Governance and Compliance

Overview

Overview

Regulation 2: Student Discipline [PDF 198.83KB] states that “Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner which demonstrates respect for the University, its staff, fellow students and the wider community”. It sets out procedures which ensure fairness, clarity and transparency for both the student and others involved in the process.

Students are expected to comply with the Regulation so that the University community is one in which we can live and work with one another in an environment of dignity and respect. This applies to all students, including Visiting and Exchange students and those on a Study abroad year.

This Regulation relates to inappropriate behaviour on the part of students which is ‘non-academic’ misconduct. A diagram outlining the student disciplinary procedure is available here. There is a separate process for dealing with academic misconduct. Staff misconduct is dealt with under a separate procedure by the Human Resources department.

Information for individuals reporting an incident

If you are the recipient of, or witness to, disciplinary misconduct (see below), the incident should be reported as soon as possible to ensure that individuals are dealt with quickly and fairly.

Disciplinary misconduct is defined by the University as any conduct which causes actual or potential distress or harm to others; causes actual or potential damage to the property of the University or others; disrupts the normal functioning or operation of the University; or impedes or interferes with the pursuance of work or study of those working or studying at the University.

Incidents should be reported to the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance and the easiest way to do this is by using the online Incident Reporting Form. You can make a report yourself or someone else can do it for you. Alternatively, you can report concerns or incidents in the following ways:

Incident relating to the following areas: Can be made to:

Residences

Residential Advisers, a member of the Housing Management staff or Security

In your School

The Head of School or School Administrator

Other locations on campus

Security

Any incidents

Advisers in the Student Life Centre

The staff member will then make the report to the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance on your behalf. Any incident can also be reported by emailing student-discipline@sussex.ac.uk.

The University cannot accept anonymous reports because the accused needs to understand the allegations being made, including the source of the allegations, in order to respond properly. This is necessary to ensure fairness and transparency for those involved in the disciplinary process.

After you have reported an incident

The incident report will usually be disclosed to the student concerned and, as a witness, you may need to meet with the Investigating Officer. In some cases, you may be asked to attend the Student Disciplinary Panel hearing.

Whilst the disciplinary process is underway, the University will provide advice and guidance to support both parties involved. Where appropriate, special arrangements can be made to minimise contact between parties, for example in student accommodation or in the academic environment.

If you are directly involved or affected by a case, you may be kept informed of its progress. We will usually let you know which route the disciplinary case will take and notify you once the case has been decided. In some cases, we may not be able to let you know the details of the case or any decision due to data protection requirements.

Information for students that are subject to the disciplinary procedure

Once an incident report has been received, the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance will consider if any precautionary action is necessary. This could be, for example, to ensure that a full and proper investigation can be carried out, or to safeguard the health, safety or well-being of students or others. If that is the case, the Director can impose immediate conditions or the Vice-Chancellor can decide to temporary exclude or suspend you.

The Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance will then appoint an Investigating Officer to investigate the incident. They will consider the incident report and gather any other information to decide on the appropriate route for the case, either the minor or the major route. The Investigating Officer may also decide that there is insufficient evidence and that no action should be taken.

Route

Explanation

Decision maker

Sanctions

Minor

The minor route is for less serious incidents, examples of which are set out in paragraph 5.1 of Regulation 2.

The disciplinary decision is made by the Investigating Officer.

Sanctions include written warnings and fines up to £250.

Major

Where the incident involves more serious misconduct or where the individual has been involved in previous cases of misconduct, the major route is appropriate. Examples are set out in paragraph 6.1 of Regulation 2.

The disciplinary decision is made by the Student Disciplinary Panel.

In addition to the Investigating Officer's sanctions, the Student Disciplinary Panel can fine up to £1000 and can also recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that the student be permanently excluded.

The Categories of disciplinary misconduct and likely routes document provides examples of types of misconduct and the likely route for the case.

If the case goes forward, you will be given the opportunity to admit or deny the allegation(s), and to submit any evidence that you wish to be considered. Under the minor route, the Investigating Officer will meet with you and then decide the case themselves. This process is set out in detail in the Minor route page.

If the Investigating Officer decides that the case should progress to the major route, the matter will be passed to the Registrar and Secretary. Full details of the process are set out on the Major route page.

If a finding of disciplinary misconduct is made, a sanction may be imposed. The sanction will depend on the nature of the misconduct and any mitigating or aggravating factors will be taken into account. Previous disciplinary cases against you will also be considered.

You can appeal the finding and / or any sanction imposed. Information about what decisions can be appealed, the process and the grounds of appeal can be found on the Appeals page.

Disclosure of cases

The nature of certain incidents means that they may be disclosed to staff or other departments within the University. For example, more serious allegations which are likely to progress to the major route may be notified to your Head of School and they will also be notified of incidents if you are on a course which is subject to a Fitness to Practise procedure.

Once the case has been investigated and decided, any finding of disciplinary misconduct could be reported to your Head of School. Otherwise, information will usually only be disclosed if it is necessary to comply with legal obligations (such as requirements on the University as a landlord to report certain offences) or to meet obligations to relevant organisations such as accreditation or professional bodies.

Disciplinary procedure overview diagram

Disciplinary procedure overview diagram

Further information

More detailed information about the minor disciplinary route can be found on the Minor Route page.

More detailed information about the major disciplinary route can be found on the Major Route page.

Information about what decisions can be appealed and the process for appeals can be found on the Appeals page.

Information about further guidance and sources of support can be found on the Information and Support page.

If you are not sure what some of the terms means, definitions can be found on the Glossary page.

If your questions aren’t covered in any of the pages above or on the Frequently Asked Questions page, then contact student-discipline@sussex.ac.uk with your query.