F. Academic Regulations

1. Academic standards

1.1  Introduction

1.1.1    All junior members must satisfy the Governing Body of their industry and progress. Those who persistently fail to do so will be required to go out of residence either temporarily or permanently.

1.1.2    The central academic obligation of undergraduates is to pursue their studies conscientiously and industriously, attending tutorials, and lectures or seminars provided by the University, as required by their tutors and preparing the work prescribed. The Governing Body will take a serious view of any failure to meet this obligation.   A student must consult his/her Supervisor or Supervising Tutor before undertaking any paid activity during full term which is likely to interfere with academic work.

1.1.3    Undergraduates will normally be required to write one or two collection papers each term, usually on the Friday of 0th week. A collection is a College examination and marks in collections do not contribute to an undergraduate’s classification in University examinations. However, collections are useful in enabling undergraduates to know how they are progressing and in helping them to acquire examination technique.  In addition, the Governing Body attaches importance to collections and will take account of them when deciding whether an undergraduate’s industry and progress are satisfactory. Marks in collections form a part of the permanent record that the College keeps of each undergraduate’s career.

1.2.      Expectations of College, Tutors and Students in Academic Matters

1.2.1    At the start of his or her course, each student should be clear which individual Tutor (or Tutors) is to oversee his or her academic progress. All undergraduates and visiting students are assigned a Tutor (or Tutors) who will supervise their academic studies. At the beginning of each term each Supervising Tutor will arrange a series of tutorials or classes for each of their students at which written work prepared by the student will be discussed. The amount of work set will vary from time to time and from subject to subject, but in Arts and Humanities subjects it will generally consist of preparation of one or two essays a week, while in Sciences students may have specific problem sets to solve.

1.2.2    All teaching arrangements must be made through the tutors of this College. It should be noted that, in particular, binding arrangements for Hilary term may be agreed in December or later and binding arrangements for Trinity term may be made in March or later.

1.2.3    Student and Tutor should make every attempt to keep to an agreed tutorial time. If either party cannot make that time, the other should be informed in advance, with apologies, and a mutually convenient replacement tutorial arranged in term time. Students who do not give advance notice, unless for good reason, should expect to forfeit the tutorial. Students should have completed the work as set; tutors should allow a reasonable length of time for completing work (e.g., three days for a tutorial essay). Sporting or social commitments, or the presence of guests, are not sufficient reasons for missing a tutorial.

1.2.4    Collections (start-of-term College examinations) should be regarded as mandatory. Students should be clear at the end of each term which collections they are to sit in the following 0th week. Tutors should comment on and grade collections within a reasonable time (within four weeks of sitting) and return them to students, preferably in person, so that the paper can be discussed.

1.2.6    The University Examination Regulations give full information about all University examinations and courses of study, and students should study the parts relevant to their course very carefully. All candidates are themselves responsible for entering their names by the appointed date for any examination. The Academic Administrator tries to ensure that no one forgets, but the final responsibility rests with the candidates themselves.

1.2.7    Most tutorial and administrative arrangements are made by email. All students are required to activate their University email accounts as soon as possible, and to check their email regularly. Pigeonholes (mail boxes) should also be checked regularly. Information concerning tutorial arrangements, lectures and administrative arrangements for academic matters at the beginning of term may also be posted on the  notice boards. Students are urged to consult the notice boards regularly, especially if they are at the start of their first year and do not yet have access to their email accounts. Failure to check email accounts, pigeonholes or notice boards will not be regarded as a sufficient excuse for neglecting to fulfil academic and other relevant requirements.

1.2.8    Students may generally attend any University lectures, details of which can be found in the University Lecture Lists. If a student wishes to attend University classes or seminars he or she should first consult his or her supervising Tutor and then the Tutor organising the class.

1.2.9    Everyone taking part in a tutorial or class should feel free from physical or mental intimidation, which may include offensive language directed to individuals on the basis of sex, race, religion or sexuality (or indeed any of the other protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010).

1.2.10 The basis of the tutor-student relationship is academic, and the centre of this relationship is the tutorial or class taught at College or the faculty. Tutors and students do not have to meet socially, if they do not wish to do so, especially out of College or on an individual basis; no one should be telephoned at home, if they do not wish it. Private addresses (i.e., non-university) should only be used with consent on both sides, and generally only in emergencies.

1.2.11  Disagreements between student and Tutor should be taken up, in the first instance, between the parties concerned. If, for any reason, this seems impossible, they should be brought to the Senior Tutor.

1.2.12  Visiting students should complete a request form each term in order that tutorial arrangements may be made in good time for the ensuing term, and so that the official reports (on which the award of credit depends) may be sent to the student’s  home College or University as soon as possible at the end of the year.

1.2.13  Residence. Students are required to abide by the University residence regulations during the term unless dispensation from the normal residence requirement has been granted by the College and the Proctors, or their residence requirement has already been fulfilled in accordance with the current Examination Regulations of the University. In relation to undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, absences of more than 24 hours on week-days and 60 hours at weekends require the permission of a student’s supervising tutor and the Senior Tutor. A contact address and telephone number should be left with the College Office for use in case of emergency. Any student who fails to keep the University’s residence requirement (by being out of residence for more than two weeks during full term without good cause) may be deemed by the Governing Body to have withdrawn from his or her course. Any student thus deemed to have withdrawn may appeal against this decision in accordance with the appeals procedure set out in Section G.

2.  Feedback and support

2.1  Introduction

This section sets out the feedback and support which a student can usually expect to receive from his or her Subject Tutors, Supervising Tutor, the Senior Tutor and the Principal.

2.1.1    Student work (normally in the form of tutorial essays) should be marked (i.e., commented on, not necessarily graded) and returned within a reasonable time, preferably by no later than the next week’s tutorial, but certainly within three weeks.

2.1.2    A student’s supervising tutor will arrange meetings at the end of each term at which the student’s reports for that term will be discussed, and arrangements for the next term’s teaching and collections should be make clear. There will also be ‘Principal’s Collections’ twice a year, when a student can discuss his or her academic record with the Principal and Senior Tutor.  Reports may also be read in the Academic Office by arrangement with the Academic Administrator, or viewed on-line on OxCort.

2.1.3    Tutors should comment on and grade collections within a reasonable time (within four weeks of sitting) and return them to students, preferably in person, so that the paper can be discussed.

2.1.4    Tutors should discuss revision and revision plans with students.

3.  Informal remedial process

3.1       Introduction

This section sets out the informal process which will be triggered whenever a student appears to be struggling academically or not meeting the standards and expectations set out in Section 2 above, but there seems a reasonable prospect of resolving the issue without recourse to the Formal Disciplinary Process set out in Section 4 below.

3.2       Triggers for informal remedial process

The types of situation that may trigger the informal process include (but are not restricted to):

3.2.1    Poor quality tutorial work (whether due to lack of effort or the student experiencing difficulty);

3.2.2.   Poor performance in university examinations (typically, the First Public Examination), but note that failure in the First Public Examination will automatically trigger the Formal Disciplinary Process;

3.2.3    Poor performance in College collections;

3.2.4    The student reporting that he or she is having difficulties with his or her academic work.

3.3       The Informal Remedial Process

The informal process to be followed in such cases will be:

3.3.1    In the first instance the issue should be discussed between the student and the subject tutor directly concerned (or with the student’s supervising tutor where this is more appropriate). This initial discussion should focus on determining the nature of the difficulty; in particular every effort should be made to ascertain whether the academic underperformance is due, for example, to illness (including mental illness), disability, external factors (such as emotional or financial difficulties), difficulty in understanding what is required, or lack of some appropriate skill.

3.3.2.   Students who are aware that they are underperforming academically but who do not wish to discuss the reasons for this with their subject tutor may instead do so with their supervising tutor or the Senior Tutor. It is understood that there are some personal circumstances that students may not wish to discuss with any member of staff, but students who choose to withhold relevant information must recognize that it cannot be taken into  account unless it is disclosed. It is possible to request that the College doctors disclose to College the impact of circumstances or a medical without providing details of the circumstances or medical condition themselves.

3.3.3    If possible, the student and tutor concerned should agree a course of remedial action. This may, for example, take the form of the arrangement of special study skills sessions, or of the student and/or College seeking the advice of the Disabilities Service, or simply of the student agreeing a programme of action to catch up with the work needed.

3.3.4.   If the course of remedial action agreed at step 3.3.3 deals with the issue to the satisfaction of the tutor and student concerned, then no further steps need be taken and the informal process is terminated.

3.3.5.   If the tutor concerned is not the student’s supervising tutor and the informal process does not resolve the issue, then the matter should be raised with the student’s supervising tutor.

3.3.6    If the student’s supervising tutor believes that the student’s academic underperformance is unlikely to be resolved by the informal process then the supervising tutor should consult with the Senior Tutor at the earliest possible moment with a view to triggering the Formal Disciplinary Process.

3.3.7    Where a student shows unwillingness to resolve the issue of academic underperformance through the Informal Remedial Process, the Formal Disciplinary Process set out at Section 4 below should be triggered at once. Failure to attend tutorials or other agreed meetings or to respond to communications (without good cause) will automatically be taken as a sign of such unwillingness; unwillingness may also be assumed where, for example, a student fails or refuses to commit to an agreed remedial course of action, or to admit that there is a problem, or to offer any reasons for his or her unsatisfactory academic performance.

3.3.8    Where a student’s academic underperformance is particularly severe (for example, failure in the First Public Examination, or missing more than one tutorial in succession without adequate reason) the Formal Disciplinary Process will be triggered straight away.

4.  Formal disciplinary process

4.1       Introduction

4.1.1    This section sets out the formal process that the College will follow in relation to academic discipline.

4.1.2    When, in this regulation, communication with a student in writing is required, the normal method is by email to the student’s University email address and (for students in residence) by paper copy in the student’s pigeon hole.   An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the recipient at the time of sending.

4.2       Triggers for Formal Academic Disciplinary Procedure

The Formal Academic Disciplinary Process will be triggered in any of the following cases:

4.2.1    Where a student is failing to reach an appropriate level of academic attainment and this has not been resolved by the informal remedial process; or

4.2.2    Where a student shows unwillingness to resolve the issue of academic underperformance through the Informal Remedial Process; or

4.2.3    A student fails to attend two tutorials in succession without adequate reason or fails to produce the work required for two tutorials in succession without adequate reason; or

4.2.4    A student fails his or her First Public Examination or Part 1 of Finals. Students will generally be allowed one re-take of either of these examinations. However, in exceptional circumstances, where the subject tutor(s) and Senior Tutor believe that the student has been negligent in their work, and has been on report, the opportunity for a re-take will not be offered by the College. Where this is the case, the student will be given written notice of the fact at least four weeks before the date of the examination. Otherwise all students who have failed the First Public Examination (or Part 1 of Finals) once, but who are to be allowed to attempt a re-take, shall be put on report to Governing Body by the Senior Tutor. The Senior Tutor shall inform the student that s/he is on report (and the possible consequences of this) in writing as soon as possible after the First Public Examination or Part 1 results are known.

4.2.5    A student who has failed to keep the statutory University residence requirement and has failed to provide the College with a satisfactory explanation for his or her absence may be disciplined as follows:

4.2.6 Where a student is persistently failing to communicate with the College, and has thus effectively ceased to act as a student, the Governing Body may impose any academic sanction under 4.3.5.12 below without any of the intervening steps;

4.2.7   Where the student concerned notifies the College that s/he wishes to dispute the facts of the case or to present mitigating circumstances, an Academic Disciplinary Committee shall be set up and the procedure set out in 4.3.5 below shall be followed. ).

4.2.8  Plagiarism.  For details on the University’s regulations concerning plagiarism please click here.  The College rules also prohibit plagiarism of any kind and any such cheating, either for collections or for tutorials, will always be dealt with severely, and may even result in permanent expulsion.

4.3       The Formal Academic Disciplinary Procedure

 The successive steps in the Formal Academic Disciplinary Procedure are as follows:

4.3.1    Meeting.   If a student is failing to reach an appropriate level of academic attainment, his/her Supervising Tutor shall notify the Senior Tutor. (Where the Supervising Tutor is also the Senior Tutor, the Vice-Principal shall stand in for the Senior Tutor.)     The student will be called to a meeting with the Senior Tutor (or the Vice-Principal) at which the student will be given the opportunity of making the College aware of any mitigating or complicating circumstances.   Any such factors that come to light will (with the student’s permission) be noted on his or her file, and may affect the course of action to be taken.  The Senior Tutor will explain to the student the steps that may be taken under 4.3.2 below, including what academic progress will be required.    If the student fails, without good reason, to attend the meeting time notified to him or her with reasonable notice, then the procedure in 4.3.2 below may be followed without the meeting taking place.

4.3.2    Report.  If the Supervising Tutor and the Senior Tutor agree, the student shall be placed on report for at least four weeks of full term, during term time. The student should be notified by his/her Supervising Tutor that s/he has been placed on report. This should be followed up in writing by the Senior Tutor. A note should be made in the student’s College file to this effect. The note will include details of the academic progress required of the student. The Senior Tutor will notify the Governing Body meeting immediately following the placing of the student on report. The purpose of the period of report is to enable the student to make progress towards agreed study goals, which may include timely submission of essays, attendance at all tutorials and classes, achievement of specified marks in essays or collections or other reasonable academic goals.

4.3.4    Penal collection(s).   If, in the opinion of the Supervising Tutor and the Senior Tutor, sufficient academic progress has not been made during the period of report referred to in paragraph 4.3.2 above, the student will be required to sit one or more penal collections. The form of, date for (which shall be as early as practicable), and standard to be attained in these penal collections shall be approved by the Senior Tutor on the advice of the Supervising Tutor, which advice shall be formulated after discussion with the student.   The standard to be attained will normally be a grade of at least 60.   The student shall be given at least three weeks’ notice of the penal collections. The penal collections will ideally be marked by two assessors who shall be tutors who have not previously taught the student. If the assessors’ marks for a collection differ, the average mark shall be taken as the mark for the collection.   The Supervising Tutor or Senior Tutor will report the result of these collections to the student and to Governing Body. The student must obtain the required mark in each and every penal collection, or else he or she will be referred to an Academic Disciplinary Committee, constituted as set out in 4.3.5 below.   Attainment of the required standard shall be followed by probation against failure to sustain it for the remainder of the student’s time in College, breach of which shall entail recommencement of the Formal Academic Procedure.

4.3.5    Academic Disciplinary Committee.   An Academic Disciplinary Committee (‘ADC’) is a committee of four senior members, at least two of whom (including the member appointed chair) must be teaching fellows holding a College or university post.   It is set up by the Principal, who will also appoint the chair.    The Senior Tutor or any tutor who has previously taught the student cannot be a member of the ADC.   The ADC will proceed as follows:

4.3.5.1      The ADC will enquire into the circumstances of the case, and make a recommendation to Governing Body.   To carry out this duty it will hold a hearing as soon as practicable after it has been constituted.

4.3.5.2      The student will be given 3 working days’ notice in writing of the ADC hearing (although the hearing may go ahead earlier by agreement between the student and the Chair). Such notice will include information about the time and place of the hearing and the composition of the ADC;

4.3.5.3      The student shall be given, in advance of the hearing, a clear statement of the grounds for his or her being referred to the ADC and a copy of all documentation with which the ADC is provided;

4.3.5.4      The student shall be given the opportunity to bring forward evidence, material considerations and mitigating circumstances which may include, but need not be confined to, medical evidence;

4.3.5.5      The student shall be allowed to take advice in advance of the hearing;

4.3.5.6      The Senior Tutor, or other senior member of the College, shall be entitled to present written evidence at the hearing and to make representations relevant to the case;

4.3.5.7      The student shall be entitled to make representations to the ADC in person or by electronic link. S/he can be represented by any current member of the College, senior or junior (except the Senior Tutor or any tutor who has taught him/her), or a representative of OUSU, or may ask the Principal to appoint a member of the Governing Body to represent him/her    Any such representative may speak at the hearing on behalf of the student.  The student shall also be allowed to make written submissions.

4.3.5.8      The hearing may proceed if the student fails to attend as notified, or to make a submission.

4.3.5.9      The Senior Tutor and/or the Supervising Tutor shall be allowed to produce written evidence, call witnesses and make submissions to the ADC;

4.3.5.10 The hearing shall be conducted in a fair way in accordance with the principles of natural justice.   The Chair of the ADC shall decide the procedure to be followed, in the light of these principles.

4.3.5.11 It shall be the duty of the ADC to establish all relevant facts, to take account of all evidence brought and submissions made by the student and/or the student’s representative, and to decide what sanction to recommend, bearing in mind the interests of the College and of the student. The Committee may ask the Senior Tutor to propose a sanction.

4.3.5.12    Having considered the matter, the ADC will agree its decision by vote: the Chair’s vote will be the casting vote in the event of a tied vote.   The ADC may recommend any sanction it thinks fit, including that the student be permanently withdrawn from a course or suspended, or be allowed to remain in residence on such terms as the ADC shall decide.   In the case of suspension the student will normally be required to obtain a mark of at least 60 in appropriate collections before being allowed to resume membership of the College and/or University.   The ADC shall consult the academic administrator on the practicality of the proposed sanction before deciding on their determination.

4.3.5.13   The student shall be informed in writing of the ADC’s decision, within 3 working days.   The student may appeal this decision under the College Appeals Procedure set out in Section G. Pending any appeal, any decision by the ADC shall be binding.

4.3.5.14    If the decision of the ADC or (if an appeal has taken place (see Section 4.4. below)) the College Appeals Committee, is that the student is to be permanently withdrawn from the College, the decision, together with a report of the hearing, shall be brought before the next Governing Body meeting.   A decision that the student be permanently withdrawn from the course requires, as a final stage, confirmation by the Governing Body.  The student will be given 3 working days’ notice of the date of the meeting of the Governing Body and may before that date submit in writing a plea in mitigation of the sanction.

4.3.5.15    The decision of the Governing Body shall be communicated to the student within 3 working days.  Details of any external appeal mechanisms available to the student are in Section G.

4.3.5.16    In cases where a student is required to withdraw permanently from his or her course because of University Regulations, this shall be reported to Governing Body by the Senior Tutor.

4.3.6    Students who find themselves subject to these formal procedures, especially once they reach stage 4.3.5 above, may wish to seek advice and support from the officers of the Junior Common Room or from the Oxford University Student Union Advice Service (http://www.ousu.org/help-and-advice).

4.3.7    When Formal Academic Disciplinary Process ceases. A student will cease to be subject to the Formal Academic Disciplinary Process set out in this section in any of the following cases:

4.3.7.1.     If while the student is on report (stages 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 above) he or she exhibits an improvement in academic performance which in the opinion or his or her Supervising tutor and of the Senior Tutor justifies taking him or her off report; or

4.3.7.2.     If the performance of the student in the penal collections (stage 4.3.4 above) indicates an improvement in academic performance which in the opinion or his or her Supervising tutor and of the Senior Tutor justifies taking him or her off report; or

4.3.7.3      If the College’s decision as a result of the procedure set out in 4.3.5 above has the effect of removing the student from report, either because the student has been permanently withdrawn from the course, or because it has been decided that no further sanction is required.

4.4       Appeal from a decision of an Academic Disciplinary Committee

Any student who is the subject of a decision by an ADC may appeal against that decision under the College Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.

5.  Suspension policy and Procedures

5.1       Introduction

5.1.1    The following sets out the general principles and process the College uses to make suitable provision for those cases in which a student reading for a degree is in medical or other difficulties which require them to take a temporary break in their studies (‘suspend’), such that they will not be able to complete their course according to the originally expected schedule, or where a student is required to interrupt their studies under the action of the Fitness to Study Policy (see Section 7 below), the Academic Disciplinary Procedure (see Section 4 above), or the Disciplinary Procedure (Section D).  Thus, ‘suspension’ covers situations where an interruption in studies is imposed on the student.

5.1.2    Students are admitted to take degrees within a fixed period of time (usually three years for an undergraduate degree) and are expected to complete the course within that period without interruption.  Situations may arise where some form of suspension is necessary or required in the interests of the student’s welfare.  Sometimes the nature of the situation may be such that the course of study cannot be completed at all.  The interruption may be too prolonged or too repeated to allow for the measure of continuity that is necessary successfully to participate in the relevant course.

5.1.3    Situations where a student requests to take a period away from their studies at their own instigation (‘intercalation’) are covered by the Intercalation Policy and Procedures (Section 6).

5.2       Support for Students, Deadlines and Communication

5.2.1    Students whose situations are or may be covered by this Suspension Policy will be encouraged in the first instance to consult the relevant sources of support available to them in the College and the University.  In the College these include their Subject Tutor, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, the College Medical Practice, the Chaplain and MCR/JCR Welfare Officers.  Further information is available in the College’s Student Handbook and on the University’s website.

5.2.2    In order that cases are dealt with as quickly as possible so that delay does not aggravate any difficulties with academic progress, this Suspension Policy includes various deadlines with which the College and the student must make every reasonable effort to comply.  The normal method of any written communication to the student will be by email to the student’s personal ox.ac.uk email address (or to the email address supplied by the student to the College for such purposes) as well as via the pigeon-hole of the student (for students in residence only).  An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the recipient at the time of sending.

5.3       General Principles

5.3.1    Definition of Suspension

Subject to 5.3.2 below, any imposed interruption of full-time studies, including when imposed by the College under disciplinary procedures, is a suspension for the purposes of this Policy. This includes any case in which a student withdraws from a University examination during or immediately before that examination with a view to re-entering for that examination at a later date.

5.3.2    Grounds for Suspension

The College may require a student’s suspension for the following reasons :

5.3.2.1        Where a student is required to suspend their studies as a result of action of the Fitness to Study Policy (see Section 7 below).

5.3.2.2        Where a student is required to suspend their studies as a result of action under the Academic Disciplinary Procedure (see Section 4 above) or the Disciplinary Procedure (Section D).

5.3.2.3        Where a student withdraws from a University exam with the intention of taking it at a later date they will be deemed to be suspending their studies unless intercalation has been agreed on medical, compassionate or fitness to study grounds and will accordingly be required to meet any conditions for return set out in 5.6 below before being allowed to return for the purposes of preparing for the exams.

5.3.2.4   Plagiarism (see 4.2.8 above).

 5.4       Process leading to Suspension

The process leading to imposition of suspension for each case is set out under the respective Policy and Procedures; see the Fitness to Study Policy (Section 7 below), the Academic Disciplinary Procedure (Section 4 above), or the Disciplinary Procedure (Section D).

5.5       Use of College facilities during Suspension

5.5.1    A suspended student is not expected to be in College or to use College or University facilities, and needs permission from the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates to visit or use facilities other than email or online resources.

5.5.2    Suspended students who are resident in College will be required to vacate their accommodation immediately.

5.5.3    A suspended student may be given permission to visit College occasionally to consult with Supervising or Subject Tutors/College Advisers or other College Officers.

5.5.4    Unless directed otherwise as a condition of suspension, the College will normally continue to authorise the student’s University Card so that the student’s email account continues to function and the student is able to access online resources.

5.6       Conditions for return into residence after a period of Suspension

The College will set conditions to be met before a student who suspends may return to study. The conditions may be medical criteria, academic criteria or both, but in all cases the criteria should be clearly set out at the time when suspension commences and communicated in writing to the student and be in accordance with the appropriate policy which has resulted in suspension.

5.6.1    Medical conditions for return

5.6.1.1      In cases in which suspension is required on medical (fitness to study) grounds the College will require certification of fitness to study as a condition of return.

5.6.1.2      A student who has been required to suspend on medical (fitness to study) grounds should keep the Academic Administrator up to date with their medical progress, and they should contact the Academic Administrator three months before they are due to return to study to confirm that this is still their intention.    It is the responsibility of the suspended student to organise and submit a letter from the College Doctor (and their consultant if appropriate) at least a month before returning to study.

5.6.1.3      A suspended student who believes that they cannot reasonably be expected to consult the College Doctor in accordance with the timetable above, or who wishes to have a second attempt following a failed attempt to obtain certification of fitness to study, may apply to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates in writing, no later than three weeks before the first day of the full term in which the student’s return is anticipated.  Any such application shall include a reasoned explanation for the request, and shall be allowed only at the discretion of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, to be exercised on reasonable grounds.  Both the decision of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates and the grounds for a decision are to be communicated to the student in writing within 7 days of any such request.  In the case of any dispute as to whether the grounds for refusing the request are reasonable, the appeal procedure under Section G applies.

5.6.1.4      A student required to suspend on medical grounds who believes that the original period of suspension was insufficient to enable them to return to College may request an extension and provide medical opinion from the College Doctor that an extension is likely to enable the student successfully to return.  In such a case, if the College believes the grounds for requesting an extension of the period of suspension are justified, the College cannot approve an extension but can only refer the request to the University in accordance with University procedures for a request for extension of time to complete studies.

5.6.2    Academic conditions for return

5.6.2.1      The College may set academic conditions to be achieved in order for a student who is suspended to return to College.  Suspension is a temporary interruption of the student’s course, and both the College and the student must be confident that the student is able to return to full time study and to progress at an appropriate academic level.

5.6.2.2      Undergraduate students required to suspend will be required to sit a collection (or collections) on the material covered in their last term or two terms of study and to achieve a mark agreed by their Supervising Tutor and the Senior Tutor, which will usually be a mark of 60% in all papers.  The student is responsible for contacting the Academic Administrator to arrange the sitting of the collection(s).   The collection(s) must be sat at least six weeks before their return to study.

5.6.3    Failure to meet conditions for return

5.6.3.1      If the student fails to meet any conditions for their return, then (subject to the outcome of any appeal they may launch under 5.7 below), the student ceases forthwith to be a member of the College, and this is an automatic consequence of the failure rather than a new determination by the College.   Pending any appeal, the student remains a member of the College but is to be allowed back into residence only at the discretion of the Principal.

5.6.3.2      In the event of a failed appeal, the student’s membership is regarded as having ceased at the time at which they failed to meet the condition for return, not at the time of determination of the appeal.  Subject to the exception in 5.6.1.4 above, the College does not allow for repeated attempts at meeting any conditions for return.

5.6.3.3      Where the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, after consulting with the student’s Subject Tutor/College Adviser, judges that the student has failed to meet any condition for their return, or the student fails to meet any condition to be satisfied after return, notice of that failure, and of the consequence, will be given in writing to the student by the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates on behalf of the College, within 3 working days of the failure having come to the attention of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.

5.6.3.4      In the case of dispute about whether any condition for return has been met by the student, the appeal procedure under 5.7 below applies.

5.6.4    Further conditions to be met after return.

5.6.4.1      In cases where the College Doctor has certified a student fit to study after a period of suspension, but has indicated that the student’s fitness to study should be kept under review, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates shall ensure that such review take place at regular intervals.

5.6.4.2      Should that review indicate that a student who has returned from a period of suspension is once again unfit to study, the Fitness to Study Panel may if it deems it appropriate, terminate the student’s membership of the College.

5.6.4.3      In the event that the College Doctor certifies that a student should only be allowed to return into residence following a period of suspension if they satisfy certain conditions relating to medical supervision or treatment, and the student then fails to meet these conditions, the Fitness to Study Panel may, if it deems it appropriate, terminate the student’s membership of the College.  Pending any appeal under 5.7 below the student remains a member of the College.

5.6.5    Content of communication from the College Doctor

5.6.5.1   Doctor’s opinion.   Where the College Doctors provide the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates with an opinion for the purposes of this Policy, that opinion shall include such detail of the student’s medical or medically related conditions as are necessary, in the opinion of the College Doctors, for their opinion to count as helpful evidence for the College in determining the student’s fitness to return to study.

5.6.5.2   Certificate of fitness to study.   Where the College Doctors provide the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates with a certificate of fitness to study for the purpose of this Policy, the certificate shall state:

(a)   whether, in the view of the College Doctors, the student is or is not fit to continue with or (as the case may be) resume their studies at the date of certification;

(b)   whether that view is informed by the direct observations of the College Doctors, or by material assembled from other sources, or by both methods together;

(c)    where the student is not certified fit to study, the main medical explanation or explanations for that being the case;

(d)   where the student is certified fit to study, any proviso to the effect that in the opinion of the College Doctors continuing review of the situation is required, or continuing treatment or medication is required, or any similar proviso that will enable the College to set suitable conditions for the student to meet, under 5.6.4 above, after their return to College.

5.6.6    Doctor-patient confidentiality

5.6.6.1   In cases in which the College Doctors are to communicate any matter (whether an opinion or a certification) directly to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, the student may be required to grant to the College Doctors a limited waiver of doctor-patient confidentiality for that purpose.

5.6.6.2   The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates undertakes to preserve the confidentiality of any matter communicated by the College Doctors under such a waiver except to the extent that further communication is required under 5.6.4 above or for the purpose of 5.7.3.2 below, and when such further communication is required a similar obligation to preserve confidentiality will be attached to the communication.

5.6.6.3   Should the student fail to grant a waiver of confidentiality to the College Doctors, the College may continue this procedure based on any information already in its possession.  In exceptional and rare cases of grave emergency or severe incapacitation, the College Doctors may exercise their right to follow their normal professional practice in communicating to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates without first obtaining from the student a waiver of doctor-patient confidentiality.  In such cases the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates undertakes to preserve the confidentiality of any matter communicated exactly as if it were under a waiver of confidentiality.

 5.7       Appeals

5.7.1    Appeals against imposition of suspension    If a student is unhappy with a decision to impose a period of suspension under the Fitness to Study Procedures, Academic Discipline Procedure, Student Disciplinary Procedure or Complaints Procedure the student may appeal the decision in accordance with the College Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.

5.7.2    Appeals against the conditions for return

 5.7.2.1      Any student who has a suspension imposed upon them may appeal against the imposition of any condition for return on the ground that the condition is not appropriate to their case.

5.7.2.2      The student exercises the right of appeal under this provision by giving notice of appeal in writing, and giving reasons for an appeal, to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates within 7 days of the student’s being informed under 5.6 above of the decision to require them to suspend and of the imposition of conditions for return.

5.7.2.3      The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates may decide:

(a) to dismiss the appeal against the imposition of condition(s) as being without basis or vexatious; or

(b)   to request the Principal to convene the Appeal Committee in accordance with the College’s Appeals Procedure set out in Section G (details of any external appeal mechanisms which may be available to the student are also in Section G); or

(c)    to refer the College’s decision to the University Fitness to Study Panel.

5.7.2.4      The student may appeal a decision to dismiss the appeal (under 5.7.2.3 (a)) to CCAT and/or the OIA (details are in section G).

5.7.3    Appeals upon failure to satisfy conditions for return

 5.7.3.1   Any student who has a suspension imposed upon them may appeal against the coming into effect of the consequences of their failure to meet any condition for their return, or any condition to be met after return, but only on one or more of the following grounds:

(a)   that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates unreasonably refused to allow the student a second or belated attempt, under 5.6.1.3 above, to satisfy a fitness to study condition;

(b)  that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates was mistaken in their judgement under 5.6.3.3 above that the student failed to meet one or more of the academic conditions; or

(c)    that any medical evidence on which the College based their decision is disputed.

5.7.3.2   In an appeal on the ground of (c) above, the final decision, against which an appeal may not be made, shall be taken by a doctor of the College Medical Practice who was not involved in the original consultations or submissions of evidence.  The student may be required to visit the doctor if an appeal on this ground is launched.

5.7.3.3   The student exercises the right of appeal under this provision by giving notice of appeal in writing to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates within 7 days of the student’s being informed under 5.6.3.3 above that they have failed to meet the conditions required for their return to College.

5.7.3.4      in relation to an appeal on grounds (a) or (b) of 5.7.3.1, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates may decide:

(a) to dismiss the appeal against the imposition of condition(s) as being without basis or vexatious; or

(b)   to request the Principal to convene the Appeal Committee in accordance with the College’s Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.

(c) Details of any external appeal mechanisms available to the student from the decision to dismiss the appeal in (a) or the decision of the Appeal Committee are also in Section G.

6.  Intercalation Policy and Procedures

6.1       Introduction

6.1.1    The following sets out the general principles and process the College uses when a student at their own request wishes to take a year away from their studies (‘intercalate’).  A student must have the permission of the College to intercalate.

6.1.2    A temporary interruption in a student’s studies (‘suspension’) may be required and so be imposed on the student by the College or University under the action of the Fitness to Study Policy (see Section 7 below), the Academic Disciplinary Procedure (see Section 4 above), or the Disciplinary Procedure (Section D).  These situations are covered by the Suspension Policy and Procedures (Section 5 above).

6.2       Support for Students, Deadlines and Communication

6.2.1    Students who wish to intercalate will be encouraged in the first instance to consult the relevant sources of support available to them in the College and the University.  In the College these include their Subject Tutor, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, the College Medical Practice, the Chaplain and MCR/JCR Welfare Officers.  Further information is available in the College’s Student Handbook and on the University’s website.

6.2.2    In order that cases are dealt with as quickly as possible so that delay does not aggravate any difficulties with academic progress, this Intercalation Policy includes various deadlines with which the College and the student must make every reasonable effort to comply.  The normal method of any written communication to the student will be by email to the student’s personal ox.ac.uk email address (or to the email address supplied by the student to the College for such purposes) as well as via the pigeon-hole of the student (for students in residence only).  An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the recipient at the time of sending.

6.3       General Principles

6.3.1    Definition of Intercalation

 An interruption of full-time studies for up to three academic terms at the instigation of the student is an intercalation for the purposes of this Policy.

6.3.2    Grounds for Intercalation

6.3.2.1   The College will permit a student’s intercalation where the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates is satisfied that:

(a)   an intercalation is necessary on serious medical or compassionate grounds or on grounds that the Senior Tutor considers to be exceptional;   and

(b)   the circumstances are such that it is expected that the student will be able to resume their studies at the end of the period of intercalation at the same point as when they intercalated.

6.3.2.2   A period of intercalation to cover maternity leave should be arranged in consultation with the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.  Paternity or parental leave (up to two weeks) for the birth or adoption of a child should also be arranged in consultation with the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.

6.3.2.3   For the avoidance of doubt, students are not able to intercalate without the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates being satisfied that the intercalation is necessary and supported by appropriate cause.  As a general rule, the College discourage students from intercalating, as experience suggests that the students usually achieve worse results after a year away from full-time study, or worse, do not return at all.

6.3.2.4   Intercalation is not allowed on academic grounds (for example, for students who are struggling with their course and have fallen behind in their work) unless a student can prove genuinely exceptional circumstances.

6.3.2.4   In the case of graduate students, the College will normally be guided by the decision of the relevant department or faculty.

6.4       Period of Intercalation

6.4.1    Undergraduate students An intercalation is normally for three academic terms so that the student returns to their study at the same point as when they intercalated. The following are the only exceptions:

6.4.1.1   If the Senior Tutor, having taken into account the views of the student’s Supervising Tutor and the College Doctor or other circumstances, judges that the circumstances warrant it, a student who applies for intercalation before the start of Hilary full term of their first year on any course of study may be permitted to restart the same course of study with effect from the start of Michaelmas Term of the following academic year;

6.4.1.2   If the Senior Tutor, having taken into account the views of the student’s Supervising Tutor and the College Doctor or other circumstances, judges that the circumstances warrant it, a student who applies for intercalation in his or her final term of study may be permitted to return at the beginning of Trinity term of the following academic year;

6.4.1.3   If the Senior Tutor, having taken into account the views of the student’s Supervising Tutor and the College Doctor or other circumstances, judges that the circumstances warrant it, a student who has already missed a substantial amount of work during a period in which they were not intercalated may be granted an intercalation of less than one year so as to allow resumption of work at the point at which, effectively, it was abandoned.

6.4.2    Graduate students   In addition to taking account of the views of the student’s College Advisor and the College Doctor or other circumstances, the Tutor for Graduates will also seek guidance from the student’s department or faculty as to an appropriate period of intercalation.

6.5       Application for intercalation

6.5.1    The Application process

6.5.1.1   An application for intercalation should be made to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates in writing by the student stating their reasons and the date from which they wish their intercalation to start.

6.5.1.2   Except where the opinion of the College Doctor has been (or will shortly be) sought by the student or has been (or will shortly) be communicated direct by the College Doctor to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, evidence supporting the proposed intercalation should be included with an application.

6.5.1.3   In the event that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates doubts the adequacy of the evidence supplied, they may require additional evidence to be supplied and/or require the student to obtain the opinion of the College Doctor.  This evidence is to be communicated directly to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.

 6.5.2    Consideration of application

An application for intercalation made under 6.5.1 will be considered by the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates who will arrive at a recommendation after consulting with the student’s Supervising Tutor/College Adviser and, if appropriate, with the College Medical Practice.  In the case of an application by a graduate student, the Tutor for Graduates will also consult the student’s department or faculty.

6.6       Use of College facilities during intercalation

6.6.1    An intercalating student is not expected to be in College or to use College or University facilities, and needs permission from the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates to visit or use facilities other than email or online resources.

6.6.2    Intercalating students who are resident in College will be required to vacate their accommodation immediately.

6.6.3    An intercalating student may be given permission to visit College occasionally to consult with Supervising Tutors/College Advisers or other College Officers.

6.6.4    Unless directed otherwise as a condition of intercalation, the College will normally continue to authorise the student’s University Card so that the student’s email account continues to function and the student is able to access online resources.

6.7       Conditions for return into residence after a period of Intercalation

The College will set conditions to be met before a student who intercalates may return to study.  The conditions may be medical criteria, academic criteria or both, but in all cases the criteria should be clearly set out at the time when intercalation commences and communicated in writing to the student.

6.7.1    Medical conditions for return

6.7.1.1      In cases in which intercalation has been granted on medical grounds the College will require certification of fitness to study as a condition of return.

6.7.1.2      The intercalating student should keep the Academic Administrator up to date with their medical progress, and they should contact the Academic Administrator three months before they are due to return to study to confirm that this is still their intention.    It is the responsibility of the intercalating student to organise and submit a letter from the College Doctor (and their consultant if appropriate) at least a month before returning to study.

6.7.1.3      An intercalated student who believes that they cannot reasonably be expected to consult the College Doctor in accordance with the timetable above, or who wishes to have a second attempt following a failed attempt to obtain certification of fitness to study, may apply to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates in writing, no later than three weeks before the first day of the full term in which the student’s return is anticipated.  Any such application shall include a reasoned explanation for the request, and shall be allowed only at the discretion of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, to be exercised on reasonable grounds.  Both the decision of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates and the grounds for a decision are to be communicated to the student in writing within 7 days of any such request.  In the case of any dispute as to whether the grounds for refusing the request are reasonable, the appeal procedure under 6.8 below applies.

6.7.1.4      A student who has intercalated on medical grounds and who believes that the original period of intercalation was insufficient to enable them to return to College may request an extension and provide medical opinion from the College Doctor that an extension is likely to enable the student successfully to return.  In such a case, if the College believes the grounds for requesting an extension of the period of intercalation are justified, the College cannot approve an extension but can only refer the request to the University in accordance with University procedures for a request for extension of time to complete studies.

6.7.2    Academic conditions for return

6.7.2.1      To assist the student to prepare for resumption of their studies after a period of intercalation, the College will set academic conditions to be achieved in order for a student to return to College.  It is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that on their return they will be able to resume their studies and progress in their course at an appropriate academic level.  Satisfaction of academic conditions provides evidence to assist the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates in their assessment of the student’s fitness to return to College to resume their course.

6.7.2.2      Undergraduate students who intercalate will be required to sit a collection (or collections) on the material covered in their last term or two terms of study and to achieve a mark agreed by their Supervising Tutor and the Senior Tutor.  The student is responsible for contacting their Academic Administrator to arrange the sitting of the collection(s).   The collection(s) must be sat at least six weeks before their return to study.

6.7.3    Failure to meet conditions for return

 6.7.3.1      If the student fails to meet any conditions for return, then (subject to the outcome of any appeal they may launch under 6.8 below), the student ceases forthwith to be a member of the College, and this is an automatic consequence of the failure rather than a new determination by the College.   Pending any appeal, the student remains a member of the College but is to be allowed back into residence only at the discretion of the Principal.

6.7.3.2      In the event of a failed appeal, the student’s membership is regarded as having ceased at the time at which they failed to meet the condition for return, not at the time of determination of the appeal.  Subject to the exception in 6.7.1.4 above, the College does not allow for repeated attempts at meeting any conditions for return.

6.7.3.3      Where the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, after consulting with the student’s Supervising Tutor/College Adviser, judges that the student has failed to meet any condition for their return, or the student fails to meet any condition to be satisfied after return, notice of that failure, and of the consequence, will be given in writing to the student by the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates on behalf of the College, within 3 working days of the failure having come to the attention of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.

6.7.3.4      In the case of dispute about whether any condition for return has been met by the student, the appeal procedure under 6.8 below applies.

6.7.4    Further conditions to be met after return

In cases where the College Doctor has certified a student fit to study after a period of      intercalation, but has indicated that the student’s fitness to study should be kept under       review, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates shall ensure that such review take place at       regular intervals.

6.7.5    Content of communication from the College Doctor

6.7.5.1   Doctor’s opinion.   Where the College Doctors provide the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates with an opinion for the purposes of this intercalation procedure, that opinion shall include such detail of the student’s medical or medically related conditions as are necessary, in the opinion of the College Doctors, for their opinion to count as helpful evidence for the College in determining the success of an application of intercalation.

6.7.5.2   Certificate of fitness to study.   Where the College Doctors provide the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates with a certificate of fitness to study for the purpose of this intercalation procedure, the certificate shall state:

  1. whether, in the view of the College Doctors, the student is or is not fit to continue with or (as the case may be) resume their studies at the date of certification;
  2. whether that view is informed by the direct observations of the College Doctors, or by material assembled from other sources, or by both methods together;
  3. where the student is not certified fit to study, the main medical explanation or explanations for that being the case;
  4. where the student is certified fit to study, any proviso to the effect that in the opinion of the College Doctors continuing review of the situation is required, or continuing treatment or medication is required, or any similar proviso that will enable the College to set suitable conditions for the student to meet, under 6.7.4 above, after their return to College.

6.7.6    Doctor-patient confidentiality

6.7.6.1   In cases in which the College Doctors are to communicate any matter (whether an opinion or a certification) directly to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, the student may be required to grant to the College Doctors a limited waiver of doctor-patient confidentiality for that purpose.

6.7.6.2   The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates undertakes to preserve the confidentiality of any matter communicated by the College Doctors under such a waiver except to the extent that further communication is required under 6.7.5 above or for the purpose of 6.8.3.2 below, and when such further communication is required a similar obligation to preserve confidentiality will be attached to the communication.

6.7.6.3   Should the student fail to grant a waiver of confidentiality to the College Doctors, the College may continue this procedure based on any information already in its possession.  In exceptional and rare cases of grave emergency or severe incapacitation, the College Doctors may exercise their right to follow their normal professional practice in communicating to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates without first obtaining from the student a waiver of doctor-patient confidentiality.  In such cases the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates undertakes to preserve the confidentiality of any matter communicated exactly as if it were under a waiver of confidentiality.

6.8       Appeals

6.8.1    Appeals against refusal of intercalation

Intercalation instigated by the student is a special concession granted out of compassion or for medical reasons and is not a right of a student. There is no obstacle to the making of a fresh application supported by new evidence or on the basis of a change in situation or on any other basis such that the College might reasonably be expected to reach a different determination.   The College may, however, decline to accept, and hence consider, a re-application which the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates judges to be in substance a mere repetition of a recently refused application.  If a student is unhappy with the decision of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates in relation to a request for intercalation the student may appeal in accordance with the College Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.

6.8.2    Appeals against the conditions for return

 6.8.2.1   Any student granted an intercalation may appeal against the imposition of any condition for return on the ground that the condition is not appropriate to their case.

6.8.2.2   The student exercises the right of appeal under this provision by giving notice of appeal in writing, and giving reasons for an appeal, to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates within 7 days of the student’s being informed under 6.7 above of the decision to allow their request for intercalation and of the imposition of conditions as to return.

6.8.2.3   The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates may decide:

to dismiss the appeal against the imposition of condition(s) as being without basis or vexatious; or

  1. to request the Principal to convene the Appeal Committee in accordance with the College’s Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.
  2. Details of any external appeal mechanisms which may be available to the student from the decision to dismiss the appeal under (a) or the decision of the Appeal Committee are also in Section G.

6.8.3    Appeals upon failure to satisfy conditions for return

6.8.3.1   Any student granted an intercalation may appeal against the coming into effect of the consequences of their failure to meet any condition for their return, or any condition to be met after return, but only on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates unreasonably refused to allow the student a second or belated attempt to obtain certification of fitness to study under 6.7.1.3 above; or

(b) that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates was mistaken in their judgement under 6.7.3.3 above that the student failed to meet one or more of the academic conditions; or

(c) that any medical evidence on which the College based their decision is disputed.

6.8.3.2   In an appeal on the ground of (c) above, the final decision, against which an appeal may not be made, shall be taken by a doctor of the College Medical Practice who was not involved in the original consultations or submissions of evidence.  The student may be required to visit the doctor if an appeal on this ground is launched.

6.8.3.3   The student exercises the right of appeal under this provision by giving notice of appeal in writing to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates within 7 days of the student’s being informed under 6.7.3.3 above that they have failed to meet the conditions required for their return to College.

6.8.3.4   The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates may decide:

  1. to dismiss the appeal against the decision that the condition(s) for return have not been met as being without basis or vexatious; or
  2. to request the Principal to convene the Appeal Committee in accordance with the College’s Appeals Procedure set out in Section G.
  3. Details of any external appeal mechanisms which may be available to the student from the decision to dismiss the appeal under (a) or the decision of the Appeal Committee are also in Section G.

7.  Fitness to Study Policy and Procedures

7.1       Introduction

The following procedure will be followed when there are concerns about the fitness to study of a student, either undergraduate or graduate, on account of medical, psychological or emotional problems. Whilst the focus of this procedure is the fitness of the student to study, its ambit is of necessity wider as a student’s lack of fitness may have a serious impact upon the welfare or ability to study of other members of the College community.  When making decisions the College will take account of the welfare of the student in the context of the demanding academic requirements of Oxford degree courses.  In the case of graduate students, fitness to study has aspects which may require both College and Department involvement, depending on the precise situation.  This Fitness to Study Policy should be read together with the College’s other policies and regulations, particularly those regarding Academic Discipline (Sections 3 and 4 above), Suspension (Section 6 above) and Academic Standards (Section 1 above).

7.2       Definition of Fitness to Study

For the purposes of this Procedure, ‘Fitness to Study’ is as defined in the University’s Statute XIII, Part B. It means an undergraduate or graduate student’s fitness:

(a)        to commence a distinct course of academic study; or

(b)        to continue with his/her current course of academic study; or

(c)        to return to his/her current or another course of academic study; or

his or her ability to meet:

(d)        the reasonable academic requirements of the course or programme; and/or

(e)        the reasonable social and behavioural requirements of a student member (whether resident in College or not) without his or her physical, mental, emotional or psychological health or state having an unacceptably deleterious impact upon the health, safety and/or welfare of the student and/or University or College staff (not withstanding adjustments required by law).

7.3       Circumstances under which a student’s Fitness to Study may be brought into question

These include (but are not restricted to) the following:

7.3.1    The student informs the College of their own concerns.

7.3.2    Serious concerns about the student emerge from a third party (for example, a medical professional, a tutor, a member of the College staff, a member of a University Department, friend, etc.) which indicate that there is a need to address the student’s fitness to study.

7.3.3    The student has told a member of the College that they have a problem and/or provided information which indicates that there is a need to address their fitness to study.

7.3.4    The student’s disposition is such that it indicates that there may be a need to address an underlying mental health problem, for example if they have demonstrated moods swings, shown signs of depression, or become withdrawn.

7.3.5    The student exhibits behaviour that would otherwise be dealt with as a disciplinary matter, but is considered to be possibly the result of an underlying physical or mental health problem.

7.3.6    The student’s academic performance or behaviour is not acceptable and this is thought to be the result of an underlying physical or mental health problem.  (Academic Disciplinary Procedures (Sections 3 and 4 above) apply when there are no underlying physical or mental health problems).

7.4       Support for Students

 7.4.1    Students whose situations are or may be covered by this Fitness to Study Policy will be encouraged in the first instance to consult the relevant sources of support available to them in the College and the University.  In the College these include their Subject Tutor, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, the College Medical Practice, the Chaplain and MCR/JCR Welfare Officers.  Further information is available in the College’s Student Handbook and on the University’s website.

7.5       The Fitness to Study Procedure: Introduction

The Fitness to Study Procedure detailed below has three stages:

Stage 1 (7.6 below): emerging or initial concerns are identified;

Stage 2 (7.7 below): continuing or initial serious concerns about an individual student’s health, safety or mental wellbeing are raised;

Stage 3 (7.8 below): persistent or significant concerns are raised about a student’s health, safety or mental wellbeing that pose a risk:

(a)       to the student’s academic progress, and/or

(b)       of disruption to College life, and/or

(c)       of an unacceptable adverse effect upon other student(s).

Depending upon the perceived severity of the situation and seriousness of any perceived risks, action may be initiated at any of the three stages.

7.6       Informal action by the College: Stage 1

7.6.1    If early intervention in terms of support and guidance as outlined in 7.4 above is unsuccessful, then normally the Supervising Tutor or Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates will attempt to resolve the matter by informal discussions with the student.  If the Fitness to Study issue is related to academic or behavioural deficiency as in 7.2(d) or 7.2(e) above, the student will be made aware of the precise deficiency and/or the circumstances that has caused concerns to be raised.

7.6.2    A student in this situation will be given the opportunity to explain their own views on the matter, and will be encouraged to use one or more of the support services offered by the University.  It may be necessary to obtain independent corroboration as to whether the support offered bas been taken up, and the student will be responsible for providing this.

7.6.3    It is hoped that in most cases issues can be resolved at this stage.  A review period may be determined by agreement between the Supervising Tutor/College Advisor or Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates and the student.  At the end of the period a meeting will be held to discuss any steps taken by the student to address the concerns.  If the concerns have been addressed satisfactorily, this will be noted and no further action will be taken.  If, however, the concerns have not been addressed satisfactorily, either a further review period will be agreed, or the case will be moved to the next Stage of the Procedure.

7.6.4    A record will be made of the informal discussions, advice and any undertakings made by the College or the student, and a note retained on the student’s personal file.  Copies of all documents will be made available to the student, and a letter setting out what has been agreed will be given to the student.

7.6.5    If the student is unable to unwilling to cooperate with this process or to modify their behaviour, then more formal action under Stage 2 of this Procedure may be considered appropriate.

7.7       Case Review Group: Stage 2

7.7.1    If the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates considers that the action taken under Stage 1 has not been successful, or that the case is too serious to be dealt with informally, they may invoke Stage 2 of the Procedure.

7.7.2    The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates will convene a Case Review Group to meet with the student as soon as practicable.  This Group will include the student’s Supervising Tutor/College Advisor and the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, and may include as appropriate the Academic Administrator, the Dean and a member of the College Welfare Support Team.  The College may ask one or more expert advisers to join the Case Review Group.  At the meeting the student may be accompanied by a friend or other adviser.  A support worker may also accompany a disabled student.

7.7.3    The student and the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates should inform each other of those attending the meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.  The Academic Administrator will be the point of contact with the student and will ensure that the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates is kept informed of all communications.  Communication with the student will be in writing, normally by email to the student’s personal ox.ac.uk email address (or an email address supplied by the student for such purposes), as well as via the pigeon-hole of the student.  An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the recipient at the time of sending.

7.7.4    Before the meeting, a medical assessment may be sought from the College Medical Practice, and the student will be encouraged to consent to this.  The medical assessment may be used to determine the following matters:

  1. the nature and extent of any medical condition from which the student may be suffering;
  2. the student’s prognosis;
  3. the extent to which it may affect his/her fitness to student and manage the demands of student life;
  4. any impact it may have or risk it may pose to others;
  5. whether any additional steps should be taken by the College, in light of the medical condition, to enable the student to study more effectively;
  6. whether the student will be receiving any ongoing medical treatment or support.

7.7.5    The student will be asked to authorise full disclosure to the College of the results of any medical examination.  Such information disclosed will constitute ‘sensitive data’ for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 and will be handled, processed and stored accordingly.  If the student refuses to undergo a medical examination, or disclose results, the College may continue this Procedure based on any information already in its possession.

7.7.6    The student will be given at least 7 days’ notice of the convening of the Case Review Group meeting and will be informed of the purpose of the meeting.  This period may be shortened in case of emergency on the advice of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.  The student will be provided with any documents that will be considered by the Group, and asked to provide any documentation for the Group to consider at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

7.7.7    The purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that:

7.7.7.1 the student is made fully aware of the nature of the concerns that have been raised;

7.7.7.2 the student’s views are heard and taken into account;

7.7.7.3 the best way to proceed is agreed upon;

7.7.7.4 the student is fully aware of the possible outcomes if difficulties remain.

7.7.8    The Case Review Group may decide:

7.7.8.1 that no further action is required; or

7.7.8.2 formally to monitor the student’s progress for a specified period of time.  In this case an action plan will be agreed with the student, outlining any steps that the student will need to take, and/or any support to be provided to the student.  Regular review meetings with the student will need to be arranged with a nominated member of the College staff to ensure that the action plan is being appropriately followed and/or that reasonable support to enable the student to study effectively is being provided.  The student will be informed that the consequences of any breaches of the action plan will normally involve fitness to study being considered at Stage 3 of this Procedure; or

7.7.8.3 to recommend that special academic arrangements or support are put in place.  Such recommendations should be agreed between the student and the College and also, in the case of a graduate student, with his or her department as may be deemed appropriate.  The student will be informed that unless these arrangements remedy the concerns to the College’s satisfaction, the case may be considered at Stage 3 of this Procedure; or

7.7.8.4 with the consent of the  student, to agree that the student’s studies be suspended for a period of time, subject to application to the relevant University authority as appropriate; or

7.7.8.5 to refer the case to the Principal to be considered under Stage 3 of this Procedure.  This will be appropriate only in the most serious of cases, where, for example, evidence of a serious risk to either the health and safety of the student or others has been identified, and it is thought that suspension, exclusion or permanent withdrawal of the student from his or her course may be the appropriate course of action, or where a particular course of action has been recommended but the student does not agree.

7.8       Fitness to Study Panel: Stage 3

 7.8.1    This stage of the Procedure will be implemented only after a referral from a Stage 2 Case Review Group, or where in the opinion of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, sufficiently serious concerns are raised to warrant consideration of the student’s suspension, exclusion (from the premises and facilities of the College) or permanent withdrawal from his or her course and loss of membership of the College and University.    Such action might be necessary where, for example, there is a potentially severe threat to the health, safety of the student or of others, or to the normal working of the College.

7.8.2    In the first instance, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates, in consultation with the Principal, will consider whether interim suspension (see 7.8.1 above)  or exclusion (see 7.8.1 above, including exclusion from College accommodation ) of the student is appropriate,  pending the decision of the Fitness to Study Panel.

7.8.3    The Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates will then ask the Principal to convene a Fitness to Study Panel which will be chaired by a senior member of the College’s Governing Body with no previous involvement in the case and will normally have at least three members, who may be drawn from the Governing Body, and may additionally include professional advisers.

7.8.4    The Chair will fix a date for a formal meeting of the Fitness to Study Panel to hear the case, and will invite the student (who may be accompanied by a friend or adviser) to attend to discuss the concerns and all relevant issues.  If requested by the Chair, a member of the administrative staff will act as Secretary to the Panel.

7.8.5    Wherever possible, the student will be given at least 7 days’ notice of the meeting of the Fitness to Study Panel.  The student will be informed of the purpose of the hearing.  The student will also be provided with any documents to be considered at the meeting and asked to provide any documentation he or she may wish the Panel to consider at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.  The Academic Administrator will be the point of contact with the student and will ensure that the Panel Chair is informed of all communications.  Communication with the student will be in writing, normally to the student’s personal ox.ac.uk email address (or to the email address supplied by the student for such purposes), as well as via the pigeon-hole of the student.  An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the student at the time of sending.

7.8.6    The student may be accompanied at the meeting by a friend or other adviser.  A disabled student may also be accompanied by a support worker where required.  The student and the Panel Chair should inform each other of those attending the meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

7.8.7    The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the evidence available, including the student’s perception of their fitness to study and of the concerns that have been raised in accordance with 7.3 and 7.8.1 above, and to reach an appropriate decision, action plan or other outcome.

7.8.8    The Fitness to Study Panel will order its proceedings at its discretion, in accordance with the principles of natural justice.  It may call witnesses and may also institute inquiries to assist its deliberations which may include requesting further medical assessments of the student’s fitness to study.  It will also consider any previous fitness to study assessments.  The Chair will ensure that all parties have access to all documents which it considers.  The decision it arrives at shall be confirmed by the Chair after obtaining a collective decision from members of the Panel.

7.8.9    The Chair of the Fitness to Study Panel will notify the student in writing of the Panel’s decision, with reasons, within 14 days of the meeting of the Panel.  The Chair will liaise with the Academic Administrator to ensure that where possible, appropriate pastoral support is made available to the student at the time the decision is communicated.

7.8.10  The decision may include one or more of the following:

(a)        To formally monitor the student’s progress for a specified period of time.  The Panel will provide the student with an agreed action plan, outlining any steps that the student will need to take and/or any support to be provided to the student for addressing the concerns identified.  Regular review meetings with the student will be arranged with a nominated member of staff to ensure that the action plan is being appropriately followed and/or that reasonable support is being provided.  The student will also be informed of the consequences of any breaches of the action plan.

(b)        A suspension of studies is agreed with the student (in the case of graduate students, following consultation with the appropriate University department).

(c)        A recommendation that the College exercises its authority to suspend or exclude the student.

(d)        A recommendation that the College refers the case to the University Fitness to Study Panel.

(e)        Any other action considered to be appropriate and proportionate.

7.8.11  Any decision regarding suspension (see 7.8.10 (c) above) or exclusion (see 7.8.10 (c) above) will be communicated by the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates to the University.

7.8.12  In cases where a suspension of studies is recommended, the College’s Suspension Policy and Procedures (see Section 5 above) will be followed.

7.9       Appeal

Any appeal from the decision of the Fitness to Study Panel shall be dealt with in accordance with the College Appeal Procedure set out in Section G. Details of any external appeal mechanisms which may be available to the student are also in Section G.

7.10     Crisis Situations

7.10.1  It is possible that a student may pose such an extreme risk that emergency assistance is needed outside these procedures.  In a situation where it is believed that a student’s behaviour or condition presents an immediate risk to the student or to others, the Emergency Services should be contacted by dialling 999.  The College Lodge (01865 271006) should also be informed.

7.10.2  The Lodge should, immediately after dealing with the Emergency Services, alert the Dean that there is an emergency situation.

7.10.3  The Lodge should, as soon as possible, notify the Academic Administrator that there is an emergency situation.  The Academic Administrator will relay details to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.

7.10.4  The persons witnessing the student’s behaviour should be asked not to leave the scene until they have briefed the Emergency Services, bearing in mind the primary necessity to ensure their own safety.

7.10.5  The College Lodge will keep as full a record as possible of the action taken by the Emergency Services and pass this on to the Academic Administrator after the emergency situation has concluded.  The Dean or the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates (as appropriate) will ensure that contact is made at the appropriate level of detail with the student and the student’s Supervising Tutor/Graduate Advisor, and that appropriate arrangements are made with regard to follow up.