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Scholarships for Coursework Students Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy outlines the principles, procedures and guidelines to be followed in the establishment, awarding and administration of coursework students scholarships for which Western Sydney University has primary responsibility.

(2) Coursework students scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and postgraduate degree applicants and enrolled students, including Honours years, in the University's name and such other scholarships the University may determine to award.

(3) Scholarships offered at the University signal its commitment to excellence, potential and widening participation. They are designed to:

  1. build the leadership and education capacity of the region
  2. recognise the University as an institution of excellence
  3. provide support to prospective and current students who are able to benefit from a university education but who are financially (or otherwise) disadvantaged
  4. position the University competitively with other universities in relation to student recruitment.

(4) The policy does not apply to:

  1. prizes or awards or merit recognition
  2. Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  3. Higher Degree Research Scholarships
  4. bursaries or grants-in-aid, unless otherwise stated in the scholarship terms and conditions
  5. scholarships defined as group C in this Policy or
  6. Scholarships wholly administered by organisations external to the University, not including organisations that have entered into a formal agreement with the University governing the selection of students and administration of funds and student progress.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purpose of this Policy, definitions that apply can be found in the Policy DDS Glossary and as follows:

  1. Commonwealth Scholarship means scholarships which are administered under the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education), under Parts 2-4 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
  2. Coursework means the courses, and other written or oral work (if any), undertaken by a student for a program for a coursework award, but does not include any thesis component for a program of at least 24 subjects. A coursework award is a coursework degree, Diploma, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate that may be conferred by the University.
  3. Donor means a person or organisation making a donation to the University as defined by the Donations and Fundraising Policy.
  4. Grants-in-aid means a sum of money given by a government or other organisation for a particular purpose.
  5. Recipient or Scholarship Holder means the person to whom the scholarship offer has been made.
  6. Scholarship means an award made to a student during the course of their studies, on the basis of approved criteria such as academic merit. A scholarship may comprise in-kind benefits, such as tuition fee sponsorships, in addition to the cash component.
  7. University Account means the student fee account.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement


(6) The University will offer and deliver a range of University and donor funded scholarships to support the diversity of its student communities. The scholarships will demonstrate the University's value of supporting fairness and excellence. Scholarships will be available across a variety of categories, including Indigenous, high potential, equity, humanitarian or for strategic purposes. Through its offering the University’s coursework scholarships will meet its commitment to excellence through empowerment, and enhance the lives of its students by promoting fairness and providing access to opportunities.

(7) All University scholarships:

  1. may be awarded on a one-off or ongoing basis
  2. may be intended for commencing or continuing students or both
  3. will be available to students who study part-time or full-time unless otherwise stated in the scholarship conditions
  4. cannot be deferred unless otherwise stated in the scholarship conditions
  5. will specify the duration and categories of support
  6. will have the eligibility, application and selection criteria clearly stated
  7. will have criteria that are free from unlawful discrimination 
  8. will use identifiable, equitable and transparent processes for awarding the scholarship
  9. may be awarded for micro-credentials on a case-by-case basis, in general accordance with this Policy including funding allocated on a pro-rata basis.

(8) The University reserves the right to:

  1. withdraw or change criteria on offered scholarships at any time
  2. not accept scholarship funds from a donor, or accept particular conditions on funding in accordance with the Donations and Fundraising Policy and/or
  3. not offer some scholarships, or to not offer scholarships at all, in any given year.

Groups of Scholarships

(9) Scholarships at the University fall into three groups. These are:

Note: This policy does not apply to granting of scholarships funded by the Commonwealth of Australia, or an Australian State or Territory (Group C).
  1. Group A - scholarships funded by the University or its entities
  2. Group B - externally funded, named industry or donor scholarships
  3. Group C - scholarships funded by the Commonwealth of Australia, or an Australian State or Territory, including Equity Scholarships available through Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

(10) The current list of scholarships is available on the Scholarships web page.

(11) A recipient may hold a maximum of two scholarships simultaneously, if each scholarship is from a different group as listed above. The exceptions to this are:

  1. a recipient may receive an International Exchange Scholarship simultaneously with any other scholarships
  2. a recipient may receive two or more Group C Scholarships plus one Group A or one Group B scholarship concurrently when they are identified as an Indigenous Australian, and
  3. a recipient may receive a grant simultaneously with any other scholarships, unless otherwise specified in the terms and conditions of the grant.

(12) Some scholarships may only be tenable on a full-time basis, depending on criteria as outlined in the terms and conditions.

General Interpretation

(13) This policy must be read in conjunction with the terms and conditions applicable to the specific scholarship. Terms and conditions will be outlined in the scholarship agreement provided to scholarship recipients for acceptance before any scholarship offer is finalised.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Establishment and Approval

(14) Scholarships may be established to:

  1. recognise academic, creative or sporting excellence
  2. recognise community contribution or leadership potential
  3. provide opportunity for access to study from students of equity and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds
  4. provide practical and degree-relevant work experience opportunities, and/or
  5. for any other purpose deemed appropriate by the University consistent with its mission, values and goals.

(15) A scholarship agreement will be developed for all externally funded industry or donor scholarships. The scholarship agreement will include:

  1. the names and contact details for all parties
  2. the term of the scholarship agreement and
  3. a detailed schedule including scholarship criteria, selection process and conditions.

(16) All coursework scholarships offered in the name of the University, its entities or partners must be formally approved by Academic Senate regardless of the funding source. 

(17) Changes to the criteria and conditions of existing approved scholarships also require Academic Senate approval.

(18) The selection criteria for externally funded named industry or donor scholarships will be incorporated into the scholarship agreement, which will also be provided to the Academic Senate at the time the scholarship is approved.

(19) Interviews may be required, where specified, for certain Group A and Group B scholarships.

Part B - Eligibility to Apply

(20) To be eligible to apply all applicants must:

  1. unless otherwise stated in the specific scholarship criteria, be either:
    1. be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status in Australia, or
    2. a New Zealand Citizen or holder of a Special Category Visa (SCV) that meets the criteria for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP (criteria), and
  2. meet the minimum criteria for admission to the University for the program for which they have applied.

(21) Applications must be made using the relevant application form on the Scholarships web page, unless otherwise specified, and submitted by the relevant deadlines.

Part C - Awarding of Scholarships

(22) A scholarship will be awarded only if there are sufficient funds available to meet its cost.

(23) Where there is no suitable applicant available, the scholarship will not be awarded.

(24) In the case that the number of eligible applications exceeds the available number of scholarships, an order of eligibility will be established by the Associate Director, Engagement and Partnerships, using scholarship criteria. The order of eligibility will be used to recommend recipients to the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement for approval of Group A scholarships. Recommendations for Group B scholarships will be made to the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement for approval.

(25) Coursework scholarships for Indigenous Australian students will be determined in consultation with the Indigenous Coursework Scholarships Advisory Group.

(26) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement will approve the awarding of Group A scholarships. With regard to Group B scholarships, recommendations will be made to the Executive Director, Advancement, who may consult with the external funder or donor. The Executive Director, Advancement and the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement may approve the awarding of Group B scholarships.

(27) Where the provisions of a scholarship require that applicants attend an interview:

  1. the selection panel membership will be specified in the scholarship proposal and approved by Academic Senate at the time the scholarship is approved
  2. the selection committee may include individuals external to the University to form part of a panel
  3. the selection committee will receive all documentation and will assess applicants' applications and associated documentation against the specific scholarship criteria
  4. a selection committee will comprise a maximum of six members, with the composition of the committee ensuring a balance of representation and knowledge, including gender balance and
  5. the selection committee will determine an order of merit, and the decision of the selection committee is final.

(28) A written offer will be made to approved scholarship recipients. Where applicable, the written offer will outline the program of enrolment with which the offer has been made, maximum cash amount over the duration of the scholarship, the maximum duration of the scholarship, and the cash amount per 10 credit points of enrolment. In order to receive benefits, recipients must sign and accept a scholarship by signing a scholarship agreement that contains the terms and conditions of the scholarship.

(29) Scholarships will only be shown on the recipient's Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement for those scholarships that are determined on academic or academic-related performance and where ongoing requirements have been met.

Part D - Benefits

(30) A scholarship shall provide an allowance in cash, and such other benefits as the Academic Senate may approve including, for example, tuition fee sponsorships, work experience and practical opportunities.

(31) Payments will be made on an instalment basis, based on subject registration and academic performance and meeting any other requirements as set out in the terms of the scholarship agreement. Recipients must also meet the ongoing criteria outlined in the Progression Policy.

(32) Recipients will only receive payment after confirmation of their enrolment. Recipients may receive payment before their confirmation of enrolment at the discretion of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement. Requests to receive the full annual payment in advance will not be considered.

(33) Scholarship funds will only be paid to the recipient's bank account or University account, as specified in the terms and conditions of the scholarship and cannot be made to a third party.

(34) Recipients will be paid per 10 credit points of enrolment in each eligible academic term. Eligible academic terms for scholarship payments are listed on the Scholarships web page. Pro rata payments will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

(35) Recipients receiving Centrelink benefits are responsible for informing Centrelink of any scholarship income received. Recipients must seek their own independent advice on the effect, if any, the scholarship is likely to have on their eligibility for their Centrelink payment or any tax implications.

(36) Recipients who are undertaking subjects at another institution as part of approved cross institutional studies will be eligible to receive their scholarship payment for that term if the subjects are part of their degree but not on offer at the University, or, they are completing no more than 20 credit points at the other institution, unless otherwise specified in the terms and conditions of the scholarship. It is the recipient's responsibility to provide necessary proof and approval of study to the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit.

(37) Recipients who are undertaking an approved University International Exchange program will be eligible to receive their scholarship payment for that term if the subjects are part of their degree. It is the recipient's responsibility to provide necessary proof and approval of their exchange to the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit.

(38) Recipients who alter their enrolment after payment of scholarship funds, and as a result have been overpaid scholarship funds, will be required to return the funds to the University.

(39) Recipients who do not action an invoice request for the return of scholarship funds by the date requested will have an encumbrance placed on their student record which will prevent them from accessing their term results, requesting academic transcripts, and graduating. The encumbrance will be removed once evidence of a paid invoice is confirmed by the Finance Office or at the discretion of the Associate Director, Engagement and Partnerships.

Part E - Tenure

(40) Recipients must maintain satisfactory progress in terms of the scholarship agreement for each category of scholarship. The minimum Grade Point Average GPA requirement for each scholarship is outlined in the terms and conditions of the scholarship. Refer to the Graduation Policy for the calculation of GPA.

(41) Academic progress is monitored at the end of each academic term and where the minimum GPA is not met the recipient will be placed on scholarship probation for the subsequent term of enrolment as per Part G.

(42) Annual renewal of scholarship benefits will depend on the recipient maintaining satisfactory progress determined by the conditions for the specific scholarship and subject to the Disruption to Studies Policy. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress will result in the withdrawal of scholarship benefits, after one period of scholarship probation as outlined in Part G.

(43) In circumstances where the recipient has changed programs and maintained their scholarship, only the current enrolled program will be taken into account when establishing academic progress. Results from previous programs will not be used to establish academic progress for the purposes of the scholarship.

(44) Recipients are subject to the University policies, procedures and guidelines, including the Student Code of Conduct and the Progression Policy. Failure to adhere to and meet requirements of any University policy may result in the scholarship being withdrawn.

(45) All recipients must remain enrolled at the University in order to retain their scholarship. Some scholarships may require full-time enrolment as outlined in the scholarship terms and conditions.

(46) Group A scholarships allow for an Honours year to be included providing the length of the scholarship allows and unless otherwise stated in the terms and conditions.

(47) The scholarship will cease if the recipient graduates from the program at an alternate exit point.

(48) The scholarship shall be subject to annual renewal and may be held by a recipient for not more than the normal duration of the program when completed by full-time or part-time study.

(49) Recipients are subject to the Rules governing the degree for which they are enrolled.

(50) Once awarded, a scholarship and any associated benefits are not transferable to another institution.

Part F - Recipient Conduct

(51) Scholarships are highly sought after on a competitive basis and are usually awarded to high potential students. In awarding a scholarship, the University expects the recipient to not only meet the requirements of the scholarship outlined in the scholarship agreement, but to strive to be an exemplary student. This includes behaving in a manner appropriate as an ambassador for the University, providing an example and being a role model to other students and potential students, participating in University events from time-to-time, and ensuring compliance with all University policies, procedures and guidelines. Where a recipient acts in a manner that prejudices the good name and reputation of the University in any way, it may result in the withdrawal of scholarship benefits.

(52) The University recognises that students, including scholarship recipients, may at times have experiences at the University with which they are not satisfied. In these cases recipients must raise the matter with the relevant unit head, or the Associate Director, Engagement and Partnerships. Alternatively, the recipient may lodge a complaint under the Complaint Management Policy.

Part G - Scholarship Probation

(53) Recipients who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of their scholarship will be placed on scholarship probation for the subsequent term of enrolment.

(54) Recipients placed on scholarship probation will receive advice to their student email address from the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit and are directed to seek academic counselling and advice.

(55) Recipients may continue to receive their scholarship while on probation.

(56) A recipient will be allowed one scholarship probationary period during the duration of their scholarship.

(57) At the end of the scholarship probation period, if the minimum academic requirement is still not achieved, the scholarship will be placed under review for termination, in accordance with Part H.

Part H - Termination of Scholarships

(58) A scholarship will be terminated:

  1. once the full value of the scholarship has been paid in respect of the scholarship or
  2. upon completion of the recipient's enrolled program if this occurs prior to the conclusion of the scholarship's stated duration or
  3. if the recipient does not resume study at the conclusion of an approved period of leave of absence or
  4. upon graduation of the recipient from their degree or
  5. on the recipient's death, resignation or withdrawal from the University.

(59) The University will terminate a scholarship, and recipients may forfeit their eligibility for future scholarships, where the recipient:

  1. fails to meet any or all criteria, including satisfactory progress or any other requirements, of the specific scholarship including a breach of terms and conditions or
  2. fails to meet GPA requirements after a period of scholarship probation or
  3. is suspended or excluded from the University or
  4. has been found to have breached University policies, rules and/or regulations
  5. has been found to have breached relevant Commonwealth or State laws
  6. has engaged in proven misconduct as defined in the Student Misconduct Rule.

(60) Recipients will receive advice to their student email account from the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit indicating that their scholarship is under review for termination.

(61) The Associate Director, Engagement and Partnerships will consider each case and make a recommendation to the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement who will approve terminations for Group A scholarships. Recommendations to terminate Group B scholarships will be reviewed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement before forwarding to the Executive Director, Advancement for consultation and approval by the external donor.

(62) The termination of Group C scholarships will be governed by the prevailing Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines in conjunction with the University's internal scholarship procedures and conditions. For guidelines regarding the termination of all Commonwealth funded scholarships, see Commonwealth Scholarships.

(63) Where a scholarship has been terminated, the recipient may be required to reimburse the University any monies paid to them during the period.

(64) A recipient will be notified of a termination by the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit via their student email account or to a postal address if their student email is suspended.

Part I - Appeals

(65) A recipient who has had a scholarship terminated and considers they have evidence that meets the grounds for appeal, may submit an appeal, in writing, to the Scholarships Appeal Panel. Any appeals, including supporting evidence, should be addressed to the Scholarships team within The Academy, Scholarships and Partnerships unit and must be received within four weeks of the date the recipient was advised of the scholarship termination. Late appeals will only be considered at the discretion of the panel and if there are documented extenuating circumstances.

(66) The recipient will not receive any scholarship payments during the appeal process. Scholarship payments will only resume if the appeal is upheld.

(67) Refer to the Academic Appeals Procedures, for the grounds to appeal. The grounds for appeal do not include misunderstanding the scholarship requirements.

(68) The appeal will be assessed by the Scholarships Appeal Panel based on the written application and supporting documentation outlining the recipient's circumstances which have precluded them from meeting the requirements of the scholarship.

(69) The recipient does not have an automatic right to appear in person before the panel. Appeals should therefore include appropriate documentation to substantiate the recipient's grounds for appeal.

(70) The Scholarships Appeal Panel members include:

  1. Nominee of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Advancement (Chair)
  2. Nominee of the Executive Director, Equity, Safety and Wellbeing and
  3. One academic staff member, nominated by the Chair, Academic Senate.

(71) The panel may determine to:

  1. uphold the appeal and restore the scholarship
  2. uphold the appeal, but vary the recipient's required enrolment load and/or put conditions upon the continuation of the scholarship or
  3. dismiss the appeal.

(72) Also refer to the Academic Appeals Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(73) For Group A and Group B scholarships refer to the Scholarships webpage.

(74) Group C scholarships are funded by the Commonwealth of Australia, or an Australian State or Territory. These are managed and maintained external to the University.