Policy Glossary

The Glossary is a list of terms and their standard definitions for policies and procedures. Unless separately defined or the context of the document requires otherwise then the following definitions apply to each policy or procedure.

Click on a letter from A to Z below to view glossary items that begin with the selected letter, or use the scroll bar located on the right hand side of this page to browse the entire list.

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  • Academic Credit

    Refer to 'Advanced standing'.

  • Academic Development Program

    Academic Development Program means a program that allows academic employees to have an extended period of time away from day-to-day work duties to concentrate on research, scholarship, teaching and learning, collaboration and knowledge building.

  • Academic Transcript

    The official record of a student's study at the University, including all programs and subjects attempted.

  • Adjustment Factors

    Additional factors that can be taken into account in combination with an applicant's academic qualifications to derive their Selection Rank. These factors do not change an applicant's academic results (e.g. ATAR) but can change their Selection Rank for a particular program/s. Previously referred to as 'bonus points'. For more information, visit the Bonus Points (Adjustment Factors) webpage.

  • Admission Average Mark

    (AAM) means a mark used to demonstrate that the level of academic achievement is sufficient to enter an Honours program, calculated by adding the marks awarded for all completed graded subjects in the preceding degree, divided by the total number of graded subjects studied in the degree, with appropriate weightings for subjects that carry more than ten credit points.

  • Advanced Standing

    Recognition of achieving a portion of the required knowledge, skills and understanding of units in an award program, expressed as an equivalent number of credit points towards that award.

  • Alternate Entry Pathways

    Admission to the University based on factors other than formal educational attainment as published on the website.

  • At Risk

    A progression outcome where a student has been identified as not progressing satisfactorily in their studies.

  • At Risk - Improving

    A progression outcome where a student has been identified as not progressing satisfactorily in their studies, however, their Grade Point Average (GPA) has improved since the previous progression check.

  • ATAR

    (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) A number between 0.00 and 99.95 that indicates a student's academic position relative to the students completed secondary studies in the same cohort year. An applicant's ATAR, in combination with any eligible adjustment factors, determines their Selection Rank and can be used to assess their eligibility for admission.

  • Award

    The qualification granted to a student after completion of all the requirements of a higher education course.

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  • bundled consent

    means ‘bundling’ together multiple requests for an individual’s consent to a wider range of collections, uses and disclosures of personal information, without giving the individual the opportunity to choose which collections, uses and disclosure they agree to and which they do not, and may not meet the criteria of valid consent (reference Information and Privacy Commission Fact Sheet - Consent and Bundled Consent)

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  • Calendar Day

    Refers to any day of the week, Monday through Sunday, including public holidays and University concessional days.

  • Completion Letter

    The letter confirming that a student has satisfied the requirements of an award, issued in the period before the award is conferred.

  • Concentration

    An approved sequence of subjects that makes up a further area of specialisation within a Major.

  • Concessional Day

    Refers to any day designated by the University as a 'concessional day' during which the Univeristy is closed for business.

  • Conditional Enrolment

    A progression outcome where the number of subjects in which a student may register is limited for a specified period.

  • Conferral

    Conferral means the process of confirming completion; legally admitting a graduand to their award by the University.

  • Core

    A mandatory set of subjects to be completed by all students enrolling in the award program.

  • Core Subject

    Mandatory subject required for the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills needed to achieve program outcomes. 

  • Curriculum Element

    This collective term is used to indicate the inclusion of all types of curricula offered, including all types of courses, units, curiosity pods, and short courses.

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  • Day

    Is used as general reference only.  Specific time periods, such as deadlines and limitations are denoted as either calendar days, working days, concessional days or weekends.

  • Degree

    An alternative term for 'Award'

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  • Early Award

    Early Award means the process by which a student nominates to graduate from an eligible award within a double degree, integrated or nested program, provided they meet the program requirements for this award, while continuing their study in their enrolled program.

  • Early Exit

    Early Exit means the process by which a student nominates to graduate from an eligible lower award, provided they meet program requirements for the lower award, rather than continuing their study in their enrolled program.

  • Early Intervention

    Mechanisms put in place to assist students in identifying their challenges and helping them to improve.

  • Enabling Program

    A program that aims to prepare students for study at the undergraduate level in higher education and provides students with the pre-requisite knowledge and skills for entry to and success in undergraduate study. (As defined by the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia).

  • Exclusion

    (Exclusion for Unsatisfactory Academic Progression) – A progression outcome where a student’s enrolment is cancelled. Students must apply for re-admission to the University through the normal channels.

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  • Field of Study

    Collective term for the curricular components of an award program (Major, Minor, Concentration).

  • Focus Subject

    Subject/s supporting students to develop expertise in a particular area of the program they are studying. These subjects extend the learner’s knowledge into a more specific disciplinary domain and field of practice. 

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  • Good Standing

    A progression outcome where a student is progressing at a satisfactory rate in their program.

  • GPA

    (Grade Point Average) An average score of grades achieved based on a 7-point grading scale (or 10-point scale for Foundation Studies programs). Refer to the Graduation Policy.

  • Graduand

    A student who has completed the requirements for an award and has been deemed eligible to graduate, but has not yet had the award conferred.

  • Graduate

    A person who  has completed the requirements of a course and has had the award conferred.

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  • HDR Candidate

    (Higher Degree Candidate) –  A student who is undertaking independent research in either a Doctorate, Master of Philosophy or Research Master’s program. Also known as Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student.

  • Head of Unit

    Refers to the head of any academic or functional unit, except where explicitly stated otherwise. 

  • health information

    Health Information has the same meaning as in Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)

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  • In Absentia

    (Graduation in absentia) means when a degree is awarded to a student without their presence at a graduation ceremony.

  • individual healthcare identifiers

    healthcare identifiers and individual healthcare identifiers (IHIs) have the same meaning as in the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (Cth)

  • Inherent Requirements

    Abilities, knowledge, and standards of conduct and performance that are essential for a student to be able to achieve the learning outcomes of a program or subject, and transition to the profession after graduating (see also Fitness to Practice). These may include compulsory standards set by professional, registration, or accreditation bodies.

  • IT

    Information Technology

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  • Major

    An approved sequence of subjects that make up a special focus within a program. The major may or may not form part of the degree title and appear on the student's testamur. Testamur majors are defined sequences of subjects in a focus area, which represents a significant area of study that the University wishes to recognise to highlight the graduate’s area of specialisation.

  • Maximum Time

    The longest time within which a student must complete all curriculum components to qualify for their enrolled program.

  • Minor

    An approved sequence of subjects that makes up a shorter area of special focus (than a Major) within a program.

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  • Non-Award
    1. A subject offered by the University in which a student registers independently of one of the University’s Award Programs, including:
      1. Non-Award undergraduate; Non-Award postgraduate; post census miscellaneous; or
      2. Cross institutional - one or more subjects that are part of an Award Program at another higher education provider.

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  • Offer

    A formal notification from the University or the relevant Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC) on behalf of the University offering a place in a nominated program and associated provisos.

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  • personal information

    Personal Information has the same meaning as in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and is defined in the Privacy Policy.

  • Program

    A program of study consisting of at least four subjects or 40 credit points leading to an award of the University (Foundation Studies Program, Undergraduate Preparation Program, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Undergraduate Certificate, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters by Coursework Degree) which when successfully completed is conferred on the graduand by the Board of Trustees.

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  • Quota

    The number of commencing student places available in each program in the relevant admissions intake.

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  • Recognition of Prior Learning

    General term used to describe the University's policy of acknowledging learning in other contexts that can be applied to the knowledge, skills and understanding outcomes of study in award programs.

  • Research

    The concept of research is broad and includes the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative. Refer to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018.

  • Research Data

    Any information collected, captured or created in digital or non-digital formats to support research projects at Western Sydney University. It includes all hard copy material generated in the course of research, together with all digital material on which research findings, interpretations and/or observations may rely. Research data may comprise any content or take any form, including numbers, symbols, text, images or sounds. Research data may also include information concerning how, when, where and with what methods research data were collected. Material constituting research data is commonly accepted as the evidence that validates research findings.

  • Research Data Management

    Research Data Management – Activities related to the whole research lifecycle, including planning, designing, creating, processing, capturing, classifying, organising, analysing, accessing, preserving, sharing, publishing, reusing, licencing and disposing of research data

  • Research Data Management Plan

    A document outlining the research data management to be undertaken throughout any research project.

  • Researcher

    All University staff, adjunct and emeritus staff, candidates and visitors engaged in research.

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  • Scholarly Works

    Works such as scholarly books, articles, musical and dramatic works. Research Data and works that are Program Materials are not classified as a Scholarly Work.

  • Selection Rank

    A numerical score assigned to scale qualifications held by applicants, inclusive of any adjustment factors. Selection Ranks range from 1 to 99.95, with 99.95 being the highest. A student may have several Selection Ranks based on different qualifications

  • sensitive information

    sensitive information means a subset of personal information which is given a higher level of protection under privacy laws than other personal information. It is information or an opinion about an individual’s:

    i. ethnic or racial origin, or

    ii. political opinions, or

    iii. religious or philosophical beliefs, or

    iv. trade union membership or

    v. sexual activities

  • SFS

    Student Feedback on Subject survey means the University-approved instrument that gathers student perceptions on their taught subjects.

  • SFT

    Student Feedback on Teaching survey means the University-approved survey instrument that gathers student perceptions of teaching effectiveness.

  • Student Learning Abroad

    (Learning Abroad) means the study or other academic activity undertaken overseas for a limited time at another institution. Student Learning Abroad Programs at the University include Exchange Learning Abroad, Short-Term Exchange Learning Abroad, Non-Exchange Learning Abroad and Research Learning Abroad

  • Subject

    The subject of study in a program in which a student enrols.

  • Suitable Relative

    A person who meets the Department Requirements - Migration Regulations 1994 - Schedule 8, as defined by the Department of Home Affairs.

  • Suspension

    A progression outcome where a student’s enrolment at the University is suspended for a specified period of time. The student has an automatic right to re-enrol in their original program, or a program that the University regards as being equivalent, at the end of the Suspension period.

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  • TAC

    (Tertiary Admissions Centre) The admission authority established in each Australian state/territory to coordinate the admission processes of participating institutions for undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

  • tax file number

    tax file number has the same meaning as in Part 2 Division 1 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

  • Term

    A session at the University that runs for a set length of time during which teaching and assessments occur.

  • Testamur

    The official certificate, bearing the University Seal, issued to students when their award is conferred and confirms their completion of a University qualification.

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  • University

    Refers to Western Sydney University, except where explicitly stated otherwise.

  • University Premises

    Refers to any land, water, building, part of any building, tent or movable structure owned, leased or controlled by the University, including campus student accommodation, or venues otherwise temporarily occupied to conduct University business.

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  • Volume of Learning

    (As defined in the AQF) The volume of learning is a dimension of the complexity of a qualification. It is used with the level criteria and qualification type descriptor to determine the depth and breadth of the learning outcomes of a qualification. The volume of learning identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full-time years. 

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  • Work Integrated Learning

    (WIL) means a student experience where pedagogical learning within curriculum is undertaken in partnership, in authentic and genuine activities with and for relevant industry, business or community partners. The five categories of WIL are:

    1. Fieldwork
    2. Placements
    3. Projects
    4. Simulation/virtual
    5. Other
  • Working Data

    Storable, shareable research data that is subject to ongoing active development.

  • Working Data Storage

    Any University supplied or approved system for secure, backed-up, collaborative working data storage for research.

  • Working Day

    Refers to normal business days, Monday to Friday, excluding any gazetted public holidays and University declared closures.