Code of Conduct
for the students and teachers at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Akureyri
A university is a community of students and teachers for free and independent observations in research and teaching. In order for that community to serve its purpose, its members must show each other courtesy and consideration, and make sure they do nothing that disturbs needlessly or hurts other members.
These values are required by academic freedom. Students enjoy academic freedom in that they are free to choose their discipline, state their opinions, and come to their own conclusions. Students may disagree with their teachers and criticize their views and teaching methods. Such disagreements must always be discussed in a civil manner. Teachers enjoy academic freedom in that they apply their professional judgment in teaching their discipline according to academic standards. They assess student achievement professionally and according to the official policy of the faculty in question and the university.
The goal of any university course is organized learning. Members of a course, students and teacher, form an academic community in its own right, tied together by the common purpose of fostering knowledge and civility.
Students and teachers in a course form their own university community based on respect and consideration for the purpose of organized learning. Students and teachers at the University of Akureyri protect the honor of the university and behave in such a way as to be a credit to the academic community.
We are polite to our teachers and fellow students, obey reasonable requests and are honest in our dealings. We are polite and show due caution in electronic communications about our fellow students, teachers and other staff.
We are honest in academic work. We do not participate in misconduct, including cheating in exams and plagiarism. We do not misrepresent facts when seeking permission to deviate from deadlines or attendance requirements.
Students are expected to familiarize themselves thoroughly at the beginning of each course with its rules about attendance, project deadlines and other similar issues. In general, attendance in class is not formally required but nevertheless expected. Responsibility for the consequences of missing a class or classes falls on the student alone. Teachers are not required to make special arrangements for students who fail to attend class.
Students are expected to come prepared to class, having read in advance the required materials. In group projects, all members of the group are expected to participate. If a group member is not participating, other group members are encouraged to notify the head teacher. Students are expected to participate in the university’s process of course evaluation.
At the University of Akureyri, students are entitled to instruction and advice that is based on knowledge and skill. They are entitled to a minimum number of lectures and/or discussion sessions in each course and also that the total number of class periods be within reasonable limits and does not prevent independent learning.
Students are entitled to respectful treatment and that their opinions be treated with consideration. An example of respectful treatment by teacher is when he/she instructs the student and corrects errors.
Students are entitled to a course syllabus in the first class meeting of each course. Should a teacher not present a class syllabus at the first class meeting, students are encouraged to report this to the program coordinator or head of faculty. In each course, it is desirable that the head teacher reiterates to the students what they are expected to accomplish in each assignment and test.
We respect the rights of our students and keep their interests at heart. We respect student opinions and show them tolerance. We show politeness and full carefulness in electronic communication about students and fellow staff.
We serve the students‘ education through proper guidance, training and course assessment according to the highest standards of our academic subjects in terms of best practices.
We ensure that students receive in a timely manner correct information on readings, assignments, assessment and other requirements (such as attendance requirements). We do our utmost to make the organization of teaching and course requirements as clear as possible.
We ensure that our comments and feedback is fair and appropriate. We meet our obligations towards students and keep marking and delivery time for assignments to a minimum. Delivery of marks from half term examinations is discussed in the Examination Rules. If there is any suspicion of student misconduct, we pursue each case in the appropriate manner.
We are aware of our uneven power balance towards students and take care not to abuse it. We do not start sexual relationships with students in our courses. If a loved one or family member (e.g. a parent, sibling, spouse, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or grandchild) becomes our student, we ensure that the course assessment is done by others.
We maintain confidentiality regarding students‘ personal issues and show the utmost care wherever or whenever the issues of students are being discussed, whether orally or electronically.
We do not discriminate between students. Bullying and harassment is never justifyable and we are alert to any signs of such behavior. We do not give preferential treatment based on personal connections.
Teachers are entitled to respect and politeness, and that their reasonable requests be obeyed.
Teachers are entitled to politeness in the assessment of courses and teaching.
General conduct and courtesy by students and teachers
Students and teachers are expected to be conscious of their own behaviour and to be considerate to others. In particular:
- Students and teachers are expected to arrive punctually for all class meetings.
- Students and teachers who must leave a class that is in progress must do so quietly, causing as little disruption as possible.
- Laptop computers may be used in class solely for the purposes of taking part in the class meeting, e.g. taking notes and looking up course-related material.
- Students and teachers should either switch off their mobile phones or set them to silent during class.
- Students and teachers do not bring children with them to class.
The above list is not exhaustive, but just presents examples and standards of behaviour. Students and teachers are expected to avoid all conduct which is disrespectful, inconsiderate or disturbing to teachers or other students.
These rules will be reviewed in two years, in 2013.
Approved by the School Assembly of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences on August 31, 2011.