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Academic Integrity Breach Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure describes the way in which the University manages academic integrity breaches. The Procedure supports the Academic Integrity Policy and should be read alongside that Policy.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to all applicants seeking admission to the University and to students (including graduands) enrolled in coursework awards, non-award courses, units of study, preparatory or other programs, and participants in micro-credentials offerings (subsequently referred to as students within this Procedure).

(3) This Procedure applies to all academic and professional staff engaged in learning, teaching, and research, including those responsible for the design, approval, delivery, and administration of, coursework awards, non-award courses, units of study, preparatory or other programs and offerings (subsequently referred to as staff within this Procedure).

(4) It does not apply to graduates of Macquarie University or its past students. For alleged academic integrity breaches by previous Macquarie University students refer to Student Discipline Procedure.

(5) It does not apply to breaches of academic integrity by students engaged in research activities. For allegations of academic integrity breaches by students engaged in research activities refer to the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) Refer to the Academic Integrity Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Reporting Breaches of Academic Integrity

(7) The University expects anyone who reasonably believes that a student has breached the Academic Integrity Policy to notify the University. Reports of breaches should be submitted in writing through the Feedback, Complaints and Misconduct Reporting online form.

Triage of Reported Breach

(8) An Academic Integrity Officer will review the report and may decide to:

  1. dismiss the report if there is not enough evidence to substantiate a finding of a breach,
  2. investigate the report and either:
    1. determine that Poor Academic Practice has occurred and take action as per clause 9;
    2. determine that a breach has occurred and apply a level one outcome(s) as per clause 27;
    3. escalate the report to the Faculty Integrity Committee or the Macquarie University College (The College) Integrity Committee, or
    4. escalate the report to the Registrar for management under the Student Discipline Rules and Student Discipline Procedure.

Poor Academic Practice

(9) On receiving a report, an Academic Integrity Officer may determine that the student has engaged in poor academic practice but has not committed a breach, in which case they will take one or more of the following actions:  

  1. warn the student that repetition of the same behaviour may constitute a breach;
  2. provide educative counselling to the student, or refer the student to educative counselling;
  3. direct the student to complete or repeat the Academic Integrity Module, and/or undertake another learning activity; and/or
  4. direct the student to re-submit the same or an alternative assessment item to be marked, in consultation with the unit convenor,

(10) The Academic Integrity Officer will communicate these actions to relevant staff for action as required.

Academic Integrity Breach

(11) If the Academic Integrity Officer determines there is sufficient evidence of a breach, they will send the student a notice that:

  1. provides enough information about the report to enable the student to respond,
  2. invites the student to respond to the report either by providing a written response and/or attending a meeting to discuss the concerns raised,
  3. includes all evidence available from the report, and
  4. includes an electronic copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure or the address of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure on the University website.

(12) The University will provide the student with five (5) business days to respond to the notice. Students may request an extension of time to respond; reasonable requests should be accepted.

(13) A student may bring a support person to the meeting. The role of a support person is to provide emotional support and not to present the student’s case.

(14) If the student does not respond to the allegation, a decision may be made in their absence.

(15) The Academic Integrity Officer will review all available evidence and may determine that:

  1. no breach has occurred,
  2. poor academic practice has occurred,
  3. a breach has occurred and a level one outcome or outcomes  will be applied, or
  4. a breach has occurred and a more serious level 2 outcome or outcomes is appropriate. The Academic Integrity Officer will then escalate the matter to the Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee, or the Registrar as appropriate.

(16) If the Academic Integrity Officer determines that a breach has occurred, they will provide a written notice to the student, via their student email, with a copy to the Unit Convenor which will include:

  1. the reasons for the decision and findings of fact;
  2. a summary of evidence on which the facts are based;
  3. any findings of a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy;
  4. any outcome or outcomes that have been applied;
  5. notification that the imposition of an outcome as a result of a breach of academic integrity requirements may impact on the student’s academic progression;
  6. the student’s right of appeal; and
  7. an electronic copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure or the address of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure on the University website.

Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee

(17) If a Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee is to be convened, the Deputy Dean, Education and Employability, or Associate Director, Macquarie University College, or nominee will establish this Committee consisting of:

  1. the Deputy Dean, Education and Employability, or Associate Director, Macquarie University College, or nominee as Chair,
  2. one member of academic staff with academic integrity responsibilities, and
  3. one nominee determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.

(18) Meetings of a Faculty Integrity Committee or College Integrity Committee may be held in person, or via video.

(19) The Deputy Dean, Education and Employability, or Associate Director, Macquarie University College, or nominee will write to the student at least five (5) business days before the Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee is scheduled. The letter will:

  1. provide enough information about the alleged academic integrity breach to enable the student to respond,
  2. invite the student to respond in writing, or attend the Committee meeting, or both,
  3. include all evidence available from the reported breach, and
  4. include an electronic copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure or the address of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure on the University website.

(20) A student may bring a support person to the meeting. The role of a support person is to provide emotional support, and not to present the student’s case.

(21) If the student does not attend the meeting or respond in writing, a decision may be made in their absence. However, the Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee can adjourn or postpone the meeting date, if they consider it reasonable in the circumstances.

(22) The Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee may determine that:

  1. no breach has occurred,
  2. poor academic practice has occurred,
  3. a breach has occurred, and a level one outcome or outcomes will be applied, or
  4. a breach has occurred and a more serious level 2 outcome or outcomes is appropriate. The Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee will then escalate the matter to the Registrar for management under the Student Discipline Rules and the Student Discipline Procedure.

(23) The Deputy Dean, Education and Employability, or Associate Director, Macquarie University College, or nominee  will inform the student in writing of the outcome within ten (10) business days of the Committee decision.

(24) The letter will be sent to the student via their student email with a copy to the Unit Convenor and the relevant Academic Integrity Officer and include:

  1. the reasons for the decision and findings of fact,
  2. a summary of evidence on which the facts are based,
  3. any findings of a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy,
  4. any outcome or outcomes that have been applied,
  5. notification that the imposition of an outcome as a result of a breach of academic integrity requirements may impact on the student’s academic progression,
  6. the student’s right of appeal, and
  7. an electronic copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure or the address of the Academic Integrity Policy and this Procedure on the University website.

(25) For international students who are suspended by the Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee, the letter will also include advice that:

  1. the suspension will be reported to the Australian Government which may result in the cancellation of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and affect their student visa status,
  2. if they submit an appeal, their CoE will be maintained until the appeal is finalised, unless extenuating circumstances apply.

Outcomes

(26) Two levels of outcomes can be applied when a student has been found to have breached the Academic Integrity Policy:

  1. level one outcomes may be applied by an Academic Integrity Officer, or Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee, and
  2. level two outcomes may be applied by a Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee.

(27) Level one outcomes are:

  1. a warning;
  2. a direction that the student has educative counselling from a specific person or service;
  3. a direction that the student complete or repeat the Academic Integrity Module, and/or undertake another learning activity;
  4. allow a corrected version of the assessment item to be submitted;
  5. allow a corrected version of the assessment item to be submitted, with a maximum grade for the assessment item being a Pass (50%);
  6. reduction of the student’s mark for the assessment item; and
  7. zero marks in the assessment item.

(28) Level two outcomes are:

  1. a direction to complete or recomplete the Academic Integrity module,
  2. a direction that the student complete or repeat the Academic Integrity Module, and/or undertake another learning activity,
  3. failure in the Unit with a mark of zero (0) (FL Grade),
  4. exclusion from the course, for a period not exceeding two (2) years.

(29) One or more outcomes may be applied by an Academic Integrity Officer, or Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee.

(30) A poor academic practice or outcome decision must be proportionate to the type and circumstance of the breach. In deciding this, an Academic Integrity Officer, or Faculty Integrity Committee or The College Integrity Committee must take into account:

  1. the nature, severity and impact of the breach,
  2. the effect that the outcome or outcomes will have,
  3. any previous breaches the student has engaged in, and
  4. the student’s personal circumstances and level of experience.

(31) The Academic Integrity Breach Outcomes Matrix provides advice to those responsible for determining breaches to assist in achieving a greater level of consistency in outcomes resulting from academic integrity breaches.

Appeals

(32) A student may appeal a University decision made under this Procedure in accordance with the Academic Appeals Policy and Academic Appeals Procedure.

Record Keeping

(33) The University will store information about a reported breach and any actions taken including any outcomes in a central database. The information will be stored in accordance with the Records and Information Management Policy.

(34) The student's academic transcript will not record that the student has engaged in breaching the Academic Integrity Policy but may show outcome or outcomes such as a failure in the Unit (FL Grade), and/or exclusion.

Academic Integrity Reporting

(35) Responsibilities for reporting are prescribed in the Academic Integrity Policy.

(36) An annual Academic Integrity Breach Report will be prepared by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.

(37) The Report will include:

  1. analysis of trends, instances and causes of academic integrity breaches,
  2. commentary on the effective management and mitigation of identified academic integrity breaches,
  3. trends in academic integrity breaches (covering at least three (3) years),
  4. actions taken with reference to:
    1. curriculum and curriculum design including unit offerings, course of study and faculties, and
    2. student cohorts including entry pathway, location of study (including any third-party delivery sites), mode of study (internal or online), country of origin, status of actions, outcomes and time taken.

Resources

(38) Additional resources for staff and students are listed under the associated information section of this Procedure, including the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure Flowchart.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(39) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(40) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the Academic Integrity Policy.