Doctoral Termination Proceedings Policy

Application

Doctoral candidates, and staff members involved in the candidature or registration and/or in the consideration of matters of termination of candidature or registration.

This policy applies only to termination proceedings that commence on or after 12 October 2021.

Purpose

To specify the policy that applies to the termination of doctoral candidature or registration.  

Policy

1. Doctoral candidature or registration may be terminated by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) on any of the grounds specified in the relevant doctoral programme regulations.

2. Where there may be regulatory grounds for the termination of candidature/registration, doctoral candidates will be given notice of termination proceedings.

3. Notice of termination proceedings consists of notice to a candidate of the regulatory grounds on which termination of their candidature/registration is proposed.

4. Where the regulatory grounds for the proposed termination of candidature/registration pertain to matters of academic progress, the candidate is expected to consult the review and/or assessment material available to them in Wahapū and/or provided to them by their academic unit and/or faculty.

5. Clause 4 notwithstanding, candidates may, prior to making any submission under clause 6, seek further information relating to the grounds for the proposed termination.

6. Candidates who are given notice of termination proceedings (notice) are allowed fourteen calendar days, from the date of notice, to make a submission for the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to take into account before making the decision as to whether candidature/registration will be terminated.

Note: Candidate attention is drawn, in particular, to clause 12 below.

7. The candidate submission under clause 6 is the candidate’s opportunity to bring all relevant information to the attention of the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) prior to the decision as to termination of candidature/registration being made. All material relied upon by the candidate must be included as part of the candidate submission.

8. The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) will not undertake a re-assessment of academic work as part of its consideration of a candidate’s submission.

9. The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may request a re-assessment of academic work only where the Board (or delegate) is satisfied that there are grounds for re-assessment.

10. Candidate disagreement with the academic assessment of their work is not grounds for re-assessment of the academic work.

11. In order to determine whether candidature/registration will be terminated, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may consult candidature/registration records and/or seek further information relating to the grounds for the proposed termination and/or the candidate’s submission. This provision in no way mitigates the responsibilities of the candidate under clause 7 above.

12. Material from the candidate’s submission may be shared with third parties (including but not limited to supervisors and Academic Heads) for the purposes of clause 11.

13. Where the exercise of clause 11 results in new information that the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) deems materially relevant to the determination of the matter, the candidate shall be notified and provided with an opportunity to comment within seven days, and prior to the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) making the decision as to whether candidature/registration will be terminated.

14. Information already in the possession of, or otherwise available to, the candidate does not constitute new information under clause 13.

15. Where the candidate makes a submission under clause 6, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) will consider all information gathered pursuant to this policy and make the decision as to termination of candidature/registration.

16. Where a candidate does not exercise the right of response afforded by clause 6, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) will proceed to make the decision as to termination of candidature/registration based on consideration of relevant candidature/registration records held by the University.

17. Where the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) decides not to terminate candidature/registration, the outcomes available to the Board (or delegate) include, but are not limited to:

a) (for candidates governed by doctoral programme regulations that came into effect in or after 2020, regardless of the grounds on which termination was proposed) the imposition of conditions on candidature in accordance with the doctoral candidature intervention policy and procedures

b) (for PhD candidates governed by doctoral programme regulations that came into effect prior to 2020) the implementation of a formal warning process

c) (where a review process resulted in a recommendation for termination) outcomes of review processes as detailed in the relevant programme regulations and review policies and procedures

d) the reset of a doctoral review process to the step before it became procedurally unsafe.

18. The candidate will be advised in writing of the outcome and the reasons for the outcome.

19. The Supervisors, Academic Head, Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) and School of Graduate Studies will be notified of the outcome.

20. Where the decision of the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) is to terminate candidature/registration, the School of Graduate Studies may advise other divisions of the University for operational purposes, and the University may notify external parties (for example, and not limited to, scholarship providers and Immigration New Zealand) in accordance with University obligations. This does not mitigate the responsibilities of the former candidate with regard to notification of interested parties.

21. For candidates governed by doctoral programme regulations that came into effect in or after 2020, a decision by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to terminate candidature is subject to the doctoral candidature appeal procedures.

22. For candidates governed by doctoral programme regulations that came into effect prior to 2020, a decision by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to terminate registration is subject to the appeal clauses of the relevant doctoral programme regulations.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic Head refers to the head of the relevant academic unit, or their nominee for the purposes of doctoral matters.

Academic unit refers to the unit in which the candidate is enrolled.

Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research), for the purposes of this policy, refers to the person holding that role (or equivalent) in the faculty or Large Scale Research Institute (LSRI) in which the candidate is enrolled, or to that person’s nominee.

Doctoral candidate, for the purposes of this policy, refers to a person who is registered as a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University under doctoral regulations that came into effect prior to 2020, or to a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University who is subject to doctoral regulations that came into effect in or after 2020.

Candidature refers to a person’s status as a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University, where the candidate is subject to doctoral regulations that came into effect in or after 2020. Candidature commences upon enrolment in the doctoral degree and concludes upon notification that the requirements for the award of the degree have been met or that the degree will not be awarded, except where candidature is terminated or expires, or where a candidate withdraws from the programme, prior to completion of the degree.

Registration is held by doctoral candidates governed by regulations that came into effect prior to 2020; it commences upon acceptance of offer in the programme and concludes upon notification that the requirements for the award of the degree have been met or that the degree will not be awarded, except where registration is terminated.

Supervisors refers to the persons appointed to supervise the doctoral thesis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Wahapū is the University’s online doctoral candidature management system.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies
Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies, Senate and Council
Date approved: October 2021
Review date: October 2024