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Disciplinary procedures (academic) - CS041902

An international student on a taught postgraduate course admitted to using unauthorised notes in an exam. In mitigation, they said they had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression by a UK doctor and provided evidence from a practitioner in traditional medicine.

The provider awarded the student a mark of zero for the exam. The student appealed, saying that they did not understand the regulations relating to exams. During the appeal, the student admitted that they had not in fact been diagnosed with anxiety and depression by a UK doctor and that the evidence from the practitioner in traditional medicine was forged. The provider dismissed the appeal and increased the penalty, withdrawing the student without an award.

The student complained to us.

We decided that the complaint was Not Justified. The provider had followed its procedures and the student was given a fair opportunity to defend themself. The exam regulations were clear and well-publicised, and the student had sat exams under similar conditions during their previous studies in the UK. The appeal committee had the power to increase the penalty, and it was reasonable to do so because the student had falsified evidence. That was an aggravating factor which made the original offence more serious.