Academic Advice, Falmouth University

 

 

In each of the sections below you will find information on academic advice and support specific to your University. You can view and download detailed PDF’s on each topic - this is handy if you want to save these documents to your files, should you need to revisit them at a later date or offline.

 

Academic Appeals

The information set out in the PDF below is general guidance for Falmouth University students. It should not be seen as a definitive statement of the University’s appeals policy and procedure.

 

It is worth starting by making the point that the impact of Covid-19 does not change the University’s appeals procedure nor the type of ground of appeal on which a student might base their appeal. Covid-19’s impact on you might be a relevant fact in an appeal, but the simple fact of Covid-19 is not in itself a ground of appeal.

 

A copy of the University’s appeals policy and procedure, together with the appeal form, is available here.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct can relate to both coursework and exams, whether written, oral or practical.

 

Academic misconduct can involve any of the following ‘activities’:

 

  • Plagiarism: including copying from authors, not using quotation marks or taking sections from other people’s work and altering it to make it look like your own.

  • Self-plagiarism: using parts of an assignment or other piece of work that you have previously submitted for assessment.

  • Collusion: unauthorised collaboration with another students, including copying from other students or allowing your work to be copied.

  • Attempting to gain an unfair advantage: for example, paying someone to do your work, falsifying data and taking unauthorised material into an exam

 

This is not an exhaustive list.

 

Each of the two Universities divides academic misconduct into different categories by reference the severity of the alleged misconduct:

 

  • Exeter: poor academic practice, academic misconduct and severe academic misconduct

  • Falmouth: minor offence and major offence

 

As you might expect, the more serious the alleged offence, the more serious is the potential penalty.

 

Academic integrity sits at the heart of what the Universities do, so that they are entitled to treat it as a serious issue. The most serious cases can lead to a student being expelled.

 

Getting Advice - The Advice Service can advise you on the relevant regulations, help you to put together your response to the allegation and accompany you to meetings or hearings.

 

Each of the Universities procedures includes a timetable for dealing with academic misconduct. The deadlines can be tight so don’t delay in getting advice.

 

You can book an appointment with one of our advisers here. Alternatively, email your enquiry to advice@thesu.org.uk

Complaints

In the higher education context, student complaints can be divided into two types:

 

  • Academic-related complaints: matters relating to course delivery and your ability to study effectively.

  • Non-academic complaints: matters that relate to your life at university that fall outside the academic context.

An academic complaint is likely to be a complaint against your University. So too might a non-academic complaint. However, the position is made a bit more complicated by the fact of the two Universities share several facilities and amenities, including the library and catering, both of which are run by FX Plus.

 

View or download the PDF linked below for a full breakdown of Complaints Procedures

 

 

Disciplinaries

Students studying at the Falmouth, Penryn and Truro campuses are part of the wider academic and local communities and are expected to adhere to their respective University’s rules and regulations.

 

Students whose conduct breaches those rules and regulations may find themselves subject to their University’s disciplinary procedure.

 

Where any misconduct relates to examinations and academic work, such as plagiarism or cheating you should refer first to our Academic Misconduct advice above.

 

View or download the PDF linked below for information on Disciplinary Procedures

 

 

Extenuating Circumstances

In circumstances where you are ill or your studies have been affected by another serious incident or event, you may want to extend or defer a coursework or exam deadline. Extenuating circumstances (ECs) is the process by which a student can apply.

 

Most ECs applications relate to ill health and bereavement. However, students sometimes need to ask for help for all sorts of other reasons. Generally, the situation should be something that you could not reasonably have anticipated or prepared for. Below is a non-exhaustive list of reasons a student might refer to when applying for ECs:

 

  • Illness at the time of the date for the submission of work or the examination

  • Bereavement

  • An acute episode of a chronic condition which has an impact on the student not mitigated by any reasonable adjustments (such as adjusted deadlines) already in place

  • Unusually severe mental or emotional stress at or immediately before the date for submission of work or the time of the examination.

 

Bear in mind that ordinarily you will need to evidence your circumstances.

 

There are some circumstances that ordinarily the University will not consider as sufficient to extend a deadline, including:

  • Short term mild illness, such as a cold

  • Mild unspecified depression or a level of anxiety and stress which normally occurs at assessment time

  • Technical problems, such as a corrupted disk, lack of a printer, loss of work on a computer with no back up

  • A long-term health condition or disability for which reasonable adjustments have already been made

  • Personal disruptions or events which could have been anticipated, such as holidays, weddings, changing address or employment, religious holidays or festivals which are usually known in advance

 

Before applying for ECs, you might want to contact the Living Support Team: LS-Team@fxplus.ac.uk

 

In addition, the University’s ECs FAQs document is a useful source of information.

 

When you’re ready to apply for ECs, you should do so through your My Falmouth account. In this respect, applications are made online.

 

Getting Advice - You can get advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service. You can book an appointment with one of our advisers here. Alternatively, email your enquiry to advice@thesu.org.uk

 

Health, Wellbeing & Support for Study

The University’s Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Policy is intended to serve as an alternative or supplement to other means of managing concerns over a student’s behaviour, attendance or academic progress, where:

 

  • Mental or physical ill health or disability could be a contributory factor; or

  • The behaviour could affect the health, safety or wellbeing of other people

 

You can access a full copy of the policy and procedure here.

 

The University is likely to invoke the process where:

 

  • Concerns about the student’s wellbeing are raised by a third party, for example academic staff, a friend, placement provider, housemate, medical professional, or Student Services professional.

  • A student has told a member of staff that they have concerns about their health, wellbeing and fitness to study.

  • A student‘s disposition is such that it indicates there may be a need to address an underlying health issue. For example, if the student has demonstrated mood swings or unusual behaviour, shown signs of depression, become withdrawn, aggressive and/or distressed.

  • It is considered behaviour, which might otherwise be dealt with as a disciplinary matter, may be the result of an underlying physical or mental health difficulty.

  • A student’s health difficulties are adversely affecting the health, safety or wellbeing of others.

 

Process

The Procedure comprises three levels:

 

  • Level 1: initial support and guidance, usually involving informal discussions between the student and members of their course team who may recommend the student seeks support from services such as Student Support, Accessibility and Academic Skills (ASK).

  • Level 2: is characterised by a degree of formality and includes a meeting to which, ordinarily, the student is invited. Others who will be present at the meeting including the Head of Wellbeing (or their nominee) and someone from your course team.

  • Level 3: may be initiated where a Level 2 panel concludes there are persistent and/or serious concerns raised about a student that have the effect of putting the student or other members of the University community at significant risk. Exceptionally, the severity of the University’s concerns may lead to a student being referred into Level 3 directly (i.e. without Levels 1 and/or 2 taking place). Student Services convene Level 3 meetings, to which the student is invited. The student is entitled to be accompanied to the meeting by a currently enrolled student of the University, a family member or an elected member of the Students’ Union.

 

Outcomes

The process exists to support students. Nevertheless, it can lead to outcomes that have significant consequences for the student involved including, for instance, short-term suspension, intermittence and even withdrawal.

 

Therefore, if you are subject to the procedure, it is important to get advice promptly.

 

Getting Advice - You can get advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service. You can book an appointment with one of our advisers here. Alternatively, email your enquiry to advice@thesu.org.uk

 

Withdrawing

The notes set out below apply to undergraduate students who receive statutory student funding (i.e. loan and/or grant through one of the student funding agencies like Student Finance England). If you’re not an undergraduate and/or are funded in some other way, make an appointment to speak to a Students’ Union (SU) adviser – see Getting Advice (below).

 

Tuition fees

During 2020-21, undergraduate tuition fees are £9,250. The Student Loans Company pays those fees in three instalments at the beginning of each term: Terms 1 and 2 (£2,312.50); and Term 3 (4,625).

 

Once the term has started, a student is liable for that term’s fees instalment. Therefore, if towards the end of one term you’re considering whether to withdraw, there’s likely to be a financial benefit in reaching a decision before the start of the next term.

 

Maintenance grants and loans

As a general rule, a student is entitled to receive their maintenance funding while attending. It follows that a student who withdraws loses that entitlement.

 

Overpayments

If a student withdraws part way through a term, probably this will result in them having received an overpayment of their maintenance funding.

 

For example, if a student has received a maintenance loan of £2,000 at the start of their second term and interrupts exactly halfway through the period to which that money relates, they’ll be entitled to half only. The other half will be deemed to be an overpayment, which falls due for immediate repayment. Your student funding agency will write to you to confirm the amount of any overpayment.

 

If you can’t afford to repay the money immediately, contact your student funding to discuss repaying over a longer period. It’s quite common for students not to be in a position to repay immediately, so don’t worry about it. But, don’t ignore it either – instead, make the call.

 

Future funding entitlement

Before reaching a decision to withdraw, if you’re also considering doing another course in the future, it’s advisable to consider whether you’ll have sufficient years funding entitlement to complete the new course.

 

A student’s full funding entitlement (i.e. including a tuition fees loan) is calculated by reference to a simple formula:

 

Ordinary duration of the course (in years) + 1 year - Any previous years of study in higher education

 

Problems can arise if the student has previous years’ study - on either their current course or an earlier course. For the purpose of calculating entitlement, as little as 1 day’s attendance counts as a whole year. If you’d like to find out more about this, make an appointment to speak to an FXU adviser.

 

Accommodation

If once you’ve withdrawn you intend staying somewhere other than in your current accommodation, you’ll need to check the terms of the tenancy or accommodation agreement to see if you have an ongoing liability to pay the rent.

 

In general, if you live in halls of residence, under the terms of your accommodation agreement, you’ll have to move out. You’ll be liable to pay the rent up until the day you move out plus any contractual notice period.

 

If you live in private sector rented accommodation the position tends not to be as straightforward – for example, it’s rare for a tenancy agreement to include a break clause, so that your liability to pay rent continues. If you’d like to find out more about this, make an appointment to speak to an SU adviser.

 

Council Tax

Once you’ve withdrawn, you’ll lose your exemption from paying Council Tax.

 

Getting Advice - You can get advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service. You can book an appointment with one of our advisers here. Alternatively, email your enquiry to advice@thesu.org.uk

 

 

 

Getting Advice:

You can get advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service on any of the topics listed above. Book an appointment with one of our advisers using the link below. Alternatively, email your enquiry to advice@thesu.org.uk

 

 

 

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