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Student Code of Conduct

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University is committed to demonstrating high standards of personal and professional conduct, and this commitment extends to students, who are a fundamental part of the University community. The Student Code of Conduct reflects the University values of excellence and quality, scholarly rigour and integrity, equity and inclusiveness, collegiality and participation, academic freedom, commitment and accountability.

(2) This policy applies, and provides guidance to, all students enrolled at the University. This applies to students enrolled in a program or in Non-Award studies, as well as students enrolled in programs offered through Western Sydney University - The College (The College) and other affiliates, if the program is registered as a University award.

(3) The policy applies to all students when attending University premises or participating in activities as part of their study off University premises, including online activities.

(4) This Code should be read in conjunction with the following Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:

  1. Acceptable Use of Digital Services Policy;
  2. Health Safety and Wellbeing Procedures - Alcohol and Drug Control;
  3. Assessment Policy;
  4. Bullying Prevention Policy;
  5. Curriculum Advice to Students Procedures;
  6. Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy;
  7. Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy;
  8. Examinations Policy;
  9. Freedom of Speech Policy;
  10. Motting and Hazing Prevention Policy;
  11. Responsible Conduct of Research Policy;
  12. Research Ethics Policy;
  13. Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy;
  14. Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy;
  15. Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy;
  16. Student Honour Code;
  17. Student Misconduct Rule;
  18. Teaching and Learning - Fundamental Code;
  19. Western Sydney University, Explanatory Note: Model Code for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Australian Higher Education Providers.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Academic Freedom (as defined by the Model Code for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Australian Higher Education Providers) means:
    1. the freedom to discuss, research and to disseminate and publish the results of an individual’s research;
    2. the freedom to engage in intellectual inquiry, to express opinions and beliefs, and to contribute to public debate in relation to an individual’s subjects of study and research;
    3. the freedom to express opinions in relation to the systems and institutions of higher education, including those at which an individual works;
    4. the freedom to participate in professional or representative bodies, including student societies and associations.
  2. Freedom of speech (as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) means everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers in accordance with the law.
  3. Non-Award Study means a student who is registered in a subject or subjects in one of the following:
    1. Non-Award undergraduate; Non-Award postgraduate; post census miscellaneous; or
    2. Cross institutional - studying one or more subjects as part of their award program at a higher education provider other than their home provider.
  4. A reference to the University includes, as appropriate, Western Sydney University - The College and any affiliate of the University.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) The Student Code of Conduct reflects the values and principles of the University as outlined in the University's Sustaining Success Strategic Plan 2021-2026, and supports the University's capacity to fulfil its mission. Under this Code, students have the following obligations and responsibilities.

Collegiality and Participation

(7) The University values collegiality and participation in decision making, recognising that the University is enriched by diverse contributions from staff and students. Students will foster collegiality and participation by:

  1. treating others with fairness, respect and courtesy;
  2. not acting in a manner that is threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, victimising, vilifying or intimidating, or likely to adversely affect the safety, health, well-being and reputation of others; and
  3. not acting in a manner that disrupts any teaching, learning or research activity of the University.

Equity and Inclusiveness

(8) The University is committed to creating a welcoming and culturally inclusive environment based upon mutual respect. It welcomes and supports people of all cultural, national and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations, ages, abilities, religious beliefs and family responsibilities. Students will ensure equality of opportunity by:

  1. supporting a culture of inclusiveness and respect for difference;
  2. being proactive in learning about and respecting the cultural backgrounds of others; and
  3. committing to a scholarly environment that is free from all forms of unlawful discrimination.


(9) The University values integrity across its academic, research, teaching, professional, public and administrative activities. Students will promote integrity in carrying out these activities by:

  1. giving due acknowledgement to the ideas, work and contribution of others and ensuring the proper use of copyright material;
  2. understanding and avoiding plagiarism, collusion, cheating, providing their work to others, misrepresenting the work of others as their own, including their own previously submitted work without agreement of the Subject Coordinator;
  3. acting honestly and ethically, upholding the highest standards of academic integrity in the production of all academic work and assessment tasks, including the conduct of research, and upholding the Student Honour Code;
  4. following the reasonable direction of any member of University staff while on campus, in University buildings or while using University services, including directions concerning the use of electronic devices and online activities; and
  5. following the reasonable direction of staff from any affiliate or external stakeholder where the student is engaged in placement, field work, practicums or student mobility opportunities, including directions concerning the use of electronic devices.

Excellence and Quality

(10) A commitment to excellence and quality is central to the University's mission. The University strives for excellence through scholarship, teaching, research and service. Students will demonstrate this commitment by:

  1. using current and accurate information, ideas, and evidence to support debate;
  2. being responsible for their own learning and engaging with the learning materials and activities in their study;
  3. seeking timely advice regarding program requirements and academic progression and accepting assistance and using University services, as required, to maximise academic success; and
  4. acting diligently and studiously in respect of all studies and research, making genuine attempts to satisfy program requirements in a reasonable timeframe. (Refer to the Progression Policy).

Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech

(11) The University upholds free intellectual inquiry in relation to learning, teaching and research. Academic Senate has adopted a Charter of Academic Freedom that affirms the University's responsibility to free and open inquiry in all areas of scholarship.

(12) Students will uphold these values of academic freedom and freedom of speech by demonstrating respect for opposing points of view, being open to ethical debate and acknowledging the right of others to express their views, beliefs and practices within legislation and University policy.

Ethics and Accountability

(13) The University values ethical decision making and accountability and expects students to take responsibility for their actions whilst at University. Ethics and accountability entail an obligation to report on, explain and be responsible for one’s actions and their consequences. Students will:

  1. act with care, diligence and honesty;
  2. maintain the privacy and confidentiality of other’s personal, academic or commercial information, including in group work, electronic or other communications and as part of academic work or research;
  3. exercise care in the use of University equipment; and
  4. discharge all responsibilities with integrity and in accordance with the University's policies and procedures. This includes:
    1. meeting financial commitments to the University, as required;
    2. providing accurate personal and contact details to the University and keeping those details up to date;
    3. reading and responding in a timely manner to official communication from the University and communication related to their University program;
    4. carrying their University Student ID card at all times while on campus and producing it to University staff when required as proof of identity;
    5. not using mobile phones or other similar devices in lectures, classes, or formal learning and study spaces except with the consent of the lecturer, as part of the teaching content of the subject, or in emergency situations and then with the least disruption to other students and staff;
    6. complying with the rules, policies and procedures of external organisations and the laws of other jurisdictions as applicable whilst on any University placement or student mobility experience; and
    7. complying with the requirements and standards of use of University resources and services, taking due care and consideration for the correct operation and rights of other users.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(14) Breach of University rules, policies, procedures and guidelines, including this Code, may be dealt with as misconduct under the Student Misconduct Rule.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(15) Student Misconduct Rule.

(16) Student Declaration.

(17) Student Honour Code.