What happens if academic misconduct is suspected?
The University is constantly monitoring student assessment for signs of academic misconduct. Receiving an allegation can be stressful but is often a good opportunity to reflect on your academic practice and seek support to help you improve your study skills.
If you are suspected of plagiarism, cheating, collusion, or contract cheating an allegation letter will be sent to your student email address with the details including the course, type of academic misconduct and the supports available. At this time your grade will be unavailable. Depending on when in the semester you receive an allegation letter, your grade will be withheld until the process is finalised.
In some cases, the Academic Integrity Unit will contact you before an allegation is raised if there are concerns about your assessment item. You’ll be invited to discuss the concerns that have been raised and the academic misconduct process. This information is then used to decide whether an allegation letter will be sent to you.
You will be invited to respond in writing or attend a meeting with your School Academic Integrity Officer – most students choose a meeting. At the meeting the evidence will be explained to you, and you can discuss why your behaviour occurred or how it can be explained. This meeting usually takes between 15-30 minutes. The details of the meeting and outcomes are kept confidential.
Once your response has been received, a decision will be made based on all the available evidence and you will receive an outcome letter to your student email address.
Once the outcome is received, you may appeal under the provisions of the Academic Appeal Procedure providing you can establish the grounds to do so.
What rights do I have as a student?
After you receive an allegation of academic misconduct, you are invited to respond to the allegation. Before you start:
- Check the date when you need to respond by
- Read the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure
- Understand the penalties you are facing
- Decide if you need to admit to the allegation or provide material that explains your side of the story
- Decide if you provide a written response or attend an interview with someone from your School, such as the School Academic Integrity Officer
Preparing your response
- Consider what happened and outline how you completed your assessment item
- Can you explain any errors and discrepancies in the evidence provided to you?
- Were there extenuating circumstances that led to the behaviour that forms the basis of the allegation?
- Are there any other possible explanations?
- What evidence can you provide?
Once your response has been received, a decision will be made based on all the available evidence and you will receive an outcome letter to your student email address. Once the outcome is received, you may appeal under the provisions of the Academic Appeal Procedure providing you can establish the grounds to do so. Visit the Academic Appeals website for further information.
Consequences of academic misconduct
The academic misconduct process is designed to be educative and provide you with opportunities to learn the skills you need to succeed at University and avoid academic misconduct in the future. Depending on whether a Category 1 or 2 breach has occurred, these options include:
- Encouragement to seek support from the Library
- Additional online training about academic integrity
- Participation in a workshop about referencing
- Requirement to attend a session with a Learning Advisor.
In addition to these educative opportunities, in most cases a penalty will apply. These range from your work being remarked or a certain percentage of marks being deducted, to receiving 0 for your work or the course. In extreme or repeated cases of academic misconduct, suspension or expulsion from the University is also possible.