Academic Integrity

As a student, academic integrity essentially means doing your work in an honest way and submitting your own work for assessment.

The University has policy and procedures covering academic integrity and all students and teaching staff are required to follow these standards.

Failing to meet the requirements of academic integrity might be unintentional and result from inexperience or a lack of understanding of the conventions, or it might be deliberate, in which case the consequences may be more severe – the policy covers both.

Some examples of a failure to meet academic integrity requirements include:

Plagiarism – it might be accidental or deliberate and means taking all or part of someone else’s work, or even their ideas, and presenting it in your assignment or thesis as if it was your own work. It can also mean failure to reference properly.

Collusion – working with someone on an assignment when you were meant to work independently, or allowing other students to copy or write your work.

Contract cheating – purchasing an assignment or using one that’s been generated by an algorithm.

Falsification or fabrication – can include making up data or claiming to have done an experiment that didn’t actually take place.

Cheating in exams and tests – using a method to gain unfair advantage – can include copying, using phones or other material, pretending to be another student, or even trying to talk to a fellow student.

What happens if there is an allegation made against me?

That depends on the circumstances. If a report of an alleged failure to meet academic integrity requirements is made, a review will be conducted and you’ll be notified. It’s really important to respond to any emails or letters sent to you. You might be asked to respond to the allegation in writing or you may be asked to attend a meeting. Student Assist may be able go to the meeting with you but try to give us as much notice as you can (5 days if possible). You can also take a friend, staff member or support person with you. If the allegation is found to be a misunderstanding you might receive counselling from the member of staff who assessed your work. They will help you to understand how to avoid the same problem in future. You might also be required to do the piece of work again (best case scenario).

Depending on the circumstances, other possible outcomes could include:

  • being asked to resubmit the piece of work
  • receiving a zero for the assignment
  • receiving a zero for the topic
  • having the issue referred to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) to be dealt with under the Student Conduct statute

Another consequence of any substantiated failure to meet academic requirements is that your name, along with the circumstances and outcome, will be placed on a confidential register that is accessible only to academic staff. This does not go on your transcript, but a member of staff will check the register as soon as they suspect you have failed to meet the requirements of academic integrity.

Naturally, students have opportunities to explain their case in this process. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can dispute it by lodging an appeal with the Student Appeals Committee within 20 days of the decision.

In short, allegations of failure to meet academic integrity requirements can be really scary but Student Assist can guide you through the process, clarify policy and procedures, help you build a case, and (where possible) attend meetings with you. The most important thing to remember is don’t ignore it – we’re here to help!

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