Home / Insights / Case Study / Academic Misconduct at University

Academic Misconduct at University

Academic Misconduct at University

Who did IBB act for?

IBB acted for Caroline, a student accused of academic misconduct, namely plagiarism, by their University, due to one of Caroline’s assessments containing similarities to a fellow student’s piece of work.  Caroline was extremely concerned about what impact any decision by the University could have on her future academic career and subsequent career path as a Paramedic.

How IBB helped

On analysis of Caroline’s case ,we found there had been procedural unfairness in the way that the University had investigated the allegation of plagiarism against Caroline.  The University scheduled an Academic Misconduct Committee Hearing in accordance with its own regulations.  We prepared written submissions to the Committee in advance of the Hearing in conjunction with a barrister, who then represented Caroline at the Hearing.

On behalf of Caroline, we argued the following:-

  • there were rational explanations for the similarities between Caroline’s work and their fellow student’s work;
  • evidence obtained from Caroline’s mentor showed that the Caroline’s work and the fellow student’s work was based on personal experiences;
  • the fellow student was not known to Caroline in any way other than an acquaintance, before the University had begun its investigation. Therefore, Caroline did not have access to the student’s work in order to plagiarise this; and
  • the University failed to follow its own procedures in relation to the investigation.

What was the result of the Academic Misconduct Committee Hearing?

The Hearing took place and found that academic misconduct was made out, by which they came to the conclusion that the allegation was proved. However, it was recommended that Caroline be given another opportunity to retake the assessment rather than to fail her completely.

As a consequence, her objective was achieved. She was not being automatically denied the opportunity to complete her studies and pursue her chosen career as a paramedic, but to have a second opportunity to undertake the assessment.

A successful outcome.