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Other disciplinary case - PI021710
Public interest case February 2017 | Not Justified
A student complained to us after the University of Manchester upheld its decision to expel him for his behaviour towards another student.
The student complained that in making its decision the University acted unethically, did not take into account his mental illness, and that the original disciplinary meeting was too short to have looked at the case properly. As part of his appeal he claimed that he had been refused an adjournment to allow him to gather medical evidence.
We looked at the minutes of the disciplinary panel and Appeal Board meetings. These showed that the University had given full consideration to the information the student had provided at each stage. The University had provided the student with details of the charge against him and the evidence it would consider ahead of the hearing. It had given him the opportunity to submit a written statement and asked if he objected to the membership of the disciplinary panel. We were satisfied that the University acted fairly.
There was no evidence that the student had sought an adjournment of the first meeting. We noted that such an adjournment would in any case have been at the discretion of the panel. At appeal stage the University gave the student significant extra time to obtain statements about his mental health.
The Appeal Board noted that the student had not sought help with his mental health until the appeal stage and that no diagnosis had been made. It concluded that his behaviour was part of a longstanding pattern and could not be exonerated. It upheld the decision to expel him.
We were satisfied that the University had run a fair process within its regulations and had set a reasonable and appropriate penalty for a serious offence. We decided the complaint was Not Justified.