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Academic Records Issuance Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University issues several types of official statements that provide the academic records of individual students. This Policy defines the different documents and sets out the ways in which their content may be used in order to ensure that the information provided by the University regarding individual student records is fit for purpose and is consistent.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) For purposes of this policy, the following definitions covering the range of student academic records shall apply:

  1. Academic transcript: the official record of a student's study at the University. It covers all units attempted, except when provided as part of the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) or for teaching registration purposes.
  2. Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS): a statement issued to graduates upon successful completion of a University award which includes a course specific academic transcript (being introduced from 2011). For further information, refer to the Department of Education and Training website.
  3. Certificate: issued by Western Sydney University The College to students who have completed their certificate programs.
  4. Completion letter: a letter confirming that a student has satisfied the requirements of an award, issued in the period before the award is conferred.
  5. Statement of Learning Activities: a document confirming that a person has attended specified learning activities that are not offered as part of a University or Western Sydney University The College award or program.
  6. Statement of Attainment: may be issued to students who have discontinued an accredited course without completing, but who have completed a unit or units of competence or study from the course.
  7. Testamur: the official document bearing the University's Seal stating that the student has successfully completed the award named on the testamur.
  8. University Seal: the official seal of the University.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Commitment to Accuracy and Authenticity

(3) The University is committed to ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of all University issued documents that record details of students' academic information, in the interests of the University, its students and graduates. That objective is reinforced by legislation and agencies that empower, review and support public institutions and their reputations.

(4) Falsification of the University testamur, academic transcript, the AHEGS or any other issued academic record damages the reputation of the University, its students and graduates at national and international levels. Students who falsify documents covered by this policy will be dealt with under the Student Misconduct Rule and persons who falsify documents covered by this policy may be prosecuted under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Supply of Academic Records

(5) Academic records are produced under the authority of the Director, Student Administration, who has responsibility for the style and format of such records.

(6) Academic transcripts are provided to students upon conferral of an award as a component of the AHEGS, and at other times at the request of individual students on a fee for service basis.

(7) The AHEGS is provided free of charge to students upon conferral of an award on the basis of one copy per conferred award. After initial provision, individual students may request further AHEGS copies on a fee for service basis. The AHEGS will not be provided for non-award courses or for courses where the award has not been conferred or has been otherwise withheld.

(8) Appropriate academic records may also be provided to external organisations (for example, to professional accreditation bodies, the Universities Admission Centre (UAC), other educational institutions and for employment purposes), where the student has provided appropriate written authority for the University to do so or where such disclosure falls within the Disclosure and Use of Student Personal Information Guidelines.

(9) Academic records may also be required to be provided under specific legislation including the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, and to police services or other law enforcement agencies under subpoena, police search warrant or other similar written official request. The Disclosure and Use of Student Personal Information Guidelines directs the University's response in such situations.

(10) In accordance with the Enrolment Policy, academic records will not be supplied to students who are financially indebted to the University, until the debt has been resolved.

(11) The University will maintain in the student management system:

  1. a register of all Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) awards it is authorised to issue; and
  2. a register of all AQF qualifications issued to graduates.

(12) These registers will contain sufficient information to correctly identify the:

  1. holder of the qualification;
  2. AQF qualification by its full title; and
  3. date of issue/award/conferral.

Part B - Content and Format of Academic Records

General Information

(13) The AQF guidelines, endorsed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, govern the format and content of documents issued by accrediting authorities to ensure authenticity and consistency. In addition, the Department of Education and Training has provided a document, Guidelines for the Presentation of the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement, which informs the relevant provisions in this policy.

(14) It is expected that updates to the AQF and Department of Education and Training guidelines will occur over time and may require changes to academic records issued by the University.

(15) A list of approved protocols and standards for the University course titles, abbreviations and post-nominal letters is available as Associated Information.

(16) Academic records will be printed on official University stationery, appropriate to the document type.

(17) Registers of formats and stationery used for academic records, including copies of the actual paper used, will be maintained by Student Administration within the Student Experience Office for each official document. Each register will document the dates when specific formats are in operation and when changeovers occur.

(18) Copies of academic records should not be accepted as official University documents.

(19) Academic records are to be printed using the English (Roman) character set with standard English punctuation marks.

Testamur

(20) A testamur is provided to a student upon conferral of each award for which they have qualified that is presented at a graduation ceremony or supplied to graduates who choose to graduate in absentia.

(21) A testamur:

  1. is issued under the University's Seal;
  2. is issued when an award is conferred by the Board of Trustees and signed by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and President and Registrar;
  3. includes a unique University registration number; and
  4. includes the graduate's full name as recorded in the student management system, the name of the award, the name of any key program(s) (where applicable), certain majors (provided they were approved for inclusion when Academic Senate approved the course), any class of honours or award with distinction, and the date of conferral.

(22) The following information is not to be included on the testamur:

  1. date of birth; and
  2. title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc).

Academic Transcript

(23) Two types of academic transcripts are provided to students:

  1. an award-specific transcript is provided at the conferral of an award, as part of the AHEGS; and
  2. a full academic transcript is provided at other times at the request of individual students, and/or graduates, on a fee for service basis. This transcript includes records for all awards attempted at the University.

(24) Award-specific academic transcripts provided to graduates as a component of the AHEGS will contain the following information:

  1. personal identification which is limited to the student name as recorded in the student management system and University student identification number;
  2. academic award conferred;
  3. a record of all enrolled units completed at the University as part of the award conferred, including any failed units, and all instances of repeated units undertaken, including marks (where available and applicable) and grades;
  4. credit point values for all successfully completed units where the unit has a credit point value greater than 0;
  5. statements regarding completion of requirements for a recognised group of units, for example, a key program or major;
  6. a record of any advanced standing for previous formal study or recognised prior learning granted as part of the award conferred;
  7. level of awards where these are relevant, i.e. Bachelor Honours, Distinction, etc;
  8. thesis title of any research higher degree award; and
  9. Grade Point Average (GPA), where applicable, calculated according to the University's Graduation Policy.

(25) The following information is not to be included on award-specific transcripts:

  1. date of birth; and
  2. title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc).

(26) Full academic transcripts provided to students during their studies will contain the following information:

  1. personal identification which is limited to the student name and address as recorded in the student management system and University student identification number;
  2. academic awards conferred and/or awards completed and yet to be conferred;
  3. a record of all enrolled units at the University, including any failed units, and all instances of repeated units undertaken, including marks (where available) and grades;
  4. credit point values for all successfully completed units where the unit has a credit point value greater than 0;
  5. all incomplete awards in which the student has been, or is currently, enrolled;
  6. statements regarding completion of requirements for a recognised group of units, for example, a key program or major;
  7. a full record of any advanced standing granted for previous formal study or recognised prior learning;
  8. level of awards where these are relevant, i.e. Bachelor Honours, Distinction, etc;
  9. award of the University Medal where relevant;
  10. thesis title of any research higher degree award; and
  11. GPA, where applicable, calculated according to the Graduation Policy.

(27) The following information is not to be included on full academic transcripts:

  1. date of birth; and
  2. title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc).

AHEGS

(28) The AHEGS provided upon conferral of an award will be for the course for which the student is currently graduating.

(29) The AHEGS will be provided to students graduating from 2011 onwards and will not be available for awards where admission of commencing students ceased prior to 2001.

(30) The AHEGS may contain the following information:

  1. personal identification which is limited to the student name as recorded in the student management system and University student identification number;
  2. academic award conferred and statements regarding completion of requirements for a recognised group of units, for example, a key program or major related to the award;
  3. level of awards where these are relevant, i.e. Bachelor Honours, Distinction, etc;
  4. award of the University Medal where relevant;
  5. details of the course for which the student has gained the award such as admission requirements, normal duration of study and language of instruction;
  6. description of external examination arrangements for research higher degrees;
  7. course features such as professional placements, industry-based learning and overseas study;
  8. further or advanced higher education courses for which this award typically serves as preparation;
  9. details of external accreditation of the course;
  10. description of Western Sydney University as the Awarding Institution;
  11. where the course is a jointly-badged award with another institution, or is delivered by another institution, brief details of this arrangement;
  12. Advanced Standing granted for a particular unit/s in recognition of prior formal learning where advanced standing is specified, or credit point value granted for unspecified advanced standing;
  13. units for the course in which the student was enrolled for the award and the results obtained. Marks will be included if applicable;
  14. credit points achieved where the unit has been successfully completed and has a credit point value greater than 0;
  15. GPA, where applicable, calculated according to the Graduation Policy;
  16. thesis title and thesis short description for research higher degree study;
  17. specific details of particular course-related achievements of the graduate (additional course details) where this information is available;
  18. award of official prizes based on meritorious performance in academic or academic-related activities where this information is held;
  19. details of scholarships and prizes received for academic merit where this information is available; and
  20. description of the Australian Higher Education System as specified under the AQF.

(31) The following information is not to be included on the AHEGS:

  1. date of birth; and
  2. title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc).

Certificate

(32) A certificate is issued to students who have successfully completed the Western Sydney University The College Foundation Studies program.

(33) The certificate is not an award of the University but confirms that the student has completed the required components at the specified level(s).

(34) The certificate will include:

  1. personal information including student name as recorded in the student management system;
  2. program name; and
  3. date of issue.

(35) The following information is not to be included on certificates:

  1. date of birth; and
  2. title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc).

Completion Letter

(36) A completion letter is a document stating that the student is entitled to be awarded a specified qualification (subject to authorisation by the relevant School Academic Committee and upon successful application to graduate by the student). It may be issued by the University, upon request, on a fee for service basis by Student Administration in the Student Experience Office.

(37) A completion letter is intended only as interim confirmation that a qualification is completed, and so may only be issued to a student during the period after completion of their qualification requirements and before the award is conferred by the University. It is not an official conferral of the award by the University.

(38) Under special circumstances a student who has graduated may request a completion letter as further evidence that they have completed and been awarded their degree.

(39) Completion letters must contain details as described in the Associated Information to this Policy.

Statement of Attainment

(40) A statement of attainment may be issued to students who do not complete an award but have completed a unit or units of competence or study from a Western Sydney University The College award or program.

(41) The Statement of Attainment will include:

  1. personal information including student name as recorded in the student management system and University student ID number;
  2. units undertaken by their full title; and
  3. date of issue.

(42) The Statement of Attainment must be in a form that ensures it cannot be mistaken for a testamur or a full AQF qualification. It must include the statement 'A Statement of Attainment is issued when an individual has completed one or more accredited units.'

Statement of Learning Activities

(43) Such statements may be issued by the relevant School following the completion of specified learning activities that are not offered as part of a University or Western Sydney University The College award or program. This includes statements issued after completion of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs.

(44) A statement of learning activities will include:

  1. personal information including student name as recorded in the student management system;
  2. learning activities and date completed; and
  3. date of issue.

Part C - Verification of Information on Academic Records Requested by Third Parties

(45) It is in the University's interest and that of its students and graduates that the academic achievements and qualifications claimed by applicants for educational, professional, business and other service roles are genuine.

(46) Employers, professional bodies, licensing and regulatory bodies and others may wish to verify that information on academic records is accurate. Awards may be verified through the Award Verification Service or upon application to the Graduation Unit. The Disclosure and Use of Student Personal Information Guidelines directs the University's response in such situations.

Part D - Replacement Academic Records

(47) Where an original testamur, transcript, AHEGS or certificate has been lost, damaged or destroyed, or where the recipient's name has changed, a replacement may be issued by the University, upon request, on a fee for service basis by Student Administration in the Student Experience Office.

(48) A new testamur will be identified as a replacement by inclusion of the following: "Replacement ..... issued ... (dated)" and signed by the Registrar.

(49) A graduate issued with a new document as a result of a change of name will have all key administrative records held by the University amended to reflect the new name.

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Section 5 - Guidelines