Swansea University

9. Establishment of the University's Committee of Enquiry to deal with cases of Academic Misconduct

Establishment of the University's Committee of Enquiry to deal with cases of Academic Misconduct

9.1

On receipt of an allegation of academic misconduct, submitted by the Director of Academic Integrity, Academic Services shall arrange for an appropriate Committee of Enquiry to be convened as soon as reasonably possible, normally within a month of the allegation being made. A member of staff from Academic Services will normally act as Secretary to the Committee. The Director of Academic Integrity (or nominated deputy) shall present the case against the student and shall not act as Chair or Secretary to the Committee.

9.2

Each Committee of Enquiry Panel shall consist of 3 members (selected by the Committee Secretary), namely an experienced Chair (selected from a list of approved Chairs), a member of academic staff of the University and a Students’ Union Full-time Officer. Where it is not practicable for the Secretary to arrange for a Students’ Union Officer to sit as a member of the Panel without this resulting in a significant delay to the scheduling of the Committee, the Secretary may select a third member of academic staff in place of the Students’ Union Officer.

In the case of an allegation concerning an ICWS student, the Committee of Enquiry may include a fourth Panel member who is a member of staff from ICWS, normally the Director of Academic and Support Services or his/her nominee.

The Committee of Enquiry Panel shall not contain members of staff from the College in which the student is studying nor members who have had any prior involvement in the case concerned.  A decision of the Committee Panel will be reached by a majority vote of the Panel members. The votes of the individual members will be treated as confidential. In the event of a tie decision, the Chair shall have an additional casting vote.

9.3

As soon as reasonably practicable after the appointment of the Committee of Enquiry, and bearing in mind the University's expectation that such cases should normally be heard within a month of the allegation being made, the Secretary shall:

  1. send to the candidate copies of statements of witnesses and any other evidence to be placed before the Committee of Enquiry, and offer the candidate an opportunity to indicate any statement or documents which may be in dispute;
  2. notify the Director of Academic Integrity (or nominated deputy) and members of the Committee of Enquiry of the date, place and time of the meeting and supply them with copies of the allegation and of any statements or documents.

The Secretary shall, at the same time, inform the candidate of the date, place and time when the Committee of Enquiry intends to meet and that he/she shall have the right to be accompanied. A student may bring an interpreter if it is felt that they will not be able to understand the proceedings fully. It is the student's responsibility to arrange such a translator and to be responsible for their fees (except for Welsh translation; see 9.7 below).  The student shall notify the Secretary of the name of the translator in advance of the meeting. 

9.4

Any documentary evidence to be presented in the student's defence should be sent to Academic Services prior to the date of the meeting and circulated to members of the Committee. The candidate shall be required to inform the Secretary whether or not he/she intends to attend the meeting of the Committee of Enquiry. If the candidate indicates that he/she does not wish to attend the meeting, the Committee of Enquiry shall proceed in his/her absence. Normally a student may not send any other person to the meeting in his/her absence unless this is authorised by the Chair prior to the meeting. Where no response is received from a student and after all reasonable means have been taken to contact the candidate, the meeting shall proceed in his/her absence. In exceptional circumstances, provision may be made for one postponement.

Any further evidence made available on the date of the meeting may be presented to the Committee but only with the express permission of the Chair.

9.5

The Committee does not have to take intent into consideration and in relation to an allegation of academic misconduct there can be no defence that the offence was committed unintentionally or accidentally. Such circumstances can however be submitted by the student as mitigation in relation to the penalty to be imposed.

9.6

Committee hearings should be held at Swansea University unless alternative regulations have been agreed upon e.g. Collaborative Partner's campus.

9.7

Committee hearings shall be held in English or, at the request of a student, in Welsh. Students wishing to have the hearing in Welsh shall notify the Secretary, upon receiving notification of the hearing date, in order for translation services to be arranged by the University's Welsh Language office. Such services shall be provided free of charge to the student.

9.8

A candidate who intends to be accompanied shall inform the Secretary of the name of the person accompanying him/her in writing in advance and shall state whether or not the person representing or accompanying him/her has legal qualifications. Such persons cannot attend the Committee hearing in a legal capacity.

9.9

Should a candidate not attend the meeting of the Committee of Enquiry, having previously indicated to the Secretary that he/she would attend, and provided that all reasonable means have been taken to contact the candidate, the meeting shall proceed in his/her absence.