Disciplinary Procedure

All students of the University of Westminster agree to abide by its regulations and policies including the code of conduct. The disciplinary procedure is set out here and you are advised to familiarise yourself with it. Any alleged misconduct by a student should be reported in writing or by incident form to the Dean of School.

Breaches of the policy range from minor misdemeanours through to extremely serious allegations.

Examples of minor breaches can range from offences like Eating or talking in the library through to minor misuse of your university IT account. Serious breaches range from offences like Violence or threats of violence and Serious criminal damage.

The types of disciplinary cases involve student on student issues where standards of behaviour can fall below that expected by a student. You should look at the student Charter and rules of membership to be guided by what the standard of your behaviour should be.

A female student was completing her work a male student asked her for help to do his work. When she refused to help, the male student sends messages through social media to intimidate and harass the student. This behaviour is, of course, unacceptable.
A student is sick and needs to submit mitigating circumstances, and a friends says that he can help with obtaining the evidence. The student doctor was refusing to write a letter for them in the time given and the student friend gets him a doctor’s letter. Don’t use your own personal means to obtain information as the the students services rigirously check each case. The student was found to have acted dishonestly.
A student was under an allegation of having material in an exam. The matter was reported to the necessary authorities and the student had to attend a hearing. It is difficult in such circumstances as it was revealed that this issue is a genuine mistake. Therefore, the take-away from the situation was to take time to be well prepared on time for exams.
In some cases students may be subject to an external enquiry by the police or courts, the University can also conduct its own investigation in these cases.
Once the Dean of Faculty receives a case of alleged misconduct they will consider all the relevant papers and decide whether it is a minor misdemeanour (in which case the incident is recorded but no further action is taken) or if your case should be progressed to stage 1 or 2. You should find out if your case will be progressed within 10 days.

The Step-by-step Procedure.

Preliminary investigation

If your case is progressed to one of the above stages there will normally be a preliminary investigation. The investigation will decide if there has been a breach of student code or if not the record of the allegation is removed. If the decision is a minor breach this may be recorded on the student’s record and no disciplinary action will be taken. A student subject to an investigation will be notified in writing within 5 days of the outcome. The outcome will be logged on a database.

Stage 1 - Formal Disciplinary Interview

This stage is the formal disciplinary interview where the Dean of Faculty and another member of staff will interview you and a formal record taken of the information provided by you.
The types of Outcomes / decisions made at stage 1 disciplinary procedure:
The following are possible outcomes at stage one:

  • Case dismissed
  • Suspension e.g. from library or building
  • Retain information on file
  • Student asked to write an apology
  • Pay for loss or damage
  • Student given a formal warning
  • Referred to Stage 2 of procedure

Stage 2 - Disciplinary Panel Hearing

This stage consists of a disciplinary panel hearing. The letter to attend the hearing will give you the date and time to attend the hearing. It will also explain why you are there, and that you can bring a friend or Students’ Union Welfare Adviser with you. Any evidence you have to support what you say should be sent to the panel in advance (at least 24 hours). You may still be able to present late evidence with permission.

The panel members will consist of a number of senior academics and registry staff, at least 1 member of your own faculty and of another faculty, will ask you questions. It is important to come early and be well prepared. Think carefully about what you want to say beforehand and seek advice from the Students’ Union even if you are bringing your friend.

The types of Outcomes/decisions made at stage 2 disciplinary procedure

Any one of the outcomes under stage 1 and:

To suspend up to 1 year.
Eviction from halls of residence.
You should hear from the panel within 5 working days. The response will include the reason for the decision and penalty.

Appeal

You have the right to appeal against any decision made under the disciplinary procedure.
If you were at Stage 1 of the procedure – appeal in writing within 10 days after the decision/outcome to the Dean of Faculty.
If you were at Stage 2 of procedure – appeal in writing within 5 days to University Secretary and Clerk to Court of Governors.
Help for any part of this process can be obtained by contacting the Research Representation and Welfare team (RRW).