Student Misconduct

The CSU 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 sanctions which range from a warning to expulsion from the University.

As a CSU 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 includes conduct by which a student either:

    • causes, or threatens to cause, personal injury or harm of any kind to another person
    • sexually assaults or sexually harasses another member of the University community
    • engages, or threatens to engage, in any other non-consensual conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another member of the University community if a reasonable member of the University community would, in all the circumstances, consider the conduct to be an invasion of privacy, or indecent; or otherwise unacceptable conduct for a student to engage in in relation to another member of the University community
    • attacks, harasses, intimidates, stalks or bullies another person or threatens to attack, harass, intimidate, stalk or bully another person
    • causes, or threatens to cause, or behaves in a manner likely to cause, damage to, loss of, interference with or obstruction of the use of, property of the University or another person
    • breaches a law of a country in which the student is located for the purposes of a University activity which brings the University into disrepute
    • fails to comply with a University rule, policy or procedure
    • breaches terms of use for any University provided service or resource
    • disrupts the orderly conduct of a University activity
    • in the course of any dealing with the University, or with a member of staff of the University  or its representative, knowingly makes a dishonest, fraudulent or false statement or representation or engages in a dishonest or fraudulent activity (including but not limited to withholding personal information)
    • fails to comply with a reasonable direction of a member of staff or other person authorised by the University including to produce identification, leave a University precinct or not to enter, access or otherwise be present on or in a University precinct or a work placement facility
    • enters any place in the University that a student is not authorised to enter
    • engages in contract cheating, where a student pays to have someone else complete an assessment for them and passes the work off as their own.

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?

    In relation to an assessment, academic misconduct includes where the student either:

    • cheats
    • engages in plagiarism
    • colludes with another person
    • acts, or assists another person to act, dishonestly or unfairly in an examination
    • fails to comply with examination or assessment rules or directions, including possessing material in an examination venue contrary to the instructions to candidates for that examination, or a direct instruction from any invigilator of that examination
    • engages in other conduct with a view to gaining unfair or unjustified advantage
    • submits work that is not original according to the intent of the assessment.

    In relation to research, academic misconduct includes where the student commits Research Misconduct.

  • 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.

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 Sanction
      • make a finding that the allegation is substantiated on the balance of probabilities and, if appropriate, impose a sanction.

    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 sanction to be imposed; and a short statement of reasons.

    A decision, including the sanction, 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 sanctions (penalties) are there if misconduct is found?

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

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

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

    A sanction must be proportional to the type and circumstances of the misconduct. When making the decision about what sanction 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.

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