There are many reasons why you as a university or college student may find yourself facing disciplinary issues and whatever your own particular circumstances, this can prove an extraordinarily upsetting time, especially if the allegations you're facing are in any way unfair. All it takes is one false or unfair allegation of improper behaviour and suddenly you can find that your entire academic career, not to mention the employment you hoped to find as a result of your qualification, are left hanging in the balance.
If this has happened to you and you're facing disciplinary issues, it's important to remember that you have legal rights to appeal. So firstly, whatever you do, don't panic. Secondly, no matter what the specifics of your individual case, it is crucial that you prepare your defence meticulously.
Common reasons students face disciplinary allegations
Before we go any further, let's quickly examine the most common reasons you might be required to defend yourself and your alleged behaviour before a disciplinary panel.
The most common cause for disciplinary issues cited by universities is the rather generic offence of 'bad behaviour' on the part of students. This includes any behaviour that is deemed to have brought the educational institution into disrepute, such as disorderly behaviour on or off university premises or any kind of violent altercation with university staff, other students or indeed anyone else.
Secondly, you may also have fallen foul of disciplinary procedures if your attendance at lectures and seminars has been consistently poor without any acceptable reasons being given.
So, what are your rights?
First of all, you are innocent until proven guilty and you absolutely have the right to defend your good name against any allegations that have been made. All universities and colleges in the UK have procedures in place to deal with disciplinary issues if and when they arise. These procedures have been put in place specifically to ensure that students' legal rights to fair treatment are protected and respected.
In practice, what this means is that you as a student have the following legal rights:
- You must be fully informed of the details of the case that have been made against you, including all the specific details of the alleged misconduct. Furthermore, you must be allowed to examine all the evidence that has been gathered together to be used in support of the allegations made against you.
- You are entitled to defend yourself against any and all of these allegations, taking the time to gather all of your corroborating evidence and fully prepare your case.
- You also have the right to have present at your hearing an independent and 100% impartial decision-maker.
How Match Solicitors can help you clear your name and resume your studies
Here at Match Solicitors, we have a highly experienced team of higher education solicitors who have an unparalleled track record in making sure students defend themselves in a professional manner. Every year, we manage to help a great many students put their side of the story across, explaining extenuating circumstances or hitherto unknown but highly relevant factors that have enabled them to convince disciplinary panels that no further action needs to be taken.
Whatever the details of the particular allegations against you, Match Solicitors can support, guide and advise you through the entire disciplinary process and enable you to have a much greater chance of clearing your name and being allowed to resume your studies and ultimately follow your chosen career path. Whatever dispute you're facing, get in touch today and we can discuss your case in confidence and figure out your best possible defence.