Academic Misconduct Solicitors

Being accused of academic misconduct can be scary, confusing and very upsetting. It has the potential to bring your education to an end, damage your reputation and seriously harm your future career prospects.

At IBB Law, our education law solicitors have operated in the academic sector for many years and we know that academic misconduct can be easily enacted by accident.

Our comprehensive experience in academic and education law allows us to offer specialist expertise when it comes to overturning allegations, avoiding penalties or seeking reduced sanctions that allow you to continue with your education.

Our team has represented a number of students at panel hearings to ensure that their cases were fully and fairly heard when it matters most. This assistance also extends to helping formulate an appeal to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and challenge the outcome of academic tribunals.

We have helped countless students to successfully challenge accusations of academic misconduct in relation to issues including:

  • Plagiarism
  • Academic Dishonesty. resubmitting previously assessed work or taking steps to subvert plagiarism software
  • Colluding with other students. to produce work or subvert the plagiarism process
  • Falsifying Information. creating distorted or fictitious data
  • Impersonation of another student. to undertake a test or submit work
  • Sabotage. destroying or defacing of academic materials

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with our team to discuss your needs and see how we can help. We then charge for our services on a fixed fee basis, providing certainty over the costs involved.

Looking for quick answers about academic misconduct? Take a look at our academic misconduct FAQs.

If you want to learn more about our ability to help overturn or appeal an academic misconduct allegation, please contact our education law consultant Salima Mawji on 01895 207247 or email salima.mawji@ibblaw.co.uk.

Our expertise with appealing academic misconduct allegations

Our education law practice benefits from the expertise of consultant Salima Mawji, who is recognised as one of the country’s leading experts in this highly specialised area of law.

Salima has decades of experience helping students accused of academic misconduct to fight these allegations and protect their education, their reputation and their future.

We have experience handling academic misconduct internally at universities, colleges and other higher education institutions, as well as where matters must be escalated to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

No matter how difficult your situation might seem, we have the skills, experience and specialist knowledge to give you the best chance of securing the outcome you need.

Our education law fees

We typically work on a fixed fee basis for the initial consultation and a cost estimate basis for any work you ask us to undertake after the initial consultation. The cost of our legal advice is agreed with you in advance. This ensures complete certainty and transparency over the cost of securing our help with your educational law issue.

The exact cost of our services will depend on the nature of your problem, including the amount of time and level of expertise needed to support you effectively. We will be happy to discuss this with you when you contact our team.

We offer a brief free initial phone consultation with our experts. Thereafter, we offer an initial consultation for a fixed fee to analyse your case and to advise on how we can help. This is your chance to ask any questions and find out your options for defending yourself against allegations of academic misconduct. We can also discuss the costs involved in more detail at this time.

For more information on our education law pricing, please get in touch.

Common questions about academic misconduct

What is Academic Misconduct?

Defined as an action that produces an unfair advantage to yourself or others in an educational setting, academic misconduct can have a significant negative impact on your professional and academic career. In practical terms, this most commonly falls in the realm of ‘cheating’ on an exam or plagiarising existing material or work from other students.

While the term is increasingly difficult to define in the digital age, it commonly includes:

Academic Dishonesty: Using any means available to achieve an advantage. This commonly falls into the realm of digital approaches such as resubmitting previously assessed work or taking steps to subvert plagiarism software.

Collusion: Working together with other students to produce a piece of work or subvert a failsafe step in the plagiarism process.

Falsifying Information: The presentation of distorted or fictitious data such as interviews, surveys, citations, results etc.

Impersonation: Assuming the identity of another individual to undertake a test, submit work or gain access to insights that you did not produce.

Sabotage: This involves the destruction or defacing of academic materials, interfering with the research of fellow students or otherwise obstructing the faculty in the completion of their assessment tasks.

What are the penalties for academic misconduct?

All academic institutions will have different definitions and penalties for addressing academic misconduct. However, it is very often heavily penalised – often to the fullest extent available to the board – even if a mistake was genuine and unintentional.

Facing an accusation of academic misconduct could see your grade lowered, penalties levied against you, or have your qualification stripped away from you.

Other potential consequences for academic misconduct include:

  • Being expelled from your institution or course
  • The destruction or elimination of your work under the auspices of preventing the spread of false data
  • Significant ‘soft’ penalties such as blackballing or being unable to seek a reference
  • Legal action, fines and penalties

Is academic plagiarism a crime?

While plagiarism is not formally classed as a criminal or civil offence, if the act infringes on an individual’s copyright or an established trademark, you may find yourself subject to a lawsuit or civil action.

What happens if you are accused of academic misconduct?

While disciplinary methods vary, if you are accused of plagiarism you will be summoned to explain your actions to your academic supervisor and (depending on the perceived degree of severity) a board. Failing to ‘pass’ this review or represent yourself accurately can result in significant penalties.

Plagiarism could be noted on any references you receive from the establishment, and even receiving a significantly diminished or ‘zero’ grade for the work. This can then spiral upward and result in a failure for your module, course, and a significant impact to the value of your final grade.

Get clear legal advice and support to defend against allegations of academic misconduct

The information given here is intended for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

If you want to learn more about our ability to help overturn or appeal an academic misconduct allegation, please contact our education law consultant Salima Mawji on 01895 207247 or email salima.mawji@ibblaw.co.uk.


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