A STUDENT has been expelled for breaching Durham University’s sexual misconduct policy, while, another has been thrown out for making racist comments on social media.

The cases were both heard by the university’s Senate Discipline Committee and come as a new approach to publicising investigations was revealed.

Last month, a young man had his university offer withdrawn following an offensive online discussion, which included mention of a competition to sleep with the poorest student.

The university has written to all staff and students to inform them of the new approach of sharing the outcomes of disciplinary investigations online.

In his letter Vice-Chancellor Stuart Corbridge said the individuals in the cases would not be named for legal reasons, but the aim of sharing information was to provide reassurance.

He also announced new procedures relating to Covid-19 disciplinary procedures.

Prof Corbridge said: “In the first instance of a suspected Covid-19 breach, we will seek to speak with those involved to explain the risks of their behaviour, encourage them to observe Covid-19 legislation and guidance and remind them of their commitment to themselves, their peers and the wider community made under our Student Pledge. If serious and intentional breaches are identified and this ‘engage, explain and encourage’ approach has not resolved the situation, we will apply our formal disciplinary process, using a graded ‘yellow, amber, red’ response system.

“For a first, low level breach of regulations, a yellow warning will be issued by the student’s college. For a second or more serious breach, an amber warning will be issued – a formal warning will be added to the student’s record and this may be accompanied by further sanctions including a fine of up to £500 or community service of up to 75 hours.

“For a further breach or where serious aggravating factors are identified, a red warning will follow, with sanctions including permanent exclusion from the university.”