All our students should be able to live, learn and research in a peaceful and supportive environment.
The University has a duty of care to protect its community and promote wellbeing, equality and fairness. There are procedures in place to respond to reports of student conduct that falls short of our expectations.
Reporting student misconduct
Using the Report + Support tool, you can report an incident, choosing either to include your details (allowing us to contact you to offer support and discuss your options), or to report anonymously. You can complete the reporting form yourself, or ask a trusted person to support you to do so.
Misconduct refers to actions which cause, or may cause, injury, harm or damage to people, property, or the reputation of the University. Regulation 7: Student discipline contains a more detailed definition of disciplinary offences, precautionary measures, the disciplinary process, investigation procedure, and the appeals process.
We understand that some people may wish to share information with us without sharing their identity, and there are various reasons someone may wish to make a report anonymously. We typically cannot investigate reports that have been made anonymously, but we use the information shared to inform our understanding of current issues and shape future work, such as campaigns and resourcing.
In exceptional cases, we may act on an anonymous report, as detailed in the Report+Support Duty of Care Guidance.
An Investigating Officer will investigate as they deem appropriate, talking with the reported and reporting students, witnesses if appropriate, and gather any relevant evidence, before presenting a case to a Disciplinary Manager who will decide if there is a case to answer.
If deemed appropriate, we may put precautionary measures in place during the investigation to safeguard the reporting person or anyone else involved.
Where there is an investigation, you will be asked to provide any evidence that may help us to get a clear understanding of what has happened. The University does not have the power to “demand” evidence, so it is up to you what you are comfortable sharing. It is important to be aware that evidence that is submitted as part of an investigation will be shared with the reported party, as they have the right to see what we are basing our findings on, and to respond to it.
The evidence that may be relevant varies from case to case, but may include personal accounts of incidents, CCTV or Body Worn Video Footage, screenshots of conversations, photographs, and so on. We do not take character references into account. During an investigation, an Investigating Officer will be able to talk to both reporting and reported parties about what might be relevant.
The University has to make findings on the “balance of probabilities”, meaning that we only apply sanctions where the evidence shows that something is more likely to have happened than not. The “burden of proof” is on the University, meaning that it is up to evidence that misconduct has occurred, rather than a reported student having to prove that it hasn’t.
Depending on the seriousness of the behaviour, a case may be heard by a Disciplinary Manager at Disciplinary Meeting, or at a Disciplinary Panel Hearing. Disciplinary Managers and Disciplinary Panels have been given authority to apply sanctions where we are satisfied that the evidence shows that misconduct has occurred.
It is very important to be clear that our investigations are not about deciding whether we “believe” a reporting student. We are only making decisions about whether there is substantial evidence for a sanction to be appropriate.
When you submit a report on Report + Support, the next step is for a member of staff from the Conduct and Respect team to reach out to discuss your options and answer any questions. If you want to talk about reporting Sexual Misconduct, you can refer yourself to a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO).
If you wish to report a member of staff you should email firstname.lastname@example.org