Fitness to Study

Policy

Fitness to Study looks at how well a student can fully engage with their studies and meet the objectives of their programme without endangering their own wellbeing or anyone else. Any student who declares health conditions or disability will be subject to Fitness to Study consideration.

Grounds for concern regarding FItness to Study may include;

  • The student posing a risk to themselves or someone else
  • The students behaviour is (at risk of) negatively affecting the experience of others in the university course
  • The students behaviour is (at risk of) negatively affecting day-to-day activities of the university

Concerns can be raised by either the student or a third party for example; other students, academic staff or administration staff. 

Procedure

If concerns about a students Fitness to Study are raised by either the student or someone else, a meeting will be called with the Faulty’s Fitness to Study Adviser (FSA). After this meeting, if there have been no changes in the students behaviour, then a Fitness to Study Panel will be called to determine whether the student should stay enrolled at the University. The Advice Service can accompany students to the meeting with the FSA and the Fitness to Study Panel but cannot talk for them.

There are four potential outcomes of the panel;

  • The student will be declared fit to study and the case will be dismissed - advice on how to avoid panels in the future will be given
  • The student is fit to study if a managed study plan is followed - a plan will be made and monitored by the relevant people
  • The student is unfit to study and will not be fit to study in the foreseeable future - the student will be excluded
  • The student is unfit to study by may be fit to study after a determined period of time - the student will be temporarily suspended

Appeals

The Appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds and Only the student accused can appeal against the findings and/or against the sanctions imposed. :

  • a material procedural irregularity, which might have impacted significantly on the validity of the original hearing and the subsequent penalty;
  • new evidence that could not reasonably have been made available to the initial disciplinary hearing;
  • that the penalty imposed by the disciplinary hearing was too severe bearing in mind the circumstances of the case and the treatment of other students in similar positions.

A student should submit a statement of appeal within ten working days from the date printed on the Decision Notice they are wishing to appeal, which must be sent to the Academic Registrar.

If the Academic Registrar decides the Appeal is valid they will appoint a new Appeal Panel, who have not been involved with the matter. The student lodging the Appeal is entitled to attend this meeting.

The student will be informed of the decision in writing together with the reasons. The original decision can be retracted, amended or upheld. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the student will have completed the University’s appeal process and can take their appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education if they are still unhappy.

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