University Acts

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY

Changes in Regulations

Council has made the following changes in regulations on 30 October 2003, to come into effect on 14 November 2003.

The regulations replace Council Regulations 31 of 2002, made by Council on 24 July 2002 (Gazette, Vol. 132, Supplement (2) to No. 4630, pp. 1510--14).

Council Regulations 6 of 2003

REGULATIONS FOR THE INVESTIGATION BY THE PROCTORS OF COMPLAINTS UNDER SECTION 22 OF STATUTE IX [1]

Made by Council on 6 November 2003

1. References to sections in these regulations are to sections of Statute IX unless stated otherwise, and references to colleges shall include colleges, societies, Permanent Private Halls, and other institutions designated by Council by regulation as being permitted to present candidates for matriculation.

2. The Proctors shall lay down and publish annually, and update as necessary, guidance and procedures governing the investigation of complaints by members of the University brought to their attention under the provisions of section 22. [2]

3. The procedures shall be in two parts, namely:

(1) procedures for complaints which constitute appeals from a decision relating to an academic matter which has been taken by an academic committee or other body; and

(2) procedures for other complaints, except those set out in regulation 5 below.

4. The procedures shall be drawn up in consultation with relevant university bodies and shall be approved by Council before publication.

5. The Proctors shall not undertake investigations under these regulations in relation to the following:

(1) staff grievances in respect of which procedures are provided in the staff handbook for the category of staff concerned, or any staff grievance to which Part F of Statute XII applies;

(2) complaints concerning an individual's relationship with his or her college, which shall be made under the relevant college procedures;

(3) complaints or allegations to which procedures under the University's Codes of Practice on Fraud, Public Interest Disclosure, Academic Integrity in Research, and the Freedom of Information Act apply.

(4) allegations of breaches of the Code of Discipline set out in Statute XI. Such allegations shall be addressed as follows:

(a) in the case of student members, by the Proctors in accordance with regulations made under that statute; or

(b) in the case of other members of the University, as directed by the Registrar under the provisions of that statute.

6. The Proctors shall ensure, in consultation with the University's Equal Opportunities Unit, that published procedures accord with codes of practice and policies concerning equality of opportunity or treatment published by the University or by relevant government bodies for application to the higher education sector.

7. If an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation by the Proctors, he or she may make an appeal in writing to the High Steward setting out the reasons for the appeal.

8. (1) If an individual is dissatisfied with the progress of an investigation by the Proctors, he or she may request the Proctors to give, within twenty-eight days of the date of the request, a written report on the progress they have made.

(2) If he or she is dissatisfied with the report, he or she may appeal in writing to the High Steward.

9. Any appeal under regulation 7 or regulation 8 (2) above shall be delivered to the Registrar within twenty-eight days of the date of the Proctors' determination or report.

10.(1) The Registrar shall be entitled to reject appeals that are, on the face of it, trivial or vexatious.

(2) In all other cases, the Registrar shall refer the appeal to the High Steward under the provisions of regulations 11--13 below.

11. The High Steward shall consider any appeal referred to him or her by the Registrar under regulation 10 (2) above and may appoint another suitably qualified individual or individuals to act in his or her place.

12. The procedure to be adopted shall be determined by the person or persons considering the matter, giving due regard to the principles of natural justice.

13. The High Steward or his or her appointee or appointees shall consider the appeal expeditiously and shall deliver his or her or their decision in writing together with reasons for the decision.

14. The Proctors shall prepare an annual report to Council setting out the number and type of complaints considered by the Proctors, the time taken to investigate and adjudicate each complaint, and, in general terms, the outcome.

Procedures for Handling Complaints

(including academic appeals) submitted to the Proctors

These procedures are laid down and published under regulations made under the provisions of section 22 of Statute IX, a copy of which is annexed to these procedures. [3]

Under the provisions of the University's statutes, the Proctors 'shall be available for consultation by members of the University and may investigate complaints'. Any member of the University wishing to seek informal advice from the Proctors or the Proctors' Office may make an appointment through the Clerk to the Proctors (telephone: (2)80190). The Proctors are elected by the colleges in rotation and are seconded from their normal teaching or administrative duties for the duration of their year in office. They have a general responsibility to ensure that the University's statutes are upheld; this includes a specific responsibility to see that examinations are properly conducted and in accordance with the statutes and regulations concerning them. As part of the process of investigating complaints, the Proctors may summon any member of the University to appear before them. By custom, the Junior Proctor takes the lead role in dealing with complaints relating to taught-course examinations, while the Senior Proctor takes the lead role in dealing with complaints relating to research degree candidatures and examinations.

Formal complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the following procedures.

What the procedures cover

1. The procedures set out below relate to complaints concerning a student's relationship with the University or with clubs, societies, or other organisations which are subject to the supervision of the Proctors.

2. The procedure under Part A may be used to pursue complaints about matters concerning teaching and learning (e.g. teaching facilities, supervision arrangements, etc.), and non-academic issues (e.g. support services, library services, university accommodation, university clubs and societies, etc.). It does not cover appeals and other matters referred to below. A complaint to the Proctors under Part A should be made only if attempts at an informal resolution, or under local complaints procedures published by the department, faculty, or unit in question, are unsuccessful.

3. The procedure under Part A may also be applied in the event of complaints by members of staff.

4. The procedure under Part B may be used where a student or a member of staff wishes to challenge a decision relating to an academic matter which has been made by an academic committee or body ('an academic appeal'). It should be noted that the Proctors are empowered to consider complaints about the process that has led to a decision being made by an academic body such as a board of examiners, faculty board, or graduate studies committee (e.g. that an administrative or procedural error may have occurred, that there has been bias or inadequate assessment in the examination process, that the examiners failed to take into account special factors affecting a candidate's performance).

What the procedures do not cover

5. The procedures do not cover staff grievances in respect of which procedures are provided in the staff handbook for the category of staff concerned, or any staff grievance to which Part F of Statute XII applies.

6. The procedures do not cover complaints concerning an individual's relationship with his or her college, which shall be made under the relevant college procedures.

7. The procedures do not cover allegations of breaches of the Disciplinary Statute and Regulations, which must be investigated by the Proctors under regulations made under that statute.

8. The procedures do not cover complaints or allegations to which procedures under the University's Codes of Practice on Fraud, Public Interest Disclosure, Academic Integrity in Research and the Freedom of Information Act apply. (Copies of the University's Policies and Codes of Practice in relation to Harassment, Equal Opportunities, Race Equality, Academic Integrity in Research, Public Interest Disclosure, and Fraud may be obtained from the Clerk to the Proctors, or accessed respectively on:

www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/har/code.shtml; www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/eopolicy.shtml; www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/rraa/rraaeop.shtml; www.admin.ox.ac.uk/rso/policy/conduct.shtml; www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/staff/codes/pid.shtml www.admin.ox.ac.uk/finance/finregs/finregs.doc.)

9. The procedures do not cover appeals against decisions made by the Proctors under the relevant Examination Regulations in cases where they have been asked to approve special arrangements (e.g. on grounds of ill health) or to give a dispensation in respect of the academic progress or examination of an individual candidate. These should be made to the Chairman of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of Council. Information is available from Senior Tutors and college offices.

10. The Proctors are not empowered to challenge the academic judgment of examiners or academic bodies.

Access to personal data

11. Any complainant is entitled to request access to personal data held in relation to the investigation under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. Access request forms may be obtained from the Data Protection Officer, University Offices, Wellington Square, or may be accessed in the University's Web site (www.admin.ox.ac.uk/councilsec/oxonly/dp/policy.shtml). Complainants should note that there are some exceptions to the right of access, and in particular that access may in some circumstances be restricted by virtue of the duty of confidentiality owed to third parties.

Appeals

12. Any appeal to the High Steward against a decision of the Proctors, or to express dissatisfaction with a report by the Proctors on the progress they have made, should be made in writing to the Registrar within twenty-eight days of the determination or report concerned. Copies of regulations for the consideration of such appeals may be obtained from the Clerk to the Proctors.

Part A:

Procedure applying to complaints about matters concerning teaching and learning and non- academic issues

13. Any reference in these procedures to the Proctors includes a Proctor acting alone and any person appointed under paragraph 16 below.

14. Complaints and appeals will be treated seriously and may be made without fear of recrimination.

15. No one investigating a complaint shall have had any prior involvement in the matter in hand, conflict of interest in dealing with the complaint, or vested interest in the outcome.

16. If there has been prior involvement by one or both of the Proctors another individual or individuals will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to act in their place, who shall have the same powers of investigation and determination as the Proctors.

17. The Proctors may call on any person in or outside the University to provide specialist assistance in their investigations.

Confidentiality

18. Complaints will be dealt with in a confidential manner. All those who are involved in procedures for investigating an allegation, including witnesses, representatives, and persons providing evidence and/or advice, have a duty to maintain confidentiality. For a complaint to be investigated fully, however, and action taken, it will be necessary to disclose the identity of the person making a complaint to the person or body who is the subject of the complaint and to others directly involved.

Malicious or vexatious allegations

19. If malicious or vexatious allegations are made, disciplinary action may be taken against the individual concerned.

Procedure

20. Complaints should be made in writing. When making a written complaint, it is helpful to give as much information as possible and set out the precise details of the complaint that is being made. This should explain the steps that have been taken to pursue the complaint, mention any discussions that have already been held about the matter, attach copies of any earlier correspondence, and state clearly what remedy, if any, the complainant is seeking. Advice may be sought from sources such as OUSU, student common room, or trade union officers, before making a written complaint.

21. Complaints shall be investigated fairly and expeditiously.

22. Complaints will be logged on receipt and complainants will be invited to provide details of their ethnic origin, to facilitate monitoring under the University's equal opportunities policies. Information about ethnic origin will be kept securely and separately unless it is pertinent to the complaint under consideration.

23. If at any time in the course of an investigation under this procedure the Proctors decide that the matter should properly be considered under the disciplinary procedure applicable to the person or persons in question, then the matter shall be referred for consideration under that procedure and the complainant shall be informed accordingly.

24. The receipt of a written complaint will normally be acknowledged within five working days. If the Proctors take the view that the complainant has not taken sufficient steps to resolve the complaint at a local level, they may advise the complainant to do so before they agree to proceed further under these procedures.

25. If the complaint is trivial or repeats in substance a complaint already made and determined, the Proctors may decline to consider it.

26. The Proctors may invite the complainant to attend a meeting to discuss the matter (or the complainant may request a meeting).

27. Any individual(s) who is (are) the subject of a complaint will be given details of the complaint and will be given a reasonable period in which to respond to matters covered in the complaint. That period will normally be ten days, but may be extended at the request of the individual(s) or body concerned. The individual(s) or body or the Proctors may request a meeting to discuss the complaint.

28. Any individual attending a meeting with the Proctors under these procedures may be accompanied by a member of Congregation or, in the case of a member of staff, by a representative of his or her trade union or, in the case of a student member, by another student member of the University.

29. Notes of any interview will be available for inspection by the interviewee(s).

30. Complainants and individuals or bodies who are the principal subject of the complaint will be kept informed of the progress of the investigation.

31. The Proctors will determine the complaint as quickly as is consonant with a thorough investigation of the matter, and normally within not more than thirty working days of receipt of a written complaint. The timescale may be extended in cases of complexity or where a factor is beyond control of the Proctors (e.g. the non-availability in Oxford of key contributors to an investigation).

32. The complainant will be provided with a written determination, which will summarise the investigation that has been carried out and the reasons for the decision reached. The outcome will also be notified to any individual who is the subject of a complaint and to those bodies within the University which need to be aware of the determination.

33. Where a complaint is upheld, the Proctors will indicate what, if any, steps should be taken by the responsible body to ameliorate the matter complained of. If the responsible body is unable or unwilling to act, the Proctors may refer the matter to Council.

34. If the complainant wishes to seek clarification of the Proctors' decision or to raise further matters, the Proctors will normally provide an opportunity for him or her to do so. At their discretion, the Proctors may reopen the case in the light of new information.

35. If the complainant at any point withdraws his or her complaint, the Proctors may at their discretion continue their investigation of matters complained about.

Part B:

Procedure applying to complaints concerning academic appeals

Appeals concerning university examinations for taught courses

36. Any concern about the conduct of a taught-course examination should be discussed in the first instance between the student and his or her college authorities, subject tutor, course director, supervisor, or, where appropriate, the relevant director of graduate studies.

37. Concerns about the conduct of an examination must not be raised directly with the examiners, even in the form of enquiries about factual information. Examiners are instructed to refer all such communications to the Proctors.

38. It is open to a student, to a supervisor, or to college authorities acting on his or her behalf, or to any staff member of the University who has concerns about the conduct of an examination, to make formal representations in writing to the Proctors.

39. Any representation made by a student must be submitted through the Senior Tutor of his or her college, whether or not it has the Senior Tutor's support.

40. Complaints concerning taught-course examinations will normally be considered by the Junior Proctor.

41. Complaints about examinations must be made to the Proctors in writing, giving as much information as possible and setting out precise details. Complaints sent to local academic bodies or the Graduate Studies Office will be forwarded immediately to the Proctors.

42. If the matter raised is one that can be resolved readily (e.g. by checking that all a candidate's scripts have been accounted for and marked, or that marks have been accurately processed) the Proctors will make the necessary enquiries on the candidate's behalf and inform the candidate via his or her college without undertaking a full investigation under these procedures. If the Proctors are subsequently informed in writing that the complainant remains dissatisfied, then they will consider undertaking a full investigation.

43. When investigating a complaint about a taught-course examination, the Proctors will normally obtain information and/or comment from the chairman or other senior representative of the responsible academic body (such as board of examiners, faculty board, or graduate studies committee). Where appropriate they will also obtain information and/or comment from other individuals or officers responsible for the administration of the examination that is the subject of the complaint (e.g. the Clerk of the Schools).

44. Complaints must be submitted to the Proctors as soon as possible and not later than six months after the notification of the results of the examination concerned. (The time-limit is necessary because after six months relevant records may cease to be available.)

45. The Proctors will also send notice of the receipt of a complaint to the chairman of the responsible academic body concerned, to the responsible officer of the candidate's college, and to the candidate's supervisor(s).

46. Subject to paragraphs 36--45 above, the procedure for consideration of the appeal will be as set out in Part A.

47. The Junior Proctor will report annually to Council's Educational Policy and Standards Committee about the number and nature of complaints investigated.

Appeals concerning higher degrees involving research

48. Any concern about the examination of a research student should be discussed in the first instance between the student and his or her college authorities, supervisor, or a departmental officer such as the relevant director of graduate Studies.

49. Concerns about the conduct of an examination must not be raised directly with the examiners, even in the form of enquiries about factual information. Examiners are instructed to refer all such communications to the Proctors.

50. It is open to a student, to a supervisor, or to college authorities acting on his or her behalf, or to any staff member of the University who has concerns about the conduct of an examination, to make formal representations to the Proctors.

51. Concerns about the procedures for, or the outcome of, exercises such as transfer or confirmation of status, or other matters affecting a student's candidature (e.g. quality of supervision), may also be referred to the Proctors, but should normally be raised in the first instance with his or her college authorities or a departmental officer such as the relevant director of graduate studies. Candidates should not make direct approaches to the assessors of their work.

52. Complaints concerning higher degrees involving research will normally be considered by the Senior Proctor.

53. Complaints must be submitted to the Proctors as soon as possible and not later than twelve months after the notification of the results of the examination concerned. (The time-limit is necessary because after twelve months relevant records may cease to be available.)

54. The Proctors will also send notice of the receipt of a complaint to the chairman of the responsible academic body concerned, to the responsible officer of the candidate's college, and to the candidate's supervisor(s).

55. Subject to paragraphs 48--54 above, the procedure for consideration of the appeal will be as set out in Part A.

56. The Senior Proctor will report annually to Council's Educational Policy and Standards Committee about the number and nature of complaints investigated.

[The regulations clarify matters of detail, bring regulations into line with various other University Codes of Practice, and (51) remove the right of students to take their concerns about exercises such as transfer or confirmation of status to the head of the relevant division.]

Proctors' Regulations 1 of 2003

PROCTORS' DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS FOR CANDIDATES IN EXAMINATIONS

Made by the Proctors on 1 October 2003

Approved by Council on 30 October 2003

These regulations replace Proctors' Regulations 1 of 2002 (Gazette, Vol. 132, Supplement (2) to No. 4630, pp. 1541–2).

1. These regulations are made by the Proctors in the exercise of their powers under section 22 of Statute IX and are designated by Council as disciplinary regulations under section 6 (2) of Statute XI.

2. In these regulations: (1) 'examination' includes where the context so permits the submission and assessment of a thesis, dissertation, essay, or other coursework which is not undertaken in formal examination conditions but counts towards or constitutes the work for a degree or other academic award; and (2) 'examination room' means any room designated by the University's Clerk of the Schools or approved by the Proctors as a place for one or more candidates to take an examination.

3. No candidate shall cheat or act dishonestly, or attempt to do so, in any way, whether before, during or after an examination, so as to obtain or seek to obtain an unfair advantage in an examination.

4. No candidate shall present for an examination as his or her own work any part or the substance of any part of another person's work.

5. In any written work (whether thesis, dissertation, essay, coursework, or written examinations) passages quoted or closely paraphrased from another person's work must be identified as quotations or paraphrases, and the source of the quoted or paraphrased material must be clearly acknowledged.

6. No person shall dishonestly give help to a candidate before, during or after an examination so as to give, or attempt to give, that candidate an unfair advantage in an examination.

7. No candidate shall take, or attempt to take, into an examination any unauthorised material (including revision notes) or equipment relevant to the examination nor use or attempt to use it.

8. No candidate shall copy from the script of another candidate or in any other way dishonestly receive help from another person in an examination.

9. Candidates may not communicate with any person other than an invigilator during an examination.

10. No candidate may leave or re-enter an examination room unless permitted by an invigilator.

11. No candidate shall enter an examination room more than thirty minutes after an examination has started except with the permission of the Proctors or an invigilator.

12. No candidate shall unless permitted by the Proctors or an invigilator leave an examination room:

(1) within thirty minutes of the beginning of an examination; or

(2) within thirty minutes of the time at which it is due to end.

13. No candidate may smoke in an examination room or in any building in which an examination is being held, or behave in any other way which distracts or is likely to distract other candidates.

14. Candidates may not use paper in an examination except that which is provided for them.

15. At the end of each examination candidates must hand back to an invigilator all the paper provided for writing their answers, including paper used for rough drafts and paper which has not been used. No paper must be removed from the examination room other than the question-paper for the examination that has just been completed.

16. Unless regulation 17 below applies, all articles or equipment to be used in an examination must be carried into the examination room in a transparent bag.

17. Candidates must offer non-transparent bags for inspection and, unless special permission is given by an invigilator, must deposit them at the place designated for the deposit of bags and other personal belongings.

18. No candidate shall take a mobile telephone into an examination room.

19. Candidates must present themselves for examinations in full academic dress.

20. Candidates must follow the directions of the invigilators and the Proctors during an examination, including a direction to leave the examination room and the building in which the examination is being held.

[These regulations elaborate the nature of plagiarism, clarify that revision notes are not to be taken into examinations, and forbid the removal of paper, other than the examination paper, from the examination room.]

Proctors' Regulations 2 of 2003

PROCTORS' ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS FOR CANDIDATES IN EXAMINATIONS

Made by the Proctors on 1 October 2003

In exercise of their powers under Section 22 of Statute IX the Proctors have withdrawn their regulations 2 of 2002 (Gazette, Vol. 132, No. 4631, p. 1560), and replaced them with the following.

1. These regulations shall apply to all university examinations, including any examination described in any regulation as a qualifying examination.

2. In these regulations 'college' means any college, society, or Permanent Private Hall or any other institution designated by Council by regulation as being permitted to present candidates for matriculation.

3. The name of any candidate who withdraws from an examination should be notified through his or her college to the Clerk of the Schools, who will inform the Chairman of Examiners.

4. A candidate who desires to withdraw from an examination at any time after the start of the first paper must inform an invigilator and the Clerk of the Schools at once and his or her college as soon as possible.

5. (1) A candidate may not withdraw from an examination after the written part of the examination is complete.

(2) The point of completion shall be deemed to be the conclusion of the last paper for which the candidate has entered, or the time by which a dissertation or other written material is due to be submitted, whichever is the later.

(3) A candidate who fails to appear for a viva voce examination subsequent to the completion of the written examination will nevertheless be deemed to have failed the entire examination unless he or she can, through his or her college, satisfy the Proctors that his or her absence was due to illness or other urgent and reasonable cause.

6. A candidate who fails to appear for any part of an examination other than a viva voce as specified in regulation 5 (3) above will be deemed to have withdrawn from the entire examination unless he or she can, through his or her college, satisfy the Proctors that his or her absence was due to illness or other urgent and reasonable cause.

7. (1) A candidate or his or her college may, within fourteen days of the date of the Proctors' decision under regulation 5 (3) or regulation 6 above, appeal in writing to the Chairman of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of Council.

(2) The appeal shall be adjudged expeditiously by the Chairman or another member of that committee, other than one of the Proctors, nominated by the Chairman.

8. Except for the drawing of diagrams, no candidate shall use pencil for the writing of an examination unless prior permission has been obtained from the Proctors.

9. (1) A candidate whose native language is not English and who wishes to take into any examination a bilingual dictionary (covering English and the candidate's native language) must at the time of entering for the examination obtain permission from the Proctors through the Senior Tutor or equivalent officer of his or her college.

(2) Where regulations or examiners' instructions forbid the use of dictionaries, permission shall not be given.

10. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that he or she hands in all the material he or she wishes to be considered by the examiners and to comply with regulations relating to the submission of written work such as dissertations, essays and project reports

[The main changes from Proctors' Regulation 2 of 2002 are to specify in regulation 9 (1) that permission for use of a dictionary must be requested at the time of entering for the examination, and to introduce a new regulation (10) emphasising that it is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that all examination materials are handed in and that regulations relating to the submission of written work are complied with.]


Footnotes

[1] Underlining indicates where Council Regulations 6 of 2003 differ from Council Regulations 31 of 2002 which they replace.
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[2] The current procedures laid down by the Proctors are set out below.
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[3]See above.
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COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY

Register of Congregation

Mr Vice-Chancellor reports that the following names have been added to the Register of Congregation:

Bitsakakis, G., Brasenose

Brett, A.E.S., MA, Corpus Christi

Cavarra, A., Kellogg College

Cunningham, S., Christ Church

Davis, J.J., D.Phil., Christ Church

Ezrachi, A., D.Phil., Pembroke

Finch, J.E., MA, New College

Furger, A.M., Pembroke

Grafe, R., Nuffield

Gull, K., Lincoln

Hall, R.B., St Cross

Kara, H., Faculty of Oriental Studies

Krishnaswamy, S., BCL, Pembroke

Odling-Smee, F.J., Mansfield

Ramadorai, T., St Catherine's

Ramirez, R., Templeton

Rayner, S.F., Keble

Saprai, P., Mansfield

Taylor, R.E., BA, Christ Church

Virgincar, A.K., St Edmund Hall

Welsford, T.A.M., BA, All Souls

Wigg, M.C., University Surveyor's Office

Yueh, L.Y., D.Phil., Pembroke

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