Disciplinary Cases

A disciplinary case is when a student has been reported who is suspected of having made a mistake, a disciplinary offence. After an investigation, it is the University's Disciplinary Board that determines what the consequence will be. It can be a warning or suspension for a specific time.

What is a disciplinary case?

A disciplinary case concerns a student who is suspected of having done something unauthorised. It can involve:

  • cheating during an examination
  • that the student has disrupted operations at the University
  • that the student has subjected another student or employee to harassment or sexual harassment.

What can lead to being reported?

Here are some examples of what cheating can be:

  • The student has taken someone else's ideas and presented them as their own.
  • The student has brought a cheat sheet into the written examination.
  • Several students have cooperated in a way that was not allowed.

It is essential for you as a student to find out which rules apply to the specific examination. The rules must be included in the study guidance for the course. Rules can also be found in the examination instructions and on the course's Canvas page.

Disrupting or impeding is when the student negatively affects the study and work environment by, for example:

  • interrupting the teacher repeatedly
  • unfairly criticising a teacher without reason
  • ridiculing teachers or other students repeatedly, threatening or acting violently towards others.

It may also be disruptive or obstructive if the student violates MDU's Code of Conduct.

Other premises may include computer rooms, workshops, and labs. The most common example is not registering your loan of university library books and destroying property.

Harassment is about subjecting someone to a violation related to one of the grounds for discrimination according to the Discrimination Act.

The grounds for discrimination are:

  • gender
  • transgender identity or expression
  • ethnic origin, religion or other beliefs
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age.

Examples of harassment include derogatory remarks, offensive gestures, ridicule, or degrading comments about appearance or behaviour.

Sexual harassment is not linked to any grounds for discrimination.

Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome advances or intimidation, showing pictures or other material, or physical behaviour of a sexual nature.

If you are reported for a disciplinary offence

University employees must report suspicions of cheating, disruption, harassment and sexual harassment.

This is how the process works

If you have been reported, you will receive an email with information that you have been reported and why.

If you have been reported as a suspect for a disciplinary offence, you will receive an email with information about why you have been reported and on what grounds. If there is a suspicion of plagiarism in an examination, you will be informed about which part of the examination it concerns. During the time you are waiting for a decision on whether you are considered guilty, you are allowed to participate in tuition and examinations as usual. If you have been reported for cheating, it is therefore good to take a retest if possible.

During the investigation of the case, you will have the opportunity to comment on the report through a written statement. If you are reported for cheating, the examiner, as a rule, must not grade the reported examination before a decision has been made by the Disciplinary Board.

During the investigation, you must continue your studies as usual.

If you have been reported for cheating, you have the right to sit a retest of the examination that the report concerns.

When the investigation is complete, the case is usually handed over to the Disciplinary Board, which reviews the case and makes a decision at a meeting.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, there must be a disciplinary board at each higher education institution. The Vice-Chancellor, an external lawyer, a representative for the teachers and a representative for the students make up the team members of the Disciplinary Board.

As a student, you are invited to a meeting where you have the opportunity to give your point of view. At the end of the meeting, you will find out how the Disciplinary Board will assess your case. After the meeting, you will receive a written decision where you can read more about how the Disciplinary Board has reasoned. A decision from the Board will be saved at MDU as a public document. The decision will not appear on your degree certificate, course certificate or your transcripts and certificates.

Disciplinary measures

If the Disciplinary Board determines that you are guilty of what you have been reported for, disciplinary action may be taken. The disciplinary measures comprise a warning or suspension.

You may receive a warning if you have been found guilty of something that, according to the disciplinary board's assessment, is less serious.

The warning does not affect your studies. If you are to be found guilty of the same type of offence again, the warning may result in more severe disciplinary action.
If the disciplinary board decides on a warning, the examination is usually considered invalid and cannot be graded.

A suspension only applies to studies at MDU and is usually between four and nine weeks. According to the Higher Education Ordinance, it may not exceed six months. If you are suspended for cheating in an exam, it is usually considered invalid and cannot be graded.

During the suspension period, the student does not have the right to participate in tuition, exams or other activities within the scope of the education at MDU. This means that you are not allowed to participate in any tuition activities or receive supervision. You must not participate in examination components or submit assignments for examinations. A suspension is considered a temporary non-completion of studies, which may affect your entitlement to student finance.

During the suspension period, you are also not allowed to:

  • use your MDU card
  • have access to Ladok or Canvas
  • have access to your student email account.

During the suspension period, as a student, you have the right to:

  • conduct self-study (prepare yourself for what will come after the suspension on your own)
  • get answers to general questions from University employees
  • register for exams and courses that are scheduled after the suspension period with help from the Student Centre.
  • stay in the University's public premises during the opening hours that apply to the general public (such as the Library and restaurants)
  • get in contact with the Student Ombudsman and Student Health Care (counsellor).

Before the suspension begins, it can be good for you to prepare. Tell your teachers that you will be absent, this is especially important if there are mandatory seminars and lectures. It may also be a good idea for you to download the study guidance document and instructions that are available in Canvas. Then you can study on your own during your suspension. A study counsellor can help you check if the suspension will prevent you from registering for upcoming courses.

If the Disciplinary Board believes that they cannot establish that you are guilty of what you have been reported for, the case may be dismissed without action. This means that you are “acquitted" and can continue your studies as usual. If you were reported for cheating in an examination, it should generally be corrected and graded.

Appealing the decision of the Disciplinary Board

You can appeal decisions regarding warnings or suspensions to the Administrative Court. An appeal must be made within three weeks of receiving the decision.

MDU must first assess whether the appeal has been submitted in time before it can be sent to the administrative court. You can find information on how to appeal in the written decision.

If the administrative court changes the disciplinary board's decision, MDU is responsible for taking necessary actions.

Request for the suspension to be halted

When you appeal a decision, you can also ask the administrative court to temporarily halt your suspension. This is called a stay of execution. If the administrative court decides on a stay, you can participate in tuition and examinations as usual until the administrative court's judgment.

The appeal that must be sent to the administrative court can be sent to:

Mälardalen University
Registrar, Management Office
Box 883
721 23 Västerås

or emailed to registrator@mdu.se

Support if you have been reported for a disciplinary offence

The Student Ombudsman

The Student Ombudsman has an impartial role, which means that you cannot get help with formulating a statement, for example. But you can get guidance on the process and information about your rights and obligations. Even during a suspension, you may have contact with the Student Ombudsman.

Counsellors at Student Health Care

If you experience stress or feel unwell during the process, you can turn to a counsellor at Student Health Care for support and help. The counsellors have a duty of confidentiality and do not record the visits. You also have the right to contact a counsellor while you are suspended.

Study counsellors

If you have been suspended, the advice is to contact your study counsellor so that you can together review how your studies will be affected by the suspension. It is your responsibility as a student to contact the study counsellor as soon as possible so that a meeting or conversation can take place before the suspension takes effect. Contact with the study counsellor is not allowed during the suspension.