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Prizes and Medals Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy replaces Chapter 5.10 of the Academic Policy (December 2010).

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) For the purpose of this Policy refer to the Academic Board's Definitions Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement


(3) This Policy establishes a standard for the implementation and determination of prizes and university medals across the University.


(4) This Policy articulates the opportunity to look at alternative benefits of prizes other than money, and recognition of student achievements through forums other than Graduation.

Part A - Content and Implementation

(5) The co-ordination for the determination of annual prize winners is a central administrative function, but School/College Boards (or equivalent) and School/College Boards will take full responsibility for the determination of prize winners.

(6) Prize winners are approved by School/College Board. Confirmation of prize winners are provided to central administration following approval by School/College Board. All annual prize winners are to be reported at the first appropriate Academic Board of the calendar year for noting.

(7) Academic Board endorses the introduction of an annual 'prizes' event into the University event calendar to recognize prize winners, prize donors and strengthen University relationships with industry and the local community. This event (for both graduating and non-graduating prize winners) should be at Graduation time, but remain as a separate event.

(8) Authority for approval of all new prizes, and of changes to existing prizes (other than the University Medal), lies with the School/College Board (or equivalent) following consultation with Student Services. The following information is to be provided:

  1. Title of Prize
  2. Eligibility for Prize
  3. Source of Prize
  4. Number and Frequency of Prizes
  5. Benefits of Prize
  6. Criteria for Selection
  7. Responsibility for Administration of Prize.

(9) Authority for approval of all new prizes, and of changes to existing prizes (other than the University Medal) reside at the School/College Board level. Confirmation of new prizes or changed prizes is to be provided to Academic Board and central administration following approval by School/College Board. All approvals notified to the Academic Board, will also require the information outlined above.

(10) Where a donor advises that a prize is no longer available, the prize is to be discontinued. The discontinuation of a prize should be advised by the School/College Board (or equivalent) by means of a letter or other advice from donor advising discontinuation of prize.

(11) Confirmation of discontinued prizes is to be provided to Academic Board and central administration by School/College/College Board.

(12) Academic Board strongly encourages School/College/College Boards to explore ways of increasing the number and financial value of prizes for students.

(13) Academic Board will maintain a register of all prizes on its website.

(14) The minimum value for all NEW prizes should be $250, and prizes should normally range in value between $500 and $1000.

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Section 4 - Procedures

University Medals

(15) The relevant Student Services manager initiates the request for nominees for the University Medal as part of the Prizes procedure in December of each year. A report of potential nominees is provided to each School/College to coincide with this. The report will be specified by Student Services to ensure that potential nominees are not omitted from consideration.

(16) University medals nominees are determined at School/College level with assistance from the relevant Student Services Manager.

(17) The relevant Student Services Manager will collate, validate and finalise a list of University medals nominees in a timely fashion.

(18) The relevant Student Services Manager will submit the recommended School Board list of nominees to the Academic Board Administrator at the earliest opportunity.

(19) The Academic Board Executive Committee will assess the nominations and make recommendations to the first Academic Board meeting of the year, and as required

(20) Once awardees have been approved by Academic Board, the Secretary will provide a final list to the Vice Chancellor. The Vice Chancellor will write to each Medallist.

(21) The relevant Student Services Manager will advise Graduation Office about University medallists for inclusion in graduation programs and scripts.

(22) Medallist has formal comment placed on their student record/transcript by Student Services.

(23) University medals are ordered and supplied by Graduation Office. Medals are presented to the recipient by the Chancellor at the relevant Graduation ceremony.

(24) Marketing, press releases and related community relations work will be managed by the Director of Marketing and Community and Corporate Relations.

(25) Significant and complex issues that may arise are to be resolved by the Director of Student Services in consultation with the VC's Office.

(26) A short debrief on the awarding of University Medals and associated processes can be incorporated into the Graduation Review Process (currently extant).

Chancellor's Medal

(27) Where all three PhD examiners comment on the outstanding nature of the thesis of a PhD candidate that they have examined, such a candidate may be eligible to receive special acclamation, known as 'The Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding PhD Thesis'.

(28) There may be more than one award each year, or no award in any particular year.

(29) The award comprises a medal and a cash amount. The amount is determined from time to time by Council.

(30) The procedures for recommending the Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding PhD Thesis are:

  1. The Examiners' reports would be the deciding evidence.
  2. All examination forms will include the question 'In your opinion does the thesis make an outstanding contribution to scholarship in its discipline?' (NB: as a guideline the university would estimate that a maximum of 5% of all theses would reach this level of attainment).
  3. If you answered YES to clause (31)b, please answer the following:
    1. How many Higher Degree Research theses have you examined to date?
    2. Are there other indicators of your professional standing relevant to your assessment of the thesis? (if so, please identify)
    3. State your reasons for this assessment in terms of the international significance of the work and its level of excellence.
  4. The School Director of HDR Training will make a case to the Higher Degrees Research Committee based on the significance and impact documented in the examiners' reports, and responses to clause (31)b and c.
  5. The Higher Degrees Research Committee will recommend the award to Academic Board who will recommend to Council.
  6. The award would be announced at Graduation.