Student Misconduct

The Charles Sturt University Student Misconduct Rule covers actions that breach University expectations of student behaviour. It includes:

  1. General misconduct when related to your actions and behaviour as a member of the university community or during university activities; or
  2. Academic or Research misconduct when related to your studies.

Student Misconduct, if admitted or found to be true, can lead to penalties which range from a warning to expulsion from the University.

As a Charles Sturt student, you should understand your responsibilities under the Student Misconduct Rule and what to do if an allegation of misconduct is made against you.

If you are unsure what some the terminology on this page means, you should refer to the glossary in the Student Misconduct Rule.
View the glossary

General misconduct

  • What is general misconduct?

    General misconduct means conduct that is either:

    • prejudicial to the good order and government of the University
    • unreasonably hinders other persons in the pursuit of their studies in the University or in participation in the life of the University
    • brings the University into disrepute
    • fails to meet the standards expected of student behaviour as articulated by the Student Charter including that which is expected of a student by a professional accreditation body
    • otherwise reprehensible conduct for a member of the University to engage in.
  • What could general misconduct include?


    General misconduct occurs when a student:

    • causes or threatens to cause harm to another person
    • sexually assaults or sexually harasses another person
    • engages or threatens to engage in non-consensual conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person where a reasonable person would, in the circumstances, consider the conduct an invasion of privacy or indecent, or otherwise unacceptable
    • attacks, harasses, intimidates, stalks or bullies another person or threatens to do so
    • behaves in a manner likely to cause harm to anyone
    • leads, organises or participates in hazing
    • behaves in a manner likely to damage, cause the loss of, interfere with or obstruct the use of, property of the University or of another person
    • breaches a law of a country the student is in for a university activity
    • fails to comply with a rule, policy or procedure of the University
    • breaches the terms of use of any service or resource provided by the University
    • disrupts the orderly conduct of a university activity
    • in their dealings with the University or a placement provider, a staff member or representative of the University or placement provider, knowingly:
      • makes a dishonest, deceptive or false statement or representation
      • submits a forged document or a document that they have altered, or
      • behaves dishonestly or deceptively, including by withholding personal information
    • fails to comply with a reasonable direction of a staff member or other person authorised by the University, such as to produce identification, leave a place or not to enter a place in the University or a work placement location
    • enters any place in the University that a student is not authorised to enter
    • behaves in a way that tends to harm or undermine the good order and governing of the University
    • unreasonably hinders others in their university studies or in participating in the life of the University
    • brings the University into disrepute (but see clause (22))
    • fails to meet the standards of behaviour defined by the University’s Student Charter
    • if enrolled in a course that is accredited by a professional body, fails to meet the standards of behaviour expected of students in the course by the accrediting body
    • while on a workplace learning placement:
      • behaves in a manner likely to damage, cause the loss of, interfere with or obstruct the use of, property of the placement provider,
      • fails to comply with a reasonable direction of a staff member of the placement provider
      • breaches reasonable requirements of the placement provider for conduct or work of its staff
      • enters any part of the provider’s premises that the student is not authorised to enter, or
      • behaves in a way that is reasonably likely to damage the University’s relationship with the placement provider, other placement providers or the wider community
    • behaves in any other way that a reasonable person would consider reprehensible behaviour on the part of a member of the university community.

Academic misconduct

  • What is academic misconduct?

    Academic misconduct is where a student seeks to gain for themselves or another person an unfair academic advantage, in breach of the principle of academic integrity.

  • What could academic misconduct include?

    Academic misconduct is dishonest behaviour that misrepresents a person’s level of academic achievement in assessment or their scholarly achievement in a work of scholarship. Behaviours that constitute academic misconduct include:

    • cheating: where a person seeks to gain an unfair advantage in an assessment task such as an exam or test, for example by:
      • copying the work of others undertaking the task and presenting it as their own
      • having help from others during the task that is not specifically permitted by the instructions for the task
      • having another person perform the task for them, or
      • using a resource or device during the task that is not specifically permitted by the instructions for the task
    • collusion: where a person:
      • collaborates with another person to prepare assessment work, beyond the extent of collaboration specifically permitted by the instructions for the assessment task. Where no instructions about permissible collaboration are provided, all of the work must be the student’s own or acknowledged as another person’s work. Use of learning and study skills support services provided by the University is not considered collusion.
      • impersonates another person to sit or complete an assessment task, or by recording the other person’s attendance at a class or activity when the other person is absent
      • collaborates with another person to enable cheating to occur, or
      • deliberately or by not taking reasonable care enables another person to cheat
    • contract cheating: where one person pays another person or service, or offers them some other inducement, to write or develop assessment work that the first person presents as their own work
    • as part of an assessment task, submitting a false document, falsified references or data, or falsely claiming to have received a permission
    • plagiarism: where a person uses another person’s idea or data, or way of expressing an idea, without acknowledging the source, so that the idea, data or words are incorrectly or deceptively presented as their own
    • self-plagiarism: where a person presents text, ideas or data from their own previous scholarly work or work submitted for assessment, in a different context, as new work, without acknowledging the other work as the source.
  • What is academic integrity?

    Academic Integrity is the foundation of good academic practice. It means producing genuine, original academic work, completed within relevant assessment guidelines.

    It includes appropriate acknowledgement when the words, ideas, scholarship or intellectual property of others are used.

    More detailed information about academic integrity can be found in the free Academic Integrity at Charles Sturt University module.

Research misconduct

  • What is research misconduct?

    Research misconduct is a serious breach of the university’s code for the responsible conduct of research.

    That code is specified in the university’s Research Policy.

  • What could research misconduct include?

    Research misconduct could include either:

    • fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of results
    • plagiarism
    • misleading attribution of authorship
    • use of others' intellectual property without acknowledgment or with insufficient acknowledgement
    • failure to declare and manage conflicts of interest
    • failure to manage research funds responsibly
    • falsification or misrepresentation to obtain funding
    • conducting research without appropriate written ethics or safety approval, or that deviates significantly from the research process which received written ethics or safety approval
    • risking the safety of human participants, the welfare of animals or harm to the environment
    • deviations from the University’s code for the responsible conduct of research that occur through gross or persistent negligence
    • wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others
    • repeated or continuing breaches of the University’s code for the responsible conduct of research, particularly where the person has previously received counselling or specific direction to avoid such breaches.

Any person who suspects a student has committed misconduct may report it. When it is reported, the Appointed Officer (AO) considers if the alleged misconduct falls within the Student Misconduct Rule. They can then:

  • start the hearing process;
  • dismiss the allegation if it is trivial and does not warrant any further action;
  • suspend a work placement activity or research activity for up to two weeks while an allegation of misconduct is investigated; or
  • deal with the allegation as poor academic practice.

You will then be contacted in writing and informed that an allegation has been made, what the allegation is, and what, if anything, you need to do next.

If you disagree that you have committed misconduct, you can dispute the allegation.  A hearing will be scheduled where you can respond to evidence, submit your own evidence, question and/or call witnesses and present verbal or written statements.

If you want to admit to the allegation of misconduct, you will still be given reasonable opportunity to make a statement about the sanction (penalty) to be imposed before it is decided. If you admit the misconduct before the date of your hearing, the sanction will be decided by the Appointed Officer (AO) and you will be informed of the decision in writing.

Appeals

  • Appeal a Misconduct Finding and/ or Penalty

    You may appeal to an Appeals Committee against a finding of misconduct and/or a level 1 or level 2 penalty.

    You must submit your appeal application to the Secretary of the Appeals Committee within 10 business days after the day on which the decision-maker sent you the report of the misconduct decision.

    Your application must include:

    • the finding and penalty you wish to appeal;
    • the grounds on which you wish to appeal on;
    • provide details and copies of any evidence you want the Appeals Committee to consider; and
    • provide an argument that your application meets the nominated ground(s) of appeal.
  • Grounds for appeal

    You can appeal the finding and/or penalty of misconduct if:

    • There is evidence that there has been a failure to provide procedural fairness in hearing and/or deciding the allegation or deciding a penalty;
    • There is new evidence that you did not know of or that was not available to you before the finding of misconduct was made, and which would have been a significant factor in the original decision;
    • The penalty is inconsistent with Division 5 of the Student Misconduct Rule 2020; or
    • The penalty is excessive and out of proportion to the misconduct and your record of misconduct.

    You cannot appeal when:

    • You have been found to engage in poor behaviour;
    • You have been found to engage in poor academic practice;
    • You have been found to breach the University’s code of responsible research conduct and have not committed research misconduct;
    • You have engaged in misconduct, but only receive a warning and/or reprimand; or
    • There is a recommendation to the University Council that you receive a level 3 penalty.

    More information about the appeals process can be found in the Student Misconduct Rule 2020 or by contacting the Secretary to the Appeals Committee at misconductappeals@csu.edu.au

  • An Appeal Application

    It is recommended that students wishing to appeal a misconduct finding should speak with an Academic Advice & Appeals Student Liaison Officer before submitting an appeal application. You can contact an Academic Advice & Appeals Student Liaison Officer by emailing advice.slo@csu.edu.au

    How to submit an appeal:

    Important: There are two appeal forms one for Research Misconduct and one for Academic or General Misconduct. Be careful to select the relevant form.

Frequently asked questions (FAQS)

  • What are the behavioural expectations of students?

    The Student Charter helps students understand what it means to be a student member of the Charles Sturt University Community including the expectations students and the University may have of each other.

  • Where can I access advice and support if I am advised of alleged misconduct?

    There is a Student Liaison Team who are available to assist you with any questions you may have about alleged misconduct. Contact the team via email.

  • Who decides whether misconduct is found?

    Depending on the severity, a misconduct allegation can be heard and decided by the Appointed Officer (AO) or by the Student Misconduct Committee (SMC).  Any allegations that might involve cancellation of a degree granted by CSU, are heard by the University Council.

  • Does a hearing mean a formal face-to-face meeting between a student and the University to hear and decide allegations of misconduct?

    No. A hearing is a review of all of the evidence (including any response or statements from the student) from which the appointed officer or student misconduct committee will make findings of fact based on any relevant evidence. Hearings may be conducted either:

    • via a decision based on written submissions - that is a review of all the written evidence that has been gathered as part of the investigation of the alleged misconduct
    • via telephone
    • via videoconference
    • face to face.

    The method for the hearing will be determined by the University depending on the seriousness of the allegation, the mode of study and any special needs that a student may have.

  • What happens at a misconduct hearing?

    The Appointed Officer (AO) and Student Misconduct Committee (SMC) will confirm whether you admit or deny the allegation.

    All evidence about the allegation will be considered and findings will be made based on any relevant evidence. You will be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegation and any evidence, and to present your evidence and give your statement.

    You are entitled to be given a reasonable opportunity to:

    • call witnesses to give evidence on your behalf
    • respond to any evidence
    • present any evidence or give oral or written statements
    • question witnesses
    • make submissions before any Sanction is imposed, if any allegations are proven.

    Questioning witnesses

    You may question witnesses either directly with Appointed Officer (AO) and Student Misconduct Committee (SMC) permission or submit questions to be asked to the Appointed Officer (AO) and Student Misconduct Committee (SMC).

    Witnesses may be questioned in person or using some form of telecommunications (such as teleconference or video conferencing) with or without you being present. However, if you are not present, then you will be given details of the substance of any evidence given and a reasonable opportunity to respond to that evidence before a finding is made.

  • What if I cannot attend a scheduled hearing?

    When you receive notification of a hearing it will give information about the date, time and place for the hearing (which is to be no less than 10 business days from when the notice is sent).

    A misconduct hearing will proceed without you if you do not attend the hearing, without a reasonable excuse. Therefore, if you are unable to attend a scheduled hearing, it is important to contact the sender of the notification right away to let them know the reasons why you cannot attend and ask for alternative arrangements can be made. You may be able to attend by telephone or skype, or submit a written statement instead of attending.

  • Can I bring someone to the hearing for support?

    Yes. You may bring along a support person or advocate to assist you or to speak on your behalf at the hearing. Your support person may not be a currently practicing barrister or solicitor, and must be available at the date and time specified in the notice of hearing.

    A support person may be directed to leave a hearing if that person unreasonably disrupts or delays the hearing. If this occurs, the hearing or appeal may proceed to completion in the absence of that person.

    A Student Liaison Officer may be able to attend the hearing with you as a support person.

  • How will I learn about the outcome of the hearing?

    Following a hearing, the Appointed Officer (AO) and Student Misconduct Committee (SMC) will:

    • dismiss the allegation if satisfied that the allegation is either:
      • not substantiated on the balance of probabilities
      • so trivial as not to warrant imposing a Penalty
      • make a finding that the allegation is substantiated on the balance of probabilities and, if appropriate, impose a penalty.

    You will receive a report that sets out the findings of fact; a summary of the evidence on which those findings of fact are based; any finding of misconduct; if applicable, any penalty to be imposed; and a short statement of reasons.

    A decision, including the penalty, if any, will take effect immediately from the date which the report is sent to you, subject to the resolution of any appeal.

  • What possible penalties are there if misconduct is found?

    There are three categories of possible penalties depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct.

    You can read the full list of possible penalties in the Student Misconduct Rule.

  • What is taken into consideration when a penalty is decided?

    A penalty must be proportional to the type and circumstances of the misconduct. When making the decision about what penalty applies, the following is taken into consideration:

    • the nature, severity and impact of the misconduct
    • any previous finding of misconduct against the respondent student
    • the personal circumstances or level of experience of the respondent student
    • the objective of deterring future occurrences of misconduct
    • the objective of protecting the University community and the good governance and reputation of the University
    • any University policies, conventions or guidelines relating to standards of behaviour (including academic honesty and integrity) expected of students.
  • How is my appeal application assessed?

    Once you submit your appeal application it will go directly to the Secretary of the Appeals Committee for assessment. If there are elements of your appeal application missing, you will be contacted by the Secretary to the Appeals Committee.

    Once the Secretary to the Appeals Committee has reviewed your appeal application, it will then be sent to the Appeals Committee for a final decision. The outcome of your appeal application will be sent to you via email by the Secretary to the Appeals Committee.

  • Can I appeal the Appeals Committee's decision?

    Unfortunately, there is no further avenue within the University to appeal the Appeals Committee's decision. The decision of the Appeals Committee takes effect immediately from the date on which the Secretary to the Appeals Committee sends the outcome of your appeal application to you.

  • What support is available to me?

    Within the University, there are multiple people who can help and support you throughout the appeals process.

    The Academic Advice & Appeals Student Liaison Officers are able to advise you about making your strongest appeals application and will be able to answer any questions you have in regards to the process.

    The Student Counsellors will be able to help you talk through emotional issues related to your appeals, studies or other parts of your life. They are a team of friendly, qualified and approachable social workers and psychologist.

    The Secretary to the Appeals Committee is able to explain the Student Misconduct Rule 2020. The Secretary to the Appeals Committee can also help explain decisions that have been made and why.

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