On this page you can read about reporting disciplinary misconduct and the process leading up to possible disciplinary action, which can be either a suspension or a warning.
What is disciplinary misconduct?
Disciplinary action may be taken against students who are found guilty of disciplinary misconduct. This is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance. There are four different types of disciplinary misconduct:
Attempting to deceive the examiner in an examination or assessment of academic performance. For example, cheating, plagiarism or unauthorised cooperation.
Disruption of teaching, exams, or other educational activities.
Disruption of the activities of the University Library, or similar.
When a teacher or other employee has a reasonable suspicion of a student being guilty of disciplinary misconduct, they are obliged to report this to the Vice-Chancellor of Malmö University.
Plagiarism and self-plagiarism
Plagiarism is the most common form of disciplinary misconduct. It means describing another person's thoughts or phrases as if they were your own. This means that plagiarism does not necessarily involve textual similarity. It can also involve structural similarity or similarity of ideas.
The following should normally give rise to a reasonable suspicion of plagiarism:
Describing/explaining someone else's idea/text in your own words without reference to the source.
Verbatim copying without quotation marks (with or without reference to the source).
Writing a text, with or without references, that is too similar to the original to be considered independent.
Own examined work from another context, such as a dissertation or take-home exam, must be treated as a source and referenced. When plagiarising your own examined work, so-called self-plagiarism, the same rules apply as for other plagiarism.
Plagiarism checks via Ouriginal
To detect plagiarism in written reports and essays, Malmö University uses, among other things, the Ouriginal system. Ouriginal works by automatically scanning the written document and checking it against internet sources, course literature, and previous student material. If a document shows similarities with the content of any of the sources, the system flags a possible plagiarism.
The difference between prohibited plagiarism and reliance on sources needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Ouriginal reacts if there are similarities in content. However, it is up to the examining teacher to review the results and assess whether plagiarism is suspected.
Reported for suspected disciplinary misconduct
If you have been reported for suspected disciplinary misconduct, you can continue your studies as usual until a decision on possible disciplinary action has been taken. When the report is filed, you will receive an email notification informing you that you have been reported for suspected disciplinary misconduct. You will then be contacted and given the opportunity to respond to the report. The decision will be communicated to you in writing.
The processing time can be several months, as incoming cases are handled in chronological order by the University’s legal counsels and case officers. You as the reported person do not need to contact a case officer for the case to be investigated.
The report, together with attachments, will be sent to you in good time before a decision on the case is made. You then have about three weeks to respond to the report and submit your statement on the matter. Your statement gives you the opportunity to express your view on what happened and comment on what is stated in the report.
The chair of the Student Disciplinary Board may decide to close the case without further action, issue a warning, or refer the case to the Student Disciplinary Board for review. If the chair refers the case to the board for review, the final decision is taken at the Student Disciplinary Board’s meeting.
You will receive an invitation to attend the Student Disciplinary Board’s meeting where the decision on your case is to be made. You will have the opportunity to express your view on the suspected misconduct you have been reported for. The invitation to the meeting will be sent to you via email, stating where and when the meeting will take place. Since attendance is voluntary, you must reply to the invitation if you intend to attend the section where your case will be considered.
Present in the meeting of the Student Disciplinary Board will be a student representative, teacher representatives, one of the University’s legal counsels, a case officer, the chair (Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, or specially appointed deputy) and a qualified judge.
Usually, several cases are handled in one meeting, and each case is discussed for about 15 minutes. The meeting lasts about two hours, and you cannot be given an exact time when your case will be discussed.
The decision is announced orally at the meeting. You will then receive the decision, appeal reference and information in writing via email.
If the Student Disciplinary Board finds you have committed disciplinary misconduct, the disciplinary action that follows can be a suspension of at least three weeks and a maximum of six months. The duration of the suspension is stated in the decision. Suspension takes place during term time and not during the summer break.
The decision on suspension is sent to you, the reporting teacher, administrative staff at the faculty, CSN, Ladok, registrator, head of IT, head of security and, where applicable, the educational support unit. The suspension may affect your right to receive study funding from CSN.
The suspension usually starts the day after the decision is made. During the suspension, you cannot:
attend teaching or examinations
access learning platforms
attend other activities within the framework of the programme at the University.
However, independent studies may be conducted in the University's public premises without help and support from teachers. You also have access to the Student Health Services.
Right to attend teaching
Suspension is only valid for the period specified in the decision. You therefore have the right to fully attend teaching and examination/re-examination until the Student Disciplinary Board has made its decision. The same applies after the end of the suspension period.
The examiner has the right to postpone marking the exam/assessment component in which you are suspected of having committed disciplinary misconduct, until the Student Disciplinary Board has made its decision. However, during this period, you are entitled to attend a re-examination, and have the re-examination marked, on the course in question, until a decision is made. If you are cleared of suspicion, the exam that the report of suspected misconduct concerns can be marked.
Support from the University
The Student Health Services provide you help with questions and concerns about your health, wellbeing and studies. Your right to support from the Student Health Services is not affected by a decision on suspension.
You can get support from the programme or course coordinator in planning your studies.
Study and career guidance can also help you with planning during the processing of suspected disciplinary misconduct. Your right to study and career counselling does not apply in case of suspension.
The University's student unions can provide you support during your time as a student. Your ability to contact the unions is not affected by a decision on suspension. The student unions are independent of the University.