Phases of disciplinary proceedings
Disciplinary proceedings can normally be divided into three more or less separate phases: The reporting phase, the investigation phase and the decision phase.
The disciplinary rules cover the conduct of all students at the university, insofar as the conduct takes place under the auspices of the university, in situations that are comparable to this, or in situations where the student is or should be aware that conduct may influence the functioning of the university.
If there is a suspicion that a student's conduct is contrary to the disciplinary rules, the behaviour must be reported to the manager responsible for the premises, the activity or the programme concerned. The head of studies is responsible for taking action if the behaviour of a student conflicts with the disciplinary rules. However, the responsibility may be delegated to another person, such as the chair of the study board.
Upon receiving a report, the relevant manager must conduct preliminary inquiries into the issue by obtaining the necessary documentation and by call the student in for a personal interview to clarify the issue. The student is entitled to be accompanied by an observer. If such an interview is not possible, communication takes place in writing instead.
If the manager finds the suspicion is strengthened, the matter is reported to the Rector if and only if the behaviour is so serious that it is found that it should result in expulsion from the university (see guidelines below, including on temporary expulsion). In all other cases, the relevant manager decides the matter. A report must comply with certain procedural requirements regarding the identification of the student reported and documentation of the matter; the report template must be used for this.
The case must be settled in accordance with administrative rules, including in particular the requirements for consultation of the parties involved, basis for the decision and guidelines for appeal. If it is found that the student has violated the disciplinary rules, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:
- A written warning on repeated violations of the rules.
- Expulsion from an exam if the exam rules are found to have been violated, which will entail that the student is registered as "not assessed" for the exam concerned.
- If the behaviour constitutes a serious or repeated violation of the disciplinary rules, the Rector may expel the student from the university. An expulsion may be temporary or permanent, and entails that the student is excluded from all activities at the university during the period of expulsion, including all participation in classes and exams. In the case of a temporary expulsion, the student will be registered as being on leave during the expulsion period.
Particularly where plagiarism is involved, the matter is generally assessed based on the following guidelines:
- Gross plagiarism: If more than 5 percent of an exam paper is an exact copy or if more than 50 percent of an exam paper contains other forms of plagiarism, the student will normally be expelled from the university
- Plagiarism: If less than 5 percent of an exam paper is an exact copy or if 5-50 percent of an exam paper contains other forms of plagiarism, the student will normally be expelled from the exam
- Simple plagiarism: If less than 5 percent of an exam paper contains forms of plagiarism other than an exact copy, the student is usually given a warning
- Aggravating or mitigating circumstances may affect the assessment of the above. Cases of repeated plagiarism are usually considered as constituting gross plagiarism
In addition to the above sanctions, other special measures and/or sanctions may be imposed, including postponing the exam if exam cheating is suspected, if the matter cannot be clarified before the time of the examination.
Appeal and background
5.1. Decisions to impose sanctions on a student may be appealed by the student. The decision may be appealed to the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education if the complaint concerns legal issues. This means that the agency will only determine whether a case has been considered in accordance with applicable law, including general principles of administrative law. The agency thus cannot determine academic issues or assessments in a case unless these are in contravention of the legal framework.
This decision may be appealed to the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education if the complaint concerns legal issues. Legal issues can be, for example, ineligibility, inadequate consultation, inadequate complaint guidelines or other inconsistencies in terms of legislation or administrative law. The appeal must be written and must be sent to email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are not required to file an appeal within any given deadline. If the decision is upheld, the university issues a statement which you have the opportunity to comment on within a period of at least one week. The appeal is then sent to the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, Legal Affairs along with the university’s statement and any comments you may have.
Background and responsibility
These guidelines were drawn up in accordance with section 22 (2) of the rules on disciplinary measures for students at Aalborg University (disciplinary rules).
These guidelines are intended to elaborate on and complete the rules for those using the rules (relevant managers) as well as students at Aalborg University. A summary is provided by way of introduction.
These guidelines were established in accordance with section 22 (2) of Aalborg University’s disciplinary rules; the first version of the guidelines were established on 16 February 2009.
These guidelines hereby replace the previous version thereof:
Aalborg University, 21 October 2019
Per Michael Johansen / Lone Vestergaard
Rector Head of Study Service
The guidelines are set by the Rector, but the responsibility for maintaining the guidelines rests with the Study Service.
In the event of any questions about the guidelines, please contact Educational Law and Secretariat at Study Service at: email@example.com