I graduated university (UK University) a couple of years ago with a first. My friend is currently enrolled at the same university and was struggling with an assignment I had completed and still had a copy of. I let him have a look at it to help him but he ended up copying some of it and it was flagged by turnitin. The head of governance at the uni has emailed him and heavily implied that he knew that I gave him a copy of my assignment.

I spend the whole morning googling potential repercussions for a graduated student "colluding" and am now terrified that my degree might get revoked or my file will be tagged for misconduct.

Does anyone know what the repercussions could be??

  • 2
    Can you clarify what you believe was academic misconduct on your part? Are you somehow forbidden to share your study materials?
    – Roland
    May 18 at 14:42
  • 1
    A lot depends whether the standard of proof for allegations of assessment offences at your university is "beyond reasonable doubt" or "on balance of probabilities". If you say as a defence "I showed my assignment to my friend on the strict understanding that they would use it only as legitimate reference material, not copy it or otherwise use it to cheat", then it's very unlikely anyone could ever prove otherwise beyond reasonable doubt; but with a balance-of-probabilities standard, that defence might not work. May 18 at 15:22
  • I'm not sure if I am forbidden to share study materials as it is completely unclear. I assume you're not allowed to share past papers with current students, however I would think that this would be punishable only to the current student, not to the now graduated student who offered the work. @DanielHatton, I read the uni code of conduct and it is balance of probabilities.
    – Daffy Duck
    May 18 at 16:10

I highly doubt that you will face any consequence more serious than being blacklisted from that university for future enrollment. You've already graduated; I'm sure they dislike you sharing answers with current students, but that hardly seems like justification to revoke a degree that you previously earned. If they do contact you about revoking a degree, lawyer up. Sharing answers to old homework problems does not seem like reasonable grounds for claiming that a degree was granted incorrectly.

On the other hand, your friend will probably face the standard consequences for plagiarism.


I don't know what honor code you agreed to, explicitly or implicitly, when you studied. It is possible that, under a strict code, collusion, even after graduation, could result in loss of a degree, though I doubt it.

But if the university treats it as a serious matter, they have little hold over you other than degree revocation. Whether they choose to do that is up to them and their lawyers.

Since you were explicitly helping him with an assignment, rather then general help for the course, it might be difficult to claim innocence. But it is only the university that can answer specific questions about this.

You might explore what sort of honor code is expected of you. That may be available online.

  • I don't think "honor code" really captures the UK situation. It's far more likely that the student entered into a legal contract with the university. The only example I know explicitly says the contract terminates when the course of study terminates. (Tangentially relevant, under that contract the student undertakes not to work for an essay mill or sell materials for submission for any examination in the whole world ..) May 19 at 8:50

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