Rules on Academic Honesty

(Effective from Semester A 2017/18)

  1. The Rules on Academic Honesty is approved by the Senate to regulate Student academic honesty matters and adjudicate Student academic dishonesty cases. The Academic Conduct Committee under the Academic Policy Committee will determine and keep under review the Rules on Academic Honesty. Academic honesty with respect to faculty members is not covered by this set of Rules.

  2. Academic honesty is central to the conduct of academic work. Students are expected to present their own work, give proper acknowledgement of other’s work, and honestly report findings obtained. As part of the University’s efforts to educate Students about academic honesty, all Students are required to complete the Online Tutorial and Quiz on Academic Honesty, and make a Declaration on their understanding of academic honesty.

  3. Academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious academic offence in the University. Any related offence may lead to disciplinary action with a penalty including without limitation, expulsion from the University, debarment from re-admission, deprivation of an academic award already conferred or revocation of a certification granted.

  4. Academic dishonesty includes but is not restricted to the following behaviors:
    4.1 Plagiarism, e.g., the failure to properly acknowledge the use of another person’s work or submission for assessment material that is not the Student's own work;
    4.2 Misrepresentation of a piece of group work as the Student's own individual work;
    4.3 Collusion, i.e., allowing another person to gain advantage by copying one's work;
    4.4 Unauthorized access to an examination/test paper;
    4.5 Possession/use of unauthorized material in assessment;
    4.6 Unauthorized communication during assessment;
    4.7 Use of fabricated data claimed to be obtained by experimental work, or data copied or obtained by unfair means;
    4.8 Impersonating another Student at a test or an examination or allowing oneself to be impersonated.

  5. Students must comply with regulations promulgated by the University and the academic units in examinations and coursework.

  6. All Students, faculty and staff have the responsibility to report academic dishonesty cases as they will compromise the quality of education and depreciate the genuine achievements of others. Course leaders are required to report any suspected incidents of academic dishonesty in the course, if supported by clear evidence, to the Head/Dean of the course-offering academic unit.

  7. Handling Procedures and Penalties Procedures Flowchart
    7.1 For academic dishonesty occurring during examinations, the Chief Invigilator will report the case to the Academic Regulations and Records Office/Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies by using the appropriate form. The concerned office will refer the case to the Head/Dean of the relevant course-offering academic unit for investigation. For other cases of academic dishonesty (including without limitation, those involving thesis/dissertation/take-home examination/assignment/project or other forms of assessment), the Head/Dean of the course-offering academic unit, when alerted that there may be an alleged case of academic dishonesty, shall investigate the case. During the investigation, the Head/Dean of the course-offering academic unit will gather all related evidence, notify and interview the concerned Student, and/or seek written statements from witnesses and/or the Student to collect more information as he/she deems necessary.
    7.1.1 Should the Head/Dean of the course-offering academic unit determine against the Student, the course-offering academic unit shall submit a detailed investigation report to the College/School Academic Conduct Committee describing the case details, evidence and nature of suspected academic dishonesty, the suggested penalty to be imposed on the Student, and justification for the suggested penalty to help the Committee make a decision. Otherwise, the case will be dismissed and a brief report sent to the College/School office for record. The Student's home academic unit will be informed of the suspected case by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee when it has received a referral and the detailed investigation report from the Head/Dean of the course-offering academic unit for consideration.
    7.1.2 Upon receiving a referral together with the investigation report under 7.1.1 above, the College/School Academic Conduct Committee shall consider the case and decide whether to conduct further investigation, or support the allegation and approve the penalty suggested by the course-offering academic unit or not. When considering penalty to be imposed on the Student, the College/School Academic Conduct Committee will also take into account any record of previous misconduct by the Student including any penalty previously incurred. The Secretary to the College/School Academic Conduct Committee will write to the Student concerned informing him/her of the decision within ten working days from being informed of the suspected academic dishonesty case.
    7.1.3 If the College/School Academic Conduct Committee decides to further investigate the case, the Student will be required to submit his/her written explanation within five working days from receipt of notification from the College/School Academic Conduct Committee. A meeting to interview the Student and consider the case will be held within fifteen working days from the expiration of the time limit for the Student to submit his/her written explanation. The terms of reference and membership of the College/School Academic Conduct Committee are given in Appendix 1. During the interview, the Student concerned may be accompanied by a member of the University (staff/Student) who is not involved in the case, provided that the College/School Academic Conduct Committee is informed of the companion’s name at least three working days before the meeting.
    7.1.4 The College/School Academic Conduct Committee will regulate its own proceedings in the consideration of the case and may call before it such persons as it deems necessary.
    7.1.5 The Student concerned may admit to the charge, or any part of it, at any stage of the investigation/proceedings.
    7.1.6 If the Student concerned does not appear at the meeting, the College/School Academic Conduct Committee will consider the allegation in the absence of the Student.
    7.1.7 If the charge of academic dishonesty is substantiated, the College/School Academic Conduct Committee shall impose penalties taking into account the following:
    (a) First offence
    i. A written warning; and
    ii. A zero mark for the concerned component of the course, or a lower grade for the concerned course
    (b) Second or further offence
    i. A written warning; and
    ii. An F grade for the concerned course
    7.1.8 The College/School Academic Conduct Committee may also impose any of the following penalties (and may impose more than one penalty at the same time) with the endorsement of the Associate Provost (Academic Planning and Undergraduate Education) for cases involving undergraduate Students or that of the Dean of Graduate Studies for cases involving postgraduate Students, before informing the Student of the penalties. The College/School Academic Conduct Committee shall also seek approval from the Senate in order to impose the penalty listed in v. below.
    i. withholding the concerned Student's eligibility for a scholarship, prize, financial award, the Dean's List, or representing the University in external activities such as exchange programme or internship for a specified period of time;
    ii. suspension of studies for a specified period of time;
    iii. withholding an academic award for a specified period of time;
    iv. expulsion from the University together with a specified period of time that the Student may not be re-admitted to any programme of studies;
    v. the deprivation of an academic award already conferred, or revocation of a certification granted.
    vi. any other penalties suggested by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee which are not covered under 7.1.7 and 7.1.8.
    7.1.9 For currently enrolled Students, the College/School Academic Conduct Committee may also advise them to seek counsel from a counsellor in the Student Development Services.
    7.1.10 For cases which warrant further investigation by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee, the Student will be informed of the decision of the College/School Academic Conduct Committee in writing within ten working days from the conclusion of the meeting of the College/School Academic Conduct Committee.
    7.1.11 All substantiated cases considered by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee leading to changes to a Student's academic record or enrolment status will be reported to the Academic Regulations and Records Office (for undergraduate and sub-degree Students) or Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies (for postgraduate Students) for updating the Student's records. The Student's home academic unit will be informed of the decision by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee.
    7.1.12 The College/School office will keep a full set of records on academic dishonesty cases within the College/School and report to the Academic Conduct Committee on an annual basis.

  8. Appeal Procedures
    8.1 The Student may appeal against the decision of the College/School Academic Conduct Committee by writing to the Chair of the Academic Conduct Committee via the Office of the Provost within ten working days from being informed of the decision made by the relevant authority.
    8.2 The appeal will only be entertained if it relates to any of the following:
    8.2.1 fresh evidence which for good reason had not been presented previously to the College/School Academic Conduct Committee; or
    8.2.2 a material irregularity of proceedings in the consideration of the matter by the College/School Academic Conduct Committee; or
    8.2.3 the penalty applied was unreasonable or excessive in light of new evidence presented to the College/School Academic Conduct Committee, the findings of fact, or the circumstances of the Student.
    8.3 If the Chair decides that the appeal does not relate to any of the matters stated in 8.2 above, he/she will dismiss the appeal and the original decision will stand. If the Chair decides that the appeal appears to relate to any of the matters stated in 8.2 above, he/she will convene a meeting of an Academic Conduct Appeals Panel to consider the appeal and inform the Student's home academic unit of the appeal. The terms of reference and constitution of the Academic Conduct Committee and the Academic Conduct Appeals Panel are in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 respectively.
    8.4 The Academic Conduct Appeals Panel may, at its sole and absolute discretion, uphold the original decision, quash the original decision, change the penalty to be imposed or impose additional penalty. A decision on an appeal will normally be made within twenty-two working days from the date of receipt of the appeal under 8.1 above and the decision of the Academic Conduct Appeals Panel on the appeal is final. The Student's home academic unit will be informed of the decision on the appeal.
    8.5 The Office of the Provost will keep a written confidential record of the proceedings of all cases of appeal and report to the Academic Conduct Committee on an annual basis.
Note 1: "Student"* includes, unless otherwise specified, (a) an undergraduate (including Associate Degree), taught postgraduate, research postgraduate, or professional doctorate student of the University, and (b) currently or previously enrolled students and students already graduated from the University.
Note 2: "Working days" refers to Mondays to Fridays, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and excluding, for the avoidance of doubt, a day throughout or for part of which a black rainstorm warning or Typhoon Signal Number 8 or above is issued or hoisted by the Hong Kong Observatory.
Note 3: The timeline requirements set out in the Rules shall be followed as far as practicable. In case deviation from the timeline requirements is necessary given the special circumstances (e.g. cases involving previously enrolled students or students already graduated from the University), approval from the Chair of the Academic Conduct Committee shall be sought and determined on case-by-case basis.
Note 4: "Home academic unit" is the academic department/college/school offering the degree or home major in which a student is/was enrolled. "Course-offering academic unit" is the academic department/college/school offering the course and/or holding the responsibility of assessment associated with the academic dishonesty.
* Students (includes currently or previously enrolled students and those already graduated) of the Community College of City University and the School of Continuing and Professional Education are not covered by the Rules.