Statement by the Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University - Student Academic Misconduct

5 October 2012

The Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Business and Law, Chris Kelly, said today's story (5 October) in The Age demonstrated the vigilance of the faculty in detecting plagiarism by students. He said the penalties for individuals can be extensive.

"We feel this is imperative to maintain the integrity of our programs and degrees.

"We cannot comment on specifics as matters of academic misconduct are subject to confidentiality protocols between the student and the university.

"But, in the course of marking a group assignment, Business and Law staff within a single unit offered in Trimester 3 2011, identified inconsistencies and irregularities that prompted them to advise the Faculty's Student Academic Misconduct Committee to investigate possible academic misconduct amongst some of the submitted group assignments.

"These groups numbered approximately 100 individual students. The investigation concluded that there was sufficient evidence to advise 30 of the students that an allegation of academic misconduct was appropriate in the circumstances.

"Those 30 students were informed of the allegation in accordance with both the University's Regulations and its Student Academic Misconduct Procedure.

"The students were  advised about the misconduct process and directed to support services and other resources that were available to assist them during the process.

"The students were also informed that they were able to appear in person at those hearings together with a support person of their choosing, that they were able to provide a written submission to the Student Academic Misconduct Committee or both, in order to present their case to answer the allegation.

"Once the hearings were completed and all the evidence presented and evaluated, the committee, confirmed an appropriate penalty per the University's Student Academic Misconduct Procedure. Nine students were subsequently excluded.

"Students were advised of their right to appeal the decision to the University's Appeals Committee.

"None of the nine students appealed the decision.

"Deakin University actively investigates and deals with all student misconduct.

"To provide some context to the number of students involved in this incident, it should be noted that the Faculty of Business and Law currently has a student enrolment of approximately 14,500.

"Academic misconduct is a constant challenge which affects all universities globally.

"Deakin University provides ample study skills workshops to assist students to avoid plagiarism and other aspects of academic misconduct and to help them recognise their responsibilities as writers and researchers. This is reinforced in all Faculty unit outlines.

"As this incident has shown, Deakin University is fully committed to implementing exemplary academic integrity policies, regulations and procedures and to maintaining the highest academic standards."

News facts
  • Students engaging in academic misconduct will be caught
  • Penalties for students engaging in academic misconduct can be extensive
  • Academic misconduct is a constant challenge which affects all universities globally

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
03 9246 8221/0422 005 485

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5th October 2012