Fri, 31 Mar 2023
Student Misconduct Policy
This policy outlines Metavision Institute’s transparent and fair approach to addressing student misconduct. The aim of the policy is to ensure that Metavision Institute’s higher education operations uphold the wellbeing and safety of students and staff in on-campus and online learning environments, and protects students and staff from any behaviour that breaches the Student Code of Conduct and Shared Responsibility and other relevant policies.
This Policy applies to all Metavision Institute’s staff and higher education students.
Misconduct may occur in formal and informal interactions on-campus and online and can include:
- Behaving dishonestly,
- Bullying, harassing or interfering with other students or staff,
- Disrupting other students’ learning,
- Failing to comply with legal or policy requirements,
- Mistreating or destroying Metavision Institute’s property, or the property of other students or staff,
- Fraudulent alteration or destruction of Metavision Institute’s documents and records, or other corrupt actions,
- Misconduct while on placement in a Host Organisation,
- Engaging in libellous or defamatory behaviour, and/or
- Other inappropriate actions.
Relevant TEQSA Threshold Standards
This policy aligns with Sections 2: Learning Environment, 5.2: Academic and Research Integrity, and 6: Governance and Accountability, and 7.2 Information for Prospective and Current Students in the Higher Education Standards Framework 2015.
- Metavision Institute respects the rights of higher education students to study and interact with staff and peers in a safe and respectful learning environment.
- All staff, contractors and students respect the diversity of opinions and experiences expressed in Metavision Institute’s learning environment and promote academic freedom.
- All staff, contractors and students are to recognise the responsibilities inherent in freedom of speech and refrain from offensive language and behaviour.
- Metavision Institute expects higher education students to take responsibility for their own behaviour and ensure that face-to-face and online interactions with fellow students, staff, contractors, guest lecturers and Host Organisations providing placements are courteous and fair.
- Students are expected to respect Metavision Institute’s campus facilities, library, teaching resources, property and equipment.
- Metavision Institute’s staff members and contractors observe the principles of procedural fairness, confidentiality and privacy in responding to allegations of student misconduct.
- Students are presumed to be innocent unless they admit to misconduct, or evidence is found or observed of misconduct. Students are given the opportunity to respond to allegations of misconduct both in writing and in person and are entitled to bring a support person or advocate (for example, Student Care and Welfare Services) to meetings.
- When an allegation of misconduct is upheld by the Governance Board following investigation, the decision and penalty will be confidentially recorded in the student’s records and the Student Register.
- Metavision Institute may report upheld cases of serious misconduct that constitute a crime to the New South Wales Police.
1. Reporting allegations of misconduct
Staff, contractors, Host Organisations or students are to report alleged misconduct, with supporting evidence, in writing to the Academic Director.
The Academic Director responds in writing to acknowledge receipt of the notification and outlines the process for investigating the allegation within two business days
2. Notifying the respondent
A student who is the subject of an allegation of misconduct (the respondent) will be notified by email and registered mail and will be required to provide a written response within five working days of receiving the notification.
Failure by the student to provide a written response will not prevent the investigation from proceeding.
3. Investigating allegations of misconduct
The Academic Director or nominated delegate with no conflict of interest conducts a confidential investigation of the alleged misconduct.
This investigation is to include a meeting with the complainant, interviews with any witnesses to the alleged misconduct, and consideration of the written response from the respondent.
3.1 Insufficient evidence
The investigator may consider that there is insufficient evidence to proceed. In this case, the investigator is to submit a written report to the Governance Board detailing the investigation of the alleged misconduct, including persons interviewed, the respondent’s written response, and a recommendation to not uphold the allegation on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
The Governance Board discusses and makes a decision on the investigator’s recommendation.
The Chair of the Governance Board notifies the respondent and complainant in writing of the decision within five working days.
3.2 Evidence for misconduct
When the investigator considers there is sufficient evidence of misconduct to proceed, a written report is submitted to the Academic Director.
The Academic Director convenes and chairs a panel consisting of two other staff or governance committee members, ensuring there is gender balance and no conflict of interest.
3.3 Misconduct hearing
The Academic Director invites the respondent in writing by mail and registered mail to attend a misconduct hearing with the panel, with sufficient notice to prepare. The respondent is invited to bring a support person to the hearing.
The panel considers the evidence, including the notification of alleged misconduct, the investigator’s report, the student’s written response and address to the panel, and makes a written recommendation to the Governance Board, which is accompanied by the minutes of the misconduct hearing and the documents considered by the panel.
3.4 Governance Board decision
The Governance Board considers the recommendation of the panel and the documentation and decides on an appropriate penalty.
The Governance Board may consider previous misconduct by the student when imposing a penalty when the current misconduct is similar in nature, and there is a record that the student was previously provided with a formal warning or penalty.
Penalties for upheld misconduct are as follows:
- Formal warning,
- Referral to student support services,
- Probation period, during which time the student will be required to attend regular meetings with the Academic Director,
- Restitution of property or goods, if appropriate,
- Requirement to repay costs associated with damage to Metavision Institute’s property,
- Exclusion from the course with an option to re-enrol in the future,
- Expulsion from Metavision Institute, and/or
- Report of a crime to the NSW Police.
5. Notification to the respondent and complainant
The Chair of the Governance Board will notify the respondent in writing by email and registered mail of the decision within five working days.
The Chair of the Governance Board will notify the original complainant of the outcome of the investigation in writing by email and registered mail.
The notifications are to include the right to appeal the Governance Board’s decision.
Students may appeal the decision of the Governance Board within 10 business days of receiving
the notification. Appeals will not be accepted after this period.
Students are to inform the Chair of the Governance Board in writing of the appeal, with grounds
for appeal as follows:
- Procedural grounds: This policy and/or the principles of procedural fairness were clearly not followed at one or more stages of the process.
- Evidential grounds: There is new evidence, which is to be supplied with the appeal.
- Penalty is unwarranted: The misconduct does not warrant the penalty applied.
6.2 External review
An independent external reviewer with experience in complaints management is appointed by Metavision Institute to conduct a review of all relevant records of the investigation, the student’s written response, minutes of the misconduct hearing, and the Governance Board decision as recorded in the minutes.
The external reviewer is to submit a report to the Chair of the Governance Board within 30 working days with a recommendation to uphold or reject the appeal, or to apply a lesser penalty, with a detailed rationale for the recommendation.
Metavision Institute will implement the decision of the reviewer and notify the appellant and complainant in writing of the actions to be taken, by email and registered mail, within five business days of receiving the external reviewer’s report.
The Academic Director is responsible for:
- Implementing, inducting new staff and training ongoing staff in this policy,
- Ensuring that students are informed of this policy in Orientation, and via the website and the Student Handbook,
- Conducting or delegating investigations of alleged misconduct,
- Providing guidance to staff members and reviewing evidence;
- Reporting on allegations of misconduct to the Governance Board;
- Implementing decisions on misconduct recommended by external reviewers and approved by the Governance Board; and
- Providing bi-annual updates to the Academic Board and Governance Board in relation to student misconduct, with any recommendations for policy review.
The Governance Board is responsible for:
- Reviewing recommendations and reports on allegations of misconduct;
- Making determinations on allegations of misconduct based on evidence and applying penalties as outlined in this policy; and
- Approving and reviewing this policy.
All students are responsible for acting respectfully, ethically and legally in line with the Student Code of Conduct and Shared Responsibility, and the values of Metavision Institute.