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May 9, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Vic ‘rings’ up legal fees

Last month Victoria University reached a settlement with ex-Victoria student Brittany Bell.

She has been allowed to graduate with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Design Degree after a three-year battle against the institution over allegations of plagiarism in 2008 which saw her before a disciplinary committee.

The University’s Disciplinary Appeals Committee believed Bell should have failed her final design paper, which would force her to spend another semester at university, as a result of the allegations.

She appealed the ruling, stating that she attached the required referencing to the back of her final assignment
so therefore did not plagiarise other people’s work.

The Committee stayed their decision and in 2010 Bell took Victoria University to court.

Justice Denis Clifford decided in her favour for reconsideration after ruling that the University’s Disciplinary Appeal Committee failed to give reasons for finding the plagiarism intentional, failed to take into account the referencing Bell included on her assignment and failed to let Bell respond to the allegations of intentional plagiarism.

During this time, Bell went back to Victoria University to study before accepting a job with Weta Digital.

Victoria University had no comment on the cost of the court case or whether any changes would be made to the grievance process, only saying that “the parties have settled and Ms Bell has completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Design degree, with First Class Honours.”

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