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Student discussing his options with Advocacy staff member

Academic integrity breaches

If you have received an academic integrity allegation and would like support, please contact our Advocacy team for a free appointment. Our experienced team can help you through the process.

If you have received an academic integrity allegation, our experienced Advocacy team are here to help.

Please read carefully: If you have received an academic integrity allegation, or your assessment has just been referred to the Academic Integrity Committee, please read this page for information about the process.
If you have if you have already received an academic integrity allegation outcome (a hearing has been held and you have received the Outcome Letter) and would support lodging an appeal, please click here to access our Appeal of an Academic Integrity Outcome page. if you are not sure which information is relevant for you, please contact us and we can support you.

What is a breach of academic integrity?
  • Deakin University defines academic integrity as involving “using, generating and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner” (Academic Board Regulations, 1.4).
  • All Deakin students have a responsibility to act with academic integrity and to encourage other students to also act with academic integrity (Student Academic Integrity Policy). A breach of academic integrity happens when these responsibilities are not met.
  • Examples of breaches include: Plagiarism, contract cheating, collusion, re-use of previously submitted work, impersonation, not complying with the University’s directions regarding an assessment, fraud, and promoting ways to breach academic integrity.
My unit chair says they think I may have breached academic integrity. They have referred my assessment task to a faculty committee. What happens now?
  • The Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee in your faculty will look at the evidence the unit chair has provided and will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to go ahead with an allegation of academic integrity breach.
  • If the Chair of the Committee decides to make an allegation, you’ll receive an email from the Committee with all of the details and evidence which you can then respond to.
  • Once the unit chair has referred their concern to the Committee, the unit chair cannot reply to any questions you have about the concern/possible allegation. However, you can still contact your unit chair about other coursework and other assessment tasks as needed.
  • Details about what happens after a unit chair refers an assessment task to a faculty committee can be found in the Student Academic Integrity Procedure.
  • You may have a lot of questions and concerns at this time. The DUSA Advocates are here to support you and we can also refer you to other relevant services. Please contact us for support and more information. You can contact us now and do not need to wait until you have received an academic integrity allegation.
I have received a letter alleging an academic integrity breach, what should I do?
  • Read the allegation letter carefully.
  • Consider contacting a DUSA Advocate for support. We can arrange an appointment with an Advocate in person, via Zoom, telephone or email. Our experienced team can support you through the entire process.
  • You have an opportunity to respond to the allegation but you must do this within certain timeframes. You can respond to the allegation and make your case either by written submission, attending a hearing, or both.
  • You will need to complete and submit a reply form. The date you need to submit your reply form and your Written Submission will be in the allegation letter. The letter will also provide an indication of your hearing date.
What happens if I don't respond to the allegation letter?
  • A faculty Academic Integrity Sub-committee will have a hearing in your absence using all the evidence it has gathered and will decide whether a breach of academic integrity has occurred and if so, they will then decide the outcome.
What should I include in my written submission?
Please click here to access our Written Submission Template for an Academic Integrity Breach.
Can a DUSA Advocate help me with my written submission?
  • Yes, DUSA Advocates can review your draft written submission and provide feedback before you submit it to the Committee. Please allow 1-2 working days for Advocates to provide feedback. Please contact us to arrange this.
What happens at the hearing?
Should I attend the hearing?
  • DUSA Advocates encourage students to attend hearings if possible, either in person, by phone or via video conference. Please contact us to arrange an Advocacy appointment and we can help prepare you for the hearing.
Can I take someone to the hearing with me?
  • You can take a support person to your hearing. This person can be anyone who is not a practicing lawyer.
    DUSA Advocates often accompany students to hearings. If you want an Advocate at your hearing, please contact us as soon as possible.
When will I know the outcome?
  • If you attend the hearing, it is likely you will be told the outcome at the end of your hearing.
  • When the sub-committee believe they have all the information they need to make a decision, they will ask you (and your Advocate) to leave the room whilst they deliberate.
  • You (and your Advocate) will then be invited back into the room and you will usually be informed of the outcome at this time. In some cases the subcommittee needs further time to deliberate or to gather further information before deciding the outcome. The sub-committee will email you an outcome letter within 5 working days of making a decision.
Will the University keep a record of the allegation?
  • The university will keep a record of the allegation and outcome on a central database. The allegation will not be recorded on your academic transcript.
What are the possible outcomes of an allegation of academic integrity breach?
  • The allegation will be either: not proven (and therefore dismissed) or proven.
  • If the allegation is proven, the subcommittee will decide an outcome.
  • The sub-committee uses a points system to decide the outcome. Points are added for the nature and seriousness of the conduct, the level of your experience as a student, any previous breaches of academic integrity, and intention to hide the breach of academic integrity. Different ranges of points result in different possible penalties.
  • Once the sub-committee has calculated the points, they may lessen the severity of the outcome if there are ‘compassionate or compelling circumstances’.
  • For details of the points system used to decide outcomes, see Schedule A: Outcomes for Student Breach of Academic Integrity.
Can I appeal the outcome?
How can DUSA advocates help?
  • DUSA Advocates can assist you to understand the allegation, the written submission and hearing process, and the range of possible outcomes.
  • DUSA Advocates can review your draft written submission and provide feedback.
  • An Advocate can accompany you to your hearing as your support person (if given sufficient notice).
  • Contact us today to arrange a Free Advocacy appointment.
Response to allegation of a breach of academic integrity

Not sure how to write your written submission? Don't worry, we can help.

What's a breach of Academic Integrity, you ask? Good question! Watch this video to find out.

The Hearing Process is the second and final step to responding to an allegation of Academic Integrity. Watch this video to learn more.

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