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Academic misconduct - CS022307

A final-year undergraduate student was suspected of plagiarism in an essay and asked to attend a disciplinary panel hearing.

The student admitted plagiarism during the hearing. They said that they had recently experienced mental health difficulties and a bereavement, which had made it hard for them to properly engage with their studies. The panel decided to apply a less serious penalty than it would usually apply in such circumstances, in view of the student’s mitigation. The student’s mark in the affected assessment was reduced by 25% instead of by 50%.

The student appealed. The provider concluded that there were no procedural errors in its handling of the investigation and no new evidence that would call into question its original decision.

The student complained to us that the penalty imposed was unfair in view of the difficult circumstances they had faced.

We did not uphold the student’s complaint (we found it “Not Justified”). We decided that the provider’s final decision was reasonable because there was evidence that it had properly considered the student’s difficult personal circumstances when applying a lesser penalty, and that the penalty applied was in line with its procedures.