made.
There are a number of behaviours that a university may decide to be classed as ‘non-academic misconduct’ within their own internal rules and procedures. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) provides the following examples:
A university will set out exactly what is classed as an offence and also will list the potential penalties that may be set down. There can be a wide range of sanctions that may be set down, including exclusion from university. Our university law experts can advise you whether or not your alleged conduct should be classed as an offence or not and also assist you throughout the process.
A university will usually investigate the allegations in the first instance, seek your response and then provide a report confirming whether or not a formal case will be brought against you. The threshold for bringing a case against a student is low. A university’s own rules may only required to believe that a breach has occurred “on the balance of probabilities” – in other words, whether they believe it more likely than not that the allegations are true.
If a case is formalised, this may require a formal statement and documentation from you setting out your defence.
Our higher education law solicitors are experienced in dealing with disciplinary matters from start to end, so we can provide you impartial advice and assistance from the very beginning of the process.
If an investigator believes that a breach of the rules has occurred, this may result in you being asked to attend a disciplinary hearing. A disciplinary hearing will consist of a panel who will consider the allegations against you, all documentation or evidence obtained and your response. The university may send you detailed allegations and documentations and ask you to draft a formal statement before the hearing. Our university law experts are experienced professionals and can help you draft a formal response.
If you are asked to attend a hearing in person, we can either provide representation at the hearing or help prepare you for the hearing. Our education lawyers are experienced advocates and can provide representation at the hearing if permitted by the university.
Given that it is possible that an investigation may result in a formal hearing, it is essential that you set out a robust case from the very outset. Our university lawyers can help by providing impartial advice, help you to draft a strong response and also help you with any upcoming hearings. Disciplinary matters can often involve complex processes and extensive documentation. Our university law solicitors are experienced education practitioners who can provide you expert assistance.