Appendix 16 – Fitness to Study Procedures: 2021-22

From:Academic Registry
Part of: Academic
Academic Regulations > Academic Regulations 2021-22 > Appendices 2021-22

Detail

Appendix 16 describes the procedure that would be used by the University where there are concerns that a student is not fit to study.  It is an open and supportive framework for dealing with a situation where a student’s health, wellbeing or behaviour could have a detrimental impact on their own or others ability to progress and function.

Surprising Terms

Section 1.7
The term Fitness to Study as used in these procedures relates to the whole student experience and not just a student’s ability to engage with their academic studies

Section 2.10
The University reserves the right to escalate matters to Stage 2 or Stage 3 of this Procedure without passing through the intermediate stages if a student presents serious concerns or risks to the wellbeing of themselves or others

Section 5.1/2
In exceptional circumstances a student’s ability to manage their health, wellbeing or behaviour may have reached a critical stage.  In these circumstances an immediate risk assessment will be conducted and may result in temporary conditions being applied to a student.

Section 5.5
These conditions can include anything that is deemed reasonable and appropriate including a requirement not to enter the campus.

Section 5.6
Depending on the level of risk, the temporary conditions may need to be implemented immediately but where possible, reasonable notice will be given to the student.

Section 7.8
If the student refuses to co-operate, fails to attend or cannot engage with the process, the stage 2 meeting may still take place without the student being present.

Section 7.12
Any student who elects to take a break in studies at stage 2 will need to meet the requirements of the Return to Study section of this procedure (as described in section 9) at the point they wish to return.

Section 7.13
A decision can be taken at stage 2 of the procedure that the student is fit to continue with their academic programme of study, but not fit enough to continue to live on campus.

Section 8.7
If the student refuses to co-operate, fails to attend or cannot engage with the process, the Fitness to Study Panel may still take place without the student being present.

Section 8.9
Any student who elects to take a break in studies at stage 3 will need to meet the requirements of the Return to Study section of this procedure (as described in section 9) at the point they wish to return.

Section 8.10
One outcome of the Fitness to study panel could be that the student is not currently fit to study and the student should be required to suspend their studies on the course and at the University for a specified period.

One outcome of the Fitness to study panel could be that the student is not fit to study and a recommendation should be made to the Vice-Chancellor that the student be withdrawn (with relevant consideration given as to whether the student could be granted an appropriate exit award).

Section 8.12
Where a student is required to suspend their studies, the timescale for the suspension will be based on the judgement of the panel.  The student’s return to study will then be subject to the return to study procedure detailed in section 9.  Any academic considerations about the appropriate options available to resume study will be considered at the time the suspension is lifted.

Section 9.1
Any student who has been required to suspend their studies under Stage 3 of this procedure, or any student who has elected to take an interruption of studies at any point within Stages 2 or 3 of this procedure will need to follow the return to study procedure detailed below when returning to the same course, or applying for a different course of study at the University.

Section 9.3.
The student is expected to notify the Director of Student Services in writing of their wish to return to study.

Section 9.7.
In all cases a return to study will require satisfactory medical evidence of the student’s fitness to engage with university life and academic studies.  Medical evidence will only be accepted from a GP or relevant health professional who has enough knowledge of the student’s circumstances to make an informed assessment of the student’s fitness to study.

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