Section 6
CUHK disciplinary guidelines and procedures

Procedures for Handling Cases of Academic Dishonesty

As approved by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline, the following procedures for handling student discipline cases are adopted:

(a) all academic-related discipline cases of undergraduate and postgraduate students, including cases of academic dishonesty in course work shall be handled by the faculties/colleges/offices/centres that offer the courses concerned instead of the students’ major programmes/faculties, and in the case of MBChB students, if the relevant courses are offered by the Faculty of Medicine, the cases shall be handled by the Fitness To Practice (FTP) Committee formed under the Faculty of Medicine;

(b) students suspected of academic dishonesty shall be given the opportunity to meet with members of the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee, irrespective of whether the course teachers concerned have already done so;
   
(c) in making recommendations, disciplinary committees/the FTP Committee shall take into account factors such as the amount of work that is problematic, and whether the cases pertain to students who plagiarize or allow others to copy their own work.  In the case of a group project, all members of the group should be held responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
   
(d)

In handling cases involving group projects, all members of the group should be held responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents. 

I. Undergraduates

Cases to be handled by each faculty/college/office/centre/the FTP Committee

1. Teachers shall report all cases of suspected academic dishonesty immediately to the disciplinary committee of the faculty/college/office/centre concerned/the FTP Committee, e.g. teachers of engineering and international asian studies courses shall report respectively to the Engineering Faculty and Office of Academic Links. The disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee will look into the case, and meet with the student if the student so requested. If the charge is established, the penalty guidelines are as follows:

(a)   Minimum Penalties
(i) Plagiarism First offence
(i) one demerit;
(ii) a mark of zero for that component of the course; and
(iii) completion of relevant training in academic honesty.
Second or further offence (and a first offence that is serious as decided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee)
(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned.
(ii)

Undeclared multiple submissions

First offence
(i) one demerit;
(ii) a mark of zero for that component of the course; and
(iii) completion of relevant training in academic honesty.
Second or further offence (and a first offence that is serious as decided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee)
(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned.
(iii)

Employing or using services provided by a third party [Note 1] to undertake the examinations/ final year projects/ papers/ essays/ dissertations, or providing services as a third party, including any one of the following aspects:
(a) employing or using services provided by a third party;
(b) providing services as a third party;
(c). sharing of any materials obtained from the employment or use of services provided by a third party to other students; and
(d) knowingly using materials obtained by anyone who has employed or used the services provided by a third party.

(i) three demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and two are reviewable);
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned (not applicable to the student who is the third party to provide the services but not taking the same course or not taking it in the same term);
(iii) suspension from the University for one term [Note 2]; and
(iv) lowering the degree classification by one level upon graduation (not applicable to undergraduate students who graduate with a Pass Degree, MBChB students and postgraduate students) [Note 3].
(iv)

Employing or using services provided by a third party [Note 1] to undertake all other submitted work not covered by category (iii) above, or providing services as a third party, including any one of the following aspects:
(a) employing or using services provided by a third party;
(b) providing services as a third party;
(c) sharing of any materials obtained from the employment or use of services provided by a third party to other students; and
(d) knowingly using materials obtained by anyone who has employed or used the services provided by a third party.

(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned (not applicable to the student who is the third party to provide the services but not taking the same course or not taking it in the same term).
(v)

Distribution/ Sharing/ Copying of teaching materials without the consent of the course teachers to gain unfair academic advantage in the courses

(i) two demerits.
(vi) Violating rule 15 or 16 of the University’s Examination Rules (Annex 1) or rule 9 or 10 of the University's Online Examination Rules (Annex 2) First offence
(i) one demerit.
Second or further offence (and a first offence that is serious as decided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee)
(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable).
(vii)

Cheating in tests and examinations (including violation of rule 17 or 18 of the University’s Examination Rules or rule 11, 12, 13, 14 or 16 of the University's Online Examination Rules)

First offence
(i) one demerit (which will remain in the University’s record permanently); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned.
Second or further offence (and a first offence that is serious as decided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee)
(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned.
(viii)

Impersonation fraud in tests and examinations (including violation of rule 19 of the University's Examination Rules or rule 15 of the University's Online Examination Rules)

(i) three demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and two are reviewable);
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned;
(iii) suspension from the University for one term [Note 2]; and
(iv) lowering the degree classification by one level upon graduation (not applicable to undergraduate students who graduate with a Pass Degree, MBChB students and postgraduate students) [Note 3].
[The same penalties apply to the student who asks/allows someone to assume his/her identity to sit for a test/an examination as well as to the student who sits for a test/an examination if both parties are students of the University, except that penalty (ii) will not apply to the latter.]
(ix)

All other acts of academic dishonesty

First offence
(i) one demerit;
(ii) a mark of zero for that component of the course; and
(ii) completion of relevant training in academic honesty.
Second or further offence (and a first offence that is serious as decided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee)
(i) two demerits (of which one will remain in the University’s record permanently and one is reviewable); and
(ii) a failure grade for the course concerned.

Notes:
1. A third party shall include all parties external to CUHK, including but not limited to online platforms, companies providing tutoring services or essay/ dissertation mills, private tutors, past teachers, alumni of the University, relatives and friends of the student concerned, as well as members of CUHK.
2. According to the University’s Regulations, suspension can only be imposed with the approval of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. Any cases of suspension should be submitted to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline.
3. Not applicable to degrees without honours classification, including MBChB and higher degrees.

(b)

For cases where a student committed two or more offences of plagiarism/undeclared multiple submissions in the same term and at almost the same time, the following lower penalty can be recommended by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee, after careful consideration of all factors including inter alia the amount of work plagiarized, the attitude of the student and whether the student is aware of the mistake before committing the same offence a second time:

For such offences altogether, a minimum penalty of (i) two demerits; (ii) a mark of zero for the component(s) of the course(s) concerned; and (iii) completion of relevant training in academic honesty.

In recommending such penalty, full justifications must be provided by the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee.
   
(c)

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g., to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions and may lead to the penalty of a zero mark for all assignments concerned apart from the penalties of demerits, as decided by the disciplinary committee/the FTP Committee.

   
(d)

For cases where a student allowed others to copy his/her work, the disciplinary committee concerned/ the FTP Committee can consider giving demerit(s) without affecting the mark of the student in the course concerned.

 
(e) For cases that are deemed serious or when the penalty of a failure grade is not applicable, the disciplinary committee concerned/ the FTP Committee can consider imposing a heavier penalty, such as more demerits or suspension from University.

2. The disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee can consider a penalty of giving more demerits or, where applicable, a failure grade for the entire course, for cases that are deemed more serious by taking into account factors such as the amount of work that is problematic.

3. Where applicable, the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee shall decide whether the demerit(s) will remain in the University's record permanently; or the demerits will be reviewed no earlier than the final term of the normative study period of the student concerned; or the demerits will be removed from the University's record by the time of graduation of the student concerned if no further offence is committed, unless otherwise specified.

4. If zero marks are earned for that component of the course, the grade for the course may end up as a failure.

5. The disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee shall notify the student of its decision. In the case where the disciplinary committee/the FTP Committee comes up with a decision that is substantially different from the initial findings of the faculty/department/ college to which the student concerned belongs, the disciplinary committee/the FTP Committee shall first convey its decision to the faculty/department/college concerned before the student concerned is formally notified of the decision.

6. Appeals in writing with full justifications may be lodged to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline through the disciplinary committee/the FTP Committee that deals with the case in the first instance, against the decision/recommendation made by the disciplinary committee/the FTP Committee, within seven working days after the student has received the notification. Late appeals will not be considered. The case is closed if no appeal is received after the specified period.

7. The disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee shall report the case, together with its decision, to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline by completing Form A issued by the Senate Committee, irrespective of whether the student concerned is found guilty or not, a copy of which shall be sent to the student’s major programme/department, faculty and college for record and necessary follow up actions.

Cases to be handled by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline

8. Cases that are exceptionally serious, or where extenuating circumstances are put forward for a lower penalty, shall be referred to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline for decision, to ensure consistency across the University.

(a) If, after serious consideration, the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee recommends a heavier penalty as follows according to Regulation 19.2 (for students admitted to the 3-year curriculum) / Regulation 15.2 (for students admitted to the 4-year curriculum) of the General Regulations Governing Full-time Undergraduate Studies, then the case will be referred to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline for further consideration:
(i) Suspension from the University for a specified period of time; or
(ii) Termination of studies at the University.


(b)

If the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee after reviewing the case recommends a penalty lower than those specified in these guidelines, the case shall also be referred to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline for decision.

9. The student shall be notified in writing of the decision, and appeals in writing with full justifications may be lodged to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline, within seven working days after the student has received the notification. The appeal shall be handled in accordance with the "Procedures for Handling Student Disciplinary Cases" of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. Late appeals shall not be considered.

Documentation

10. After each case is closed, the disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee or the Senate Committee on Student Discipline (as the case may be) shall inform the faculty/department/programme/college concerned of the details of the case for record and follow-up, and report the case, together with its decision, to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline by completing Form A issued by the Senate Committee, irrespective of whether the student concerned is found guilty or not. As recommended by the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning, such case records on academic dishonesty shall be included in the self-evaluation documents of programmes for regular internal programme reviews.

II. Postgraduates

11. The procedures in respect of postgraduate students are the same as those of undergraduate students described above, except that the Graduate School Office shall provide the administrative support relating to student records/status checking/updating to the disciplinary committees. The procedures will also apply to academic dishonesty found in theses, which may be failed as a result, in the case of which the student concerned has to re-submit the thesis, unless otherwise specified.

12. Under circumstances where students concurrently registered for two programmes, the number of offences and number of demerits accumulated are person specific rather than programme specific. For example, if a student committed plagiarism in a course of Programme A and in another course of Programme B, he/she will be considered as having committed a total of two counts of plagiarism. Under normal circumstances, he/she shall have accumulated a total of three demerits, and he/she may risk termination of studies for both programmes he/she registered. Under the circumstance where a student committed two or more offences of plagiarism/undeclared multiple submissions in the same term and at almost the same time, Paragraph 1(b) shall apply.

[Approved by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline at its First Meeting (2019-20) for implementation with effect from 2020-21.]


 

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer
©Copyright 2018. The Chinese University of Hong Kong. All rights reserved.