In-Depth Information About Disciplinary Measures
As a student at the University of Skövde (henceforth referred to as the University), you are obliged to follow laws and ordinances as well as the rules in force at the University.
According to the Higher Education Ordinance, Section 1 of Chapter 10, disciplinary measures may be invoked against students who
1. use prohibited aids or other methods to attempt to deceive during examinations or other forms of assessment of study performance,
2. disrupt or obstruct teaching, tests or other activities within the framework of courses and study programmes at the higher education institution,
3. disrupt activities in the library of the higher education institution or other separate establishments at the institution, or
4. subject another student or member of the staff of the higher education institution to harassment or sexual harassment of the kind laid down in Section 4 of Chapter 1 of the Discrimination Act (2008:567). (SFS 2008:944)
Investigation and Informal Hearing
If you are suspected of having cheated, disturbed or obstructed teaching sessions or examinations, or of having harassed someone, there will be an investigation and you will be called to an informal hearing with, for example, the Examination Officer responsible for the sit-down exam or, if the matter concerns a degree project or another kind of assignment submitted for grading, the Head of the Department Division and the examiner.
If suspicions of a violation of the rules remain after this informal hearing and the subsequent investigation, for example, that you have cheated at an exam, you will be informed that the Vice-Chancellor will be notified.
Notification to the Vice-Chancellor
All employees at the University may notify the Vice-Chancellor; however, this is usually done by the Head of the Department Division or the Examination Officer at the University.
Upon receiving such a notification, the Vice-Chancellor shall arrange for the matter to be closely investigated. You are allowed to read the notification and may comment on the suspected offence. After that, the Vice-Chancellor decides whether the matter shall be dismissed without further action, whether a warning shall be issued or whether the matter shall be referred for a formal hearing by the Disciplinary Board.
If the Vice-Chancellor decides to dismiss the matter without further action or to issue a warning, the decision will be sent to you by mail and email. If the matter is referred to the Disciplinary Board, you will be summoned to a formal hearing.
The Disciplinary Board
The Disciplinary Board consists of the Vice-Chancellor as chair, a legally qualified member who holds or has held tenure as a judge, a representative of the teaching staff and two student representatives.
Other participants at the hearing are the secretary of the board and the employee(s) who reported the matter, usually someone from the department in question or the Examination Officer. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to give your view on the matter and answer questions from the members of the Disciplinary Board.
After the hearing, the members of the Disciplinary Board meet on their own to take their decision on the matter. Irrespective of what the board decides, you will be informed about the decision on the same day, normally via email. The written minutes will be sent to you about a week later.
The Decision of the Disciplinary Board
The Disciplinary Board may decide to dismiss the matter without further action, issue a warning or suspend you for a restricted time period, not exceeding six months.
An issued warning does not involve any restrictions in regard to your studies. Nevertheless, it is a disciplinary measure indicating that you have broken the rules although the offence is not sufficiently serious to render a suspension. On the other hand, if the board decides on a suspension, you are not permitted to participate in instruction, tests or other activities within the framework of the courses and study programmes at the University while you are suspended; moreover, you are not allowed access to the University premises or other places where there are activities run by the University. Exceptions may normally be made for appointments at the Student Union Office or the Student Health Service and meetings with a student counsellor. During the suspension, you will not have access to the student computer network or other University systems. The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) will also be notified.
Suspension due to Cheating
What happens to the exam if you are suspended? The Disciplinary Board only tries the question of whether you are guilty of something prohibited and is strictly forbidden to decide or even express an opinion on whether your study performance should be assessed or not.
In the event that the Disciplinary Board decides to suspend you, the exam is usually considered invalid. However, it is the examiner of the course in question who finally decides whether an exam should be declared invalid or whether it should be assessed and graded. Theoretically, you might thus be suspended for having brought notes to an exam, i.e. used forbidden aids, but your exam might still be assessed and graded if the examiner finds that your notes were of no help to you.
Appeal against a Decision
According to the Higher Education Ordinance, Section 3 of Chapter 12, a decision by the Disciplinary Board to warn or suspend a student may be appealed to a public administrative court. Such an appeal should be completed in writing, and you need to specify what decision is being appealed and how you would like to change the decision. This letter of appeal should be presented to the University within three weeks of receipt of the decision (The Administrative Procedure Act).
In order to check that home assignments, project work reports and degree project reports, as well as similar texts submitted for grading, do not include plagiarized material from texts written by others without a reference to the source, teachers at the University use Urkund, an automatic system comparing submitted text to texts on the Internet, material from publishers and previously submitted student texts. Information about how to handle references, i.e. rules on how to use outside sources and refer to them, as well as the fact that Urkund will be used to check submitted texts, should be included in both oral and written information to students at the start of degree project courses and other courses where reports of various kinds are to be submitted for grading.
There is more information on how the Urkund system works at www.urkund.se.
Decisions on disciplinary matters taken by the Vice-Chancellor or the Disciplinary Board are not included in course certificates, degree certificates or official transcripts from Ladok (the national administrative system for university grades); decisions are just archived in the official register of the University. However, such decisions are public documents so anyone can demand a copy from the University Registrar.