Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Student Administration - Student Services
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Prizes

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines a prize and sets out the principles, standards and requirements associated with the establishment, administration and awarding of prizes for academic achievement within the University.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that a consistent, transparent and equitable mechanism is provided for regulating all new prizes established on and from the commencement of this policy. Wherever possible, all pre-existing prizes must be amended to fully comply with this policy following their next review.

This policy should be read in conjunction with related University policies and legislation listed below.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

prize means a sum of money or a specified article awarded to a student, normally for academic achievement while studying for a degree, diploma or certificate of the University

Statute 31 is made by the Senate and approved by the Governor under Part 7 of the University of Western Australia Act 1911

relevant board(s) means a board of the University relevant to the case in point. The relevant board(s) may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned.

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 Prizes are established within the context of the University's Mission and strategic directions.

1.2 The University strongly supports the provision of prizes and is committed to maximising opportunities for recognising and rewarding outstanding academic achievements by its students and to fostering partnerships with external donors.

1.3 Prizes are established and awarded in accordance with Statute 31.

1.4 In accordance with Statute 31, a prize is only granted for work which has been done by a student as part of a course for a degree, diploma or certificate at the University and, unless the Academic Board resolves otherwise, on the basis of academic achievement.

1.5 In accordance with the University Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities, prize winners are expected to adhere to the principles of ethical scholarship and academic integrity during the course of their studies.

2 Donors

2.1 In relation to a prize being established as a result of a donation or bequest, the University:

2.1.1 ensures that donors are aware of the contents of this policy;

2.1.2 ensures that donors are aware of the relevant conditions which govern specific prizes;

2.1.3 may negotiate specific conditions with donors in accordance with the University's legislative framework (including Statute 31, this policy and other relevant policies, relevant statutes, regulations and rules of the University);

2.1.4 recognises the generosity of donors in supporting prizes and the importance of stewarding these relationships for the University and will acknowledge donors through:

(a) naming opportunities where requested;

(b) relevant print and online publications;

(c) invitations to prize giving ceremonies and other stewardship events; and

(d) formal notification of prize recipients to the donors.

2.1.5 advises donors that it is not normally possible for donors to participate in selection committees for prizes, where such committees exist.

3 Establishment, amendment and rescission of prizes

3.1 The establishment of a prize requires:

3.1.1 clear, equitable and transparent selection criteria;

3.1.2 compliance with relevant policies and legislation; and

3.1.3 approval by the relevant board or formal delegate before it is awarded.

3.2 Specific prize conditions are not exclusive to any one donor and may be replicated for different prizes, at the discretion of the relevant board.

3.3 Undergraduate degree prizes are awarded for:

3.3.1 honours degree courses;

3.3.2 pass degree courses;

3.3.3 majors (including specialisations);

3.3.4 dissertations;

3.3.5 groups of units; or

3.3.6 units.

3.4 Postgraduate degree, diploma or certificate prizes are awarded for:

3.4.1 degree courses, diplomas and certificates;

3.4.2 theses or dissertations;

3.4.3 specialisations;

3.4.4 groups of units; or

3.4.5 units.

3.5 Establishment of new prizes, amendment to and rescission of existing prizes must be approved by the relevant board no later than 20 December of the current student cohort year.


Process Chart 1 - Prize establishment.

Process Chart 2.1 - Prize Amendment (Consequential)

Process Chart 2.2 - Prize Amendment (Non-Consequential)

Process Chart 3.1 - Prize Rescission (Consequential)

Process Chart 3.2 - Prize Rescission (Donor Instigated)

3.6 Following rescission of a prize by the relevant board, any unspent funds are appropriately disbursed in accordance with University policy and legal commitments to the donor.


Disbursement of funds associated with rescinded prizes are determined by the Prizes Unit, Student Administration in liaison with Development and Alumni Relations and Treasury and Investment.

4 Type, tenure and value of prizes

4.1 Monetary-based prizes are of the following types:

4.1.1 Endowed prizes where the annual distribution from the capital provides the prize monies;

4.1.2 Reducing capital prizes where both the capital and any investment income provides for the prize monies for a period of not less than five years;

4.1.3 Annually funded prizes where an annual financial commitment has been made for a specified period of not less than five years; and

4.1.4 Transferable items with a monetary value that are intended for exchange for another item (for example a book voucher).

4.2 Non-monetary prizes are non-transferable items that become the property of the recipient and must have a unique element of prestige (for example a medal, trophy or framed certificate).

4.3 The minimum values for new monetary-based prizes and duration for all new prizes are in accordance with Schedule 1, which is reviewed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) every five years.

4.4 In exceptional circumstances, on the recommendation of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), the relevant board or formal delegate may approve the establishment of a new prize at less than the minimum value or duration.

4.5 Where an endowed prize no longer meets the University's strategic direction or required minimum value, the relevant board(s) or formal delegate(s), where practical and permitted by policies and legal documentation, may, in liaison with Development and Alumni Relations:

4.5.1 discontinue the prize by way of rescission;

4.5.2 combine the prize with another prize(s) and recognise all donors; or

4.5.3 top-up the funding from other sources.

5 Conditions and criteria for selection and award

5.1 Selection criteria are objectively demonstrable and easily assessable to the extent that the process for selecting a prize recipient warrants little or no intervention from a selection committee.

5.2 Prizes are governed by conditions (prize specific and general) rather than regulations.

5.3 In addition to prize specific conditions, the following general conditions apply:

5.3.1 Notwithstanding that a candidate meets the criteria, a prize is awarded only if, in the opinion of the person or persons responsible for the selection of the awardee, there is a candidate of sufficient merit.

5.3.2 Unless a testator (for bequests) or donor of the funds from which the prize is funded has expressly directed otherwise-

(a) a prize is granted annually, where funding permits;

(b) a prize is not granted to the same student twice; and

(c) where the offer of a prize lapses or is not granted for any reason, the unused prize money is either:

(i) For endowed prizes, recapitalised in accordance with Statue 31, having regard to the University Policy on Investment and any other external conditions or mandates; or

(ii) For non-permanent prizes, such as reducing capital (4.1.2) or annually funded (4.1.3), the funds are held-over to the following year.

5.3.3 The offer of a prize lapses if it is not claimed by the recipient within 12 months of the prize being declared.

5.3.4 Where two or more candidates tie for a monetary prize the prize is shared, unless the prize specific conditions indicate otherwise.

5.4 All prizes specify the criteria, which are set out in the prize specific conditions, for awarding the prize.

5.5 The University makes prize specific conditions available on its website after approval by the relevant board or formal delegate.

6 Governance and Administration

6.1 By delegation of the Academic Board, establishment, amendment or rescission of prizes is by the relevant board or formal delegate.


The relevant board for establishment, amendment or rescission of prizes is as follows:

1. Undergraduate prizes for unit(s), dissertations and majors (including specialisations) are by resolution of the relevant Faculty Board or approval by the Faculty Board's delegate as detailed in the Faculty's governance document.

2. Undergraduate prizes for pass or honours degree courses are by resolution of the Curriculum Committee or approval by the Committee's formal delegate as detailed in the Committee's constitution.

3. Postgraduate prizes for unit(s), theses, dissertations, specialisations or degree courses are by resolution of the relevant Faculty Board or approval by the Faculty Board's delegate as detailed in the Faculty's governance document.

4. Higher Degree by Research prizes are by resolution of the Board of the Graduate Research School or approval by the Board's delegate as detailed in the Board's constitution.

6.2 Prize recipients are selected by the relevant board or formal delegate.


Process Chart 4 - Determining Prize Recipient

6.3 University-wide coordination of the establishment, amendment, rescission and awarding of prizes is undertaken by a centrally located Prizes Unit in consultation with key stakeholders.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Associate Director, Student Services (Student Administration)

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on Charitable Gift Acceptance

University Policy on UWA Bequests

University Policy on Investment

Code of Practice for Australian University Philanthropy

Statute No.31 Scholarships and Prizes

Trustees Act, Part II

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