Guidance for Sanctions 2023-24

General Guidance

Authorised Officer/Disciplinary Panel Discretion

This guidance is intended to suggest a starting point for typical/simple offences. Discretion will always rest with the Authorised Officer or Disciplinary Panel determining the sanction.

Consistency in the use of Formal Written Warnings and Fines

Formal written warnings will normally only be imposed where there is no other penalty and should be referred to as a ‘Formal Written Warning’. However, such warnings may be imposed alongside other sanctions where it is considered appropriate to warn a student of the likely consequences of being found guilty of a further offence. For example, where a student is found guilty of an offence at the top end of Section 2, they may be issued with a formal written warning (alongside a fine and/or any other sanction imposed) that if they are found guilty of a further, similar offence it is likely that it will be dealt with at Section 3 level, noting that the sanctions available to Section 3 Panels are more far-reaching than those available to Authorised Officers at Section 2, up to and including recommending to Senate that the student’s registration at the University should be terminated.  

Fines at Section 2 will be imposed in the following amounts:

  • £25,
  • £50,
  • £75,
  • £100,
  • £125,
  • £150,
  • £175,
  • £200,
  • £225 and
  • £250.

The starting point for fines at Section 3 will be £250 and will increase at increments of £25.

Where aggravating and mitigating factors are taken into account and are sufficient to alter a financial sanction, the effect will be to move one or more points up or down the scale (e.g. a fine of £75 might move down to £50 or up to £100, but not to £65 or £85).

Differential between sanctions at Section 2 and Section 3

The maximum financial penalty that can be imposed for a single matter at Section 2 will be £250.

Whilst the Student Disciplinary Panel will have absolute discretion about the level of penalty imposed, Section 3 matters are generally considered to be more serious than Section 2 matters. Where a fine is being considered at Section 3, there will be a presumption that the starting point will be £250.

Responsibility for discharge of fines or costs

Students are expected to take full personal responsibility for the discharge of fines and costs imposed on them as sanctions under Ordinance XVII. Students who attempt to pass on the responsibility for discharging a financial sanction in a way which is inappropriate and/or has the potential to damage the reputation of the University (e.g. by coercion, or by the use of fundraising on social media) may be subject to further disciplinary action.

Suspended Sanctions

Normally, all financial penalties will be immediate, with no part of any financial penalty to be suspended.

This does not prevent an Authorised Officer giving clear guidance as to the starting point for any future penalty in the event of further offending.

Suspended penalties for non-financial penalties may still be imposed – e.g. removal from halls, suspension of registration.

Suspended sanctions will not be activated unless there is a finding of guilt for a new offence.

Suspended Termination of Studies

A suspended termination is generally seen by a disciplinary panel as a very serious sanction, second only to termination of studies. A suspended termination would normally be accompanied by an additional penalty recognising the matter as deserving of an immediate, as well as a suspended sanction.

Invitation to Graduation

A Disciplinary Panel may judge that the matter is sufficiently serious that a student should not be invited to attend a graduation ceremony. In particular a Panel may wish to impose such a sanction where offences are committed so close to graduation that there is no alternative effective sanction. An exclusion from a graduation ceremony may also be imposed on a suspended basis as a means of ensuring compliance with another disciplinary sanction (e.g. if a fine is not paid by a date prior to the graduation ceremony, the suspended exclusion will be activated).

Repeat Offences – Relocation of Room or Removal from Hall

Recent practice has been to relocate persistent offenders between halls, particularly in the case of repeated possession of drugs.

Wardens retain the authority to require a student to move rooms within a hall where it is felt that this is likely to help resolve an issue or minimise the likelihood of a recurrence.

Relocation to a different hall of residence will now only be considered in exceptional circumstances, for example where it appears necessary to reassure or protect a specific individual. It will not normally be used for repeat offenders (see specific sanctions in subsequent pages).

Impact on Victim

Authorised Officers and Disciplinary Panels will take into account the impact on the victim(s) as a factor when determining sanctions.