Policy Directory

STUDENT AWARDS AND PRIZES POLICY

Date first approved:

28 November 2008

Date of effect:

Autumn Session 2009

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)

Date of Next Review:

June 2016

First Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title &
e-mail address;

Senior Manager, Governance Unit
governance@uow.edu.au

Author:

Governance Unit, Governance and Legal Division

Responsible Faculty/
Division & Unit

Governance Unit, Governance and Legal Division

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

University Prizes Template
Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize Nomination Form

University Medal Nomination Form

Philanthropic Fundraising, Gift Acceptance And Recognition Policy

References & Legislation:

Not applicable

Audience:

Public – accessible to anyone

Contents

1 Purpose of Policy

  • 1. The purpose of this document is to set out the University of Wollongong’s policy on student awards and prizes made wholly or substantially in recognition of academic excellence. This Policy establishes the criteria, decision-making processes and methodology for awards and prizes and is to be used in conjunction with the Procedures for Student Awards and Prizes.

2 Definitions

Word/Term

Definition (with examples if required)

Academic excellence

High achievement in an individual subject or across a specified range of subjects.

Eligible student

A person who meets the eligibility criteria for the relevant student award or prize.

Equity groups

The groups identified and supported by the University on equity grounds.

Originator

The Faculty proposing a University prize.

SAC

Student Awards Committee

Sponsor

A person or entity providing a University prize.

Student

A person registered for a course at the University.

University prizes

Prizes made to students wholly or substantially in recognition of academic merit on their part in the course of their studies at UOW.

Weighted average mark (WAM) (by credit point)

The weighted average mark for each student shall be calculated as the average of the marks, weighted according to credit point value, gained in all subjects attempted by the student for which a result has been determined and declared. Unless otherwise specified, the WAM calculation method used is WAM7.

3 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions

  • 1. This policy applies to all UOW staff and students and regulates the following types UOW prizes and awards:
        • a. University prizes
        • b. Dean’s Merit List
        • c. University Medals
        • d. Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize
  • 2. This policy applies to all staff and students at UOW, but does not apply to UOW Dubai and UOW College.
  • 3. This policy does not cover other forms of benefit or support for students. It does not cover scholarships or travel grants. This policy does not regulate the Dean’s Scholars program or the International Dean’s Scholar’s program.
  • 4. This policy does not preclude other forms of faculty or campus-level recognition of academic excellence. Subject to the following:
        • a. Such recognition must not be called a “prize”; and
        • b. Such recognition will not be included on the student’s transcript and must not be displayed on the university prize website.

4 Policy Principles

  • 1. The prime objective of the Student Awards and Prizes Policy is to provide a comprehensive and consistent framework for the administration of the awards and prizes listed above in clause 3.1. The framework is based around each student award or prize having the following principles:
        • a. Clear criteria for the determination of the student or students eligible for prizes or awards;
        • b. Clear, identifiable, equitable and transparent processes;
        • c. Procedural fairness; and
        • d. Recognition of academic excellence comprising the whole or a substantial component of the eligibility criteria.

5 University Prizes

  • 1. University prizes are awarded annually to students by the University of Wollongong. University prizes are awarded based wholly or substantially on demonstrable academic excellence.Recipients shall receive recognition by inclusion of the prize on their academic transcript.
  • 2. In addition, University prizes will be publicised on the University’s website.

Eligibility Criteria for University Prizes

  • 3. A University prize must:
        • a. contain workable eligibility criteria that require that the recipient demonstrates academic excellence in either a course, subject, or sequence of subjects of at least six credit points in weight;
        • b. in the case of all commercially sponsored University prizes, provide that the recipient is to receive a prize of at least $250 in value (or such other higher amount as may be determined by the Academic Senate in writing from time to time), together with such other additional item or items as are nominated by the sponsor and the Originator;
        • c. have non-discriminatory eligibility criteria, unless the criteria are targeted at one or more of the University’s equity groups;
        • d. set out the source of funds for the University prize and, in the case of any trust funds, how those funds are to be managed for the duration of the University prize;
        • e. have a title that provides appropriate recognition for, in the case of a commercial prize, the commercial sponsor, or in the case of a commemorative prize, the person or entity recognised in the prize;
        • f. in the case of a commercially sponsored prize, provide details of the specific eligibility criteria, as specified by the sponsor;
        • g. be submitted for approval to the Student Awards Committee of the Academic Senate in the required form;
        • h. be available for award to all eligible students for a period of at least four years; and
        • i. be reviewed by the Originator every four years.
  • 4. All University prizes shall be subject to the following conditions unless expressly provided to the contrary in the approved University award or prize proposal:
        • a. in the case of eligibility based on declared marks, where two or more students obtain the same mark, the prize is to be shared;
        • b. in the case of eligibility on the basis of performance in any single subject for which a mark is declared, the student obtains a mark of at least 75%; and
        • c. in the case of eligibility on the basis of performance in any sequence of subjects or in a course for which marks are declared, the student obtains a weighted average mark (by credit point) of at least 75%.

Deciding body

  • 5. Proposals for University prizes will be submitted to the Student Awards Committee for endorsement in the approved University Prize Template. Both the Originator and the Student Awards Committee will consider the reputation and suitability of each sponsor, particularly whether it is appropriate for the University to be linked with the sponsor. Proposals will, if endorsed, be submitted to the Academic Senate for approval. The Student Awards Committee has authority to approve the deletion or minor changes to University prizes arising from the review of University prizes.
  • 6. All new prize proposals, prize revisions and deletions must be accompanied by a signed Faculty Education Committee (FEC) coversheet.

Methodology

  • 7. The winner of an approved University prize will be determined by the Originator, in accordance with the approved eligibility criteria. The Originator will be responsible for the awarding of the University prize and will communicate details of each recipient to the Student Services Division for inclusion on the recipient’s academic transcript.
  • 8. Originators are responsible for managing any funds relating to University prizes. Originators will ensure that sponsors use the University’s brand and identity in conformity with the Production of Marketing Material and Use of UOW Brand Policy.
  • 9. University prizes are to be reviewed by the Originator at least once every four years. After each review, the Originator must make a recommendation to the Student Awards Committee on whether the University prize should continue, (in its current form or in a modified form) or be deleted. The Student Awards Committee must endorse all recommendations for major changes to a University prize before submission to Academic Senate for approval.
  • 10. An existing University prize may be amended at any time. Minor changes, such as course or subject code and title changes, can be approved by the Student Awards Committee.
  • 11. A University prize will be disestablished if it is not reviewed within four years of being established, or four years from the last review.
  • 12. The Academic Senate may disestablish a University prize at any time, on the advice of the Student Awards Committee, if the Academic Senate considers that the University prize brings the University into disrepute.
  • 13. All current University prizes will be listed on the University Prizes database maintained by the Student Services Division, and will be listed on the University’s website.

Transitional Provisions

  • 14. This policy regulates all prizes in recognition of academic merit made on and from the commencement of this policy. All pre-existing University prizes are subject to the provisions of clauses 5.4 – 5.10 of this policy from commencement of this policy and must fully comply with this policy following their next review.

6 Dean’s Merit List

  • 1. Dean’s Merit Lists are compiled by each Faculty Executive Dean on completion of each academic calendar year. Students are chosen for inclusion on the basis of academic performance in undergraduate programs alone as determined by reference to the student’s Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

Eligibility Criteria

  • 2. To be eligible for inclusion on a Dean’s Merit List for a Faculty in a calendar year, a student must:
        • a. have completed subjects with a minimum value of 24 credit points at UOW in that calendar year;
        • b. have received a WAM within the top five per cent of undergraduate students enrolled in courses owned by the Faculty, or enrolled in a double degree course comprising at least one course owned by the Faculty
        • c. where the student is undertaking a double degree, have undertaken at least 18 credit points of subjects offered by that Faculty in the calendar year;
        • d. have otherwise obtained the minimum WAM, as determined by the Faculty Executive Dean and in accordance with the methodology specified under clause 6.5; and
        • e. otherwise be determined by the Faculty Executive Dean as a student meriting inclusion in the Dean’s Merit List.
  • 3. For students undertaking the MBBS program at the Graduate School of Medicine, clauses 6.2 and 6.6 do not apply. To be eligible for inclusion in the Graduate School of Medicine Dean’s Merit List, a student must:
        • a. be awarded a final grade of Excellent (E) during a calendar year for a subject worth 48 credit points or more; and
        • b. otherwise be determined by the Dean of the School as a student deserving of inclusion in the Dean’s Merit List.

Deciding body

  • 4. The Executive Dean of each Faculty is responsible for determining which students are to be included on Dean’s Merit Lists having regard to the eligibility criteria specified in clause 6.2 or 6.3.

Methodology

  • 5. Each Faculty Executive Dean will prepare one or more Dean’s Merit Lists at the conclusion of each academic calendar year. Students who are enrolled in double degree programs and who satisfy the requirements for each Faculty will appear on each Dean’s Merit List.
  • 6. For the purposes of the Dean’s Merit List, the WAM for each student shall be calculated as the average of the marks, weighted according to credit point value, gained in all subjects for which a result is determined and declared in that calendar year. All subjects will be included, irrespective of which Faculty offered the subject.
  • 7. A student’s results for any subject offered across more than one calendar year will be counted towards the WAM for the calendar year in which the subject is completed.
  • 8. There may be a separate List for each course, or for particular combinations of courses, as determined by the relevant Executive Dean.
  • 9. The Executive Dean of each Faculty will advise students in writing of their inclusion on the Dean’s Merit List. This status will also be annotated on the student’s academic transcript by the Student Services Division and openly publicised on the University’s website.

7 University Medals

  • 1. University Medals are awarded annually following approval by the Vice-Chancellor. Recipients receive a University Medal at their graduation ceremony, inscribed with the name of the recipient and the recipient’s Faculty in recognition of outstanding academic performance.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 2. To be eligible for a University Medal, a student must:
        • a. be eligible to graduate from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor degree, completed in the calendar year of the prize;
        • b. be eligible to be awarded Honours Class 1 by the University of Wollongong or, in the case of the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) program, be eligible to graduate with Distinction;
        • c. have completed at least 120 credit points of their degree at the University of Wollongong;
        • d. demonstrate outstanding overall academic performance; and
        • e. have (other than in exceptional circumstances) a blemish-free academic record.

Deciding body

  • 3. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for approving the recipients of University Medals, on the recommendation of the Student Awards Committee. The Student Awards Committee will receive and consider nominations from Faculty Executive Deans at its final meeting in Spring Session each year. If no nomination is made, or where the Vice-Chancellor does not consider any nominee merits the award, no award will be made for a Faculty.

Methodology

  • 4. Faculty Executive Deans are responsible for nominating students who satisfy the Eligibility Criteria specified under clause 7.2. Faculty Deans may submit more than two nominations, for consideration by the Student Awards Committee if more than two students are considered to demonstrate outstanding overall academic performance. Other than in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Vice Chancellor, only two University Medals may be awarded per Faculty per year.
  • 5. Nominations to the Student Awards Committee must be accompanied by a supporting statement from the nominating Executive Dean, which includes:
        • a. marks for each subject, and marks for project or thesis work (only when part of a subject);
        • b. the rank of the nominee in comparison with any previous Medal winners from the Faculty;
        • c. the standing of the nominee in comparison with previous first class Honours graduates from the Faculty; and
        • d. where the nominee’s academic record contains any blemish, detailed reasons for the nomination in light of the blemish.
  • 6. A student may be nominated for two University Medals (usually on separate occasions), if they meet the requirements for awarding two Honours degrees. Only one Medal is to be awarded if a student is enrolled in a joint Honours or double degree program that leads to only one Honours degree. Either Faculty may nominate in the instance of a joint Honours program.
  • 7. The Student Awards Committee may take the following factors into account when considering nominations:
        • a. overall academic performance;
        • b. average marks for each level and for the whole degree, weighted by credit points only;
        • c. weighted average marks, where these are used in determination of the grade of Honours;
        • d. High Distinctions, and other grades, as percentages of all subjects studies;
        • e. performance in the major field of study;
        • f. exceptional circumstances affecting the nominees’ academic performance; and
        • g. summaries of previous nominations.
  • 8. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for approving the award of University Medals, as recommended by the Student Awards Committee. Recipients will receive a letter of advice from the Vice-Chancellor. The recipient’s academic transcript and testamur will be annotated accordingly.
  • 9. University Medals are awarded at the allocated graduation ceremony following December conferral. Where assessment results are not available for consideration by the final meeting of the Student Awards Committee, nominations may be made in autumn session of the following year, and Medals may be awarded at the following allocated graduation ceremony. Executive Deans should only defer nominations where results are not available for potential nominees for consideration by the SAC at its final meeting in spring session.

8 Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize

  • 1. The Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize is awarded annually by the University Council. It was established in 2004 by the University Council, in honour of the University’s first Chancellor.
  • 2. The recipient receives the Robert Hope Medal inscribed with the recipient’s name and Faculty. The recipient receives a cheque for $7000, or an amount determined by the University Council by resolution. In addition $3000 is paid directly by the University to a charity or community organisation nominated by the recipient and approved by the Selection Committee. The organisation must be endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient by the ATO.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 3. To be eligible for the Robert Hope Memorial Prize, a student must have applied to and be eligible to graduate from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor degree in the calendar year of the Prize. In addition, the student must have:
        • a. received at least 96 credit points from study at the University;
        • b. demonstrated an exceptional contribution to the University community and/or the broader community;
        • c. demonstrated leadership qualities;
        • d. the capability to become an ambassador for the University of Wollongong;
        • e. demonstrated consistently outstanding academic performance; including, as an indicative measure, a WAM of 80 or above (where the student has completed separate Bachelor Honours and Bachelor Pass courses, the WAM will be calculated by manually applying the WAM7 method to all subjects completed across both courses);
        • f. nominated themselves, or be nominated by a current UOW student or staff member;
        • g. provided contact details of both an Academic Referee and a Community Referee; and
        • h. completed and submitted a nomination form to the Student Services Division by the specified deadline.
        • i. not previously been awarded the Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize

Deciding body

  • 4. The University Council is responsible for approving the successful candidate(s), on the recommendation of the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee for the Robert Hope Memorial Prize consists of:
        • a. the Chancellor;
        • b. the Director, Student Services;
        • c. the Chair of the Academic Senate; and
        • d. a member of the University Council nominated by the University Council.
  • 5. The University Council reserves the right to award the Prize only when a candidate is deemed to have sufficiently met the eligibility criteria.

Methodology

  • 6. The Selection Committee for the Robert Hope Memorial Prize will assess all applicants against the Eligibility Criteria specified under clause 9.2.
  • 7. The Selection Committee will short-list up to four candidates for interview. The interviewees will be ranked by the Committee and the Prize winner will be recommended for approval by the University Council.
  • 8. A member of the Selection Committee will advise the Prize winner of their success as soon as Council has approved the recommendation. Unsuccessful short-listed applicants will also be advised of the outcome by a member of the Committee.
  • 9. The Robert Hope Memorial Prize is to be awarded at the December graduation ceremonies. Where a recipient is unable to attend, the Prize may be awarded at the graduation ceremonies next occurring, at the request of the recipient.

9 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. The University has a responsibility to:
        • a. ensure that this Policy and the accompanying procedures are accessible to all staff and students;
        • b. ensure that this Policy and the accompanying procedures are implemented and applied consistently across all Faculties and Campuses; and
        • c. promote good practice in considering student awards and prizes, including;
          • i. timeliness of response;
          • ii. fairness and equitable consideration;
          • iii. respect for privacy; and
          • iv. clear information on rights and responsibilities in relation to Student Awards and Prizes.
  • 2. The Student Awards Committee has a responsibility to:
        • a. implement, monitor and review the Student Awards and Prizes Policy;
        • b. ensure consistent application of this Policy and its procedures so that all students are treated fairly and equitably as far as practicable; and
        • c. ensure that the Roles and Responsibilities under clause 10.1 are understood and promoted.
  • 3. UOW staff members and students have a responsibility to:
        • a. comply with the Student Awards and Prizes Policy; and
        • b. assist with the resolution of any disputes about the Policy.
  • 4. The University Council and Academic Senate have a responsibility to:
        • a. comply with the Student Awards and Prizes Policy;
        • b. assist with the resolution of any disputes about the Policy; and
        • c. ensure that the Roles and Responsibilities under clause 10.1 are understood and promoted.
  • 5. The Student Services Division has a responsibility to:
        • a. provide administrative support for the implementation of this Policy;
        • b. provide policy advice to the Student Awards Committee on this Policy;
        • c. ensure that all records relating to Student Awards and Prizes are retained, in accordance with the Records Management Policy and with relevant legislation, agreements and policies;
        • d. assist with the resolution of any disputes about the Policy; and
        • e. ensure that the Roles and Responsibilities under clause 10.1 are understood and promoted.
  • 6. Originators have a responsibility to
        • a. comply with the Student Awards and Prizes Policy, in particular in relation to the creation of University prizes and the selection of eligible students;
        • b. ensure that sponsors are informed of the Policy and any changes to the Policy, particularly relating to University prizes, and monitor use of the UOW brand and identity by sponsors;
        • c. assist with the resolution of any disputes about the Policy;
        • d. ensure that all records relating to student awards and prizes are retained, in accordance with the Records Management Policy and with relevant legislation, agreements and policies; and
        • e. ensure that the Roles and Responsibilities under clause 10.1 are understood and promoted.

10 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

Autumn Session 2009 apart from Section 7, which will take effect in Autumn Session 2010

University Council

First Version

2

5 February 2009

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as part of the Policy Directory Refresh Project

3

9 March 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy

4

3 December 2010

University Council

Inclusion of Graduate School of Medicine eligibility criteria for the Dean’s Merit List (6.3), Specification that Dean’s Merit List is for undergraduate programs. Inclusion of new clause 6.2(b).

Inclusion of new clause 9.4.

Update to Robert Hope Memorial Prize provisions following 2009 review

Review date and date for commencement of the Top Student Recognition provisions updated.

5

5 August 2011

University Council

Revision to:

• Section 6 regarding Dean’s Merit List eligibility criteria.

• Section 9.1 regarding prize money for Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize.

• Section 9.2 regarding limit that a student may only be awarded the Prize once.

6

18 June 2012

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Date for commencement of the Top Student Recognition provisions updated.

7

August 2012

University Council

Criteria updated for Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize and DML, clarity provided regarding the status of “Faculty Prizes” (not be called prizes) and appendix removed (converted to separate document).

8

September 2013

Vice-Chancellor

Criteria updated for Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize. Clarification of WAM definition.

9

May 2014

Vice-Chancellor

Removal of references to Top Student Recognition (recognition of high achieving students to be reconsidered in the light of the Curriculum Transformation Program.

10

June 2015

Vice- Chancellor

Removal of reference to Academic Registrars Division, Academic Registrar and Wollongong College Australia.

Reference to Dean replaced with Executive Dean.

Addition of Requirement to include specific eligibility criteria stipulated by the sponsor I the case of commercially sponsored prizes.

Requirement to include FEC coversheet with all SAC submissions to add, amend or delete prizes.

Deletion of ‘unit’ and ‘campus’ from the definition of ‘originator’.

11

October 2015

University Council

Amendment to 7.1 & 7.9 in accordance with revised graduation model

Amendment to 7.1 and 7.4, in accordance with approval to award two medals per faculty under the revised faculty structure Approved 19 August 2013.

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