Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Secretariat
Date Approved
23/11/2011 Revised 04/12/2019
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Establishment and Award of Scholarships

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines a scholarship and sets out the principles and conditions that apply to the establishment and award of scholarships in the University. This policy is to govern the process of establishing and awarding scholarships and to inform intending scholarship donors.


In this policy and any associate procedures,

University means The University of Western Australia

a scholarship is a sum of money or financial benefit awarded to a student to cover or contribute towards the costs associated with studying for a degree, diploma or certificate of the University

the Scholarships Committee is the Coursework Scholarships Committee or the Higher Degree Research Scholarships Committee of the Academic Board, as appropriate. Each committee's role is set out in its constitution

continuing scholarships are scholarships that are paid in more than one instalment

student means a person formally enrolled for a degree, diploma or certificate or other recognised academic courses of the University.

donors includes providers, benefactors and bequestors.

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 The University is committed to establishing scholarships by fostering partnerships with external donors which align with the University's strategic vision/goals. To this end it ensures that, subject to the principles in this policy, all scholarships are established in accordance with the strategic interests of the University and have regard to the intent of the donor.

1.2 Scholarships are established and awarded in accordance with this policy.

1.3 A scholarship is governed by specific conditions which must comply with this policy.

1.4 The University makes scholarship conditions available on its website after approval by relevant University bodies.

1.5 The University is committed to maximising scholarship opportunities for its students and to demonstrating optimum outcomes for scholarship donors. To this end it establishes scholarships with broad, inclusive and durable eligibility and selection criteria, aligned to the University's courses structure, which can be awarded through coordinated processes.

1.6 Advertisement, application, selection and award processes for scholarships are coordinated and combined wherever possible in order to: maximise accessibility by students; provide the widest range of possible applicants for individual scholarships; and optimise both the distribution of scholarships and efficiency of process.

2 Donors

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

(a) ensures that donors are aware of the contents of this policy;

(b) ensures that donors are aware of relevant Conditions which govern specific scholarship types;

(c) may negotiate specific conditions with donors in accordance with the express directions of the testator or donor, this policy and other relevant policies, and relevant statutes, regulations and rules of the University;

(d) makes donors aware of the financial commitment involved in funding a scholarship and advises them to seek financial advice on tax implications;

(e) advises donors that, due to the constraints of 1.5, it is not normally possible for donors to participate in selection committees for scholarships;

(f) accepts funding from a wide range of donors in private industry and the public sector with appreciation but reserves the right to refuse a donation if the proposed terms are contrary to policies of the University;

(g) by accepting a donation does not endorse the goods or services provided by the donor;

(h) acknowledges donors in an appropriate way, in accordance with taxation requirements and as approved by the relevant committees of the University; and

(i) if the donation or bequest is to attract a tax deduction, ensures that scholarships are established according to the requirements for tax deductibility for the donor.

3 Conditions and criteria for selection and award

3.1 In the interests of equity for all students, and for accountability in relation to the selection process, the University ensures that all selection criteria are objectively demonstrable and assessable.

3.2 The criteria on which a scholarship is to be awarded are set out in its Conditions.

3.3 Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic criteria unless the Academic Board resolves otherwise.

3.4 Subject to the approval of the Academic Board, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework scholarships may be awarded on the basis of one or more of the following additional eligibility or ranking criteria, as defined in the Scholarships Glossary of Terms:

(i) demonstration of other outstanding achievements, abilities, leadership or community service;

(ii) demonstration of financial hardship;

(iii) demonstration of educational disadvantage;

(iv) indigenous student status; and/or

(v) membership of any other designated target equity group.

(see Procedure below)

3.5 Postgraduate research scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and research potential, sometimes in combination with additional eligibility or ranking criteria.

3.6 Subject to the approval of the Academic Board, scholarships may be restricted to particular demographic groups as a measure to rectify demonstrated inequality. However, in accordance with the Western Australian Equal Opportunity Act (1984)2, they may not be restricted on the basis of religious or political conviction.

3.7 Selection of awardees is a comparative and competitive process.

3.8 The person or selection committee responsible for the selection of awardees must be stated in the scholarships conditions.

3.9 Those eligible for consideration are ranked by the selection committee on the basis of the extent to which, in the opinion of the selection committee, they demonstrate that they satisfy the selection criteria.

3.10 In ranking candidates, the selection committee must have regard to the application and supporting material, if any, and may interview candidates.

3.11 Even if a candidate meets the selection criteria for a scholarship, a scholarship is awarded only if, in the opinion of the selection committee, there is a candidate of sufficient merit.

3.12 Unless the University, the testator or donor of the bequest or donation from which the scholarship is funded has expressly directed otherwise, a scholarship will:

a) be granted annually; and

b) not be granted to the same person twice.

3.13 Where a scholarship lapses or is not granted for any reason, the unused grant money will be added to and become part of the scholarship fund, unless the testator or donor of the bequest or donation from which the scholarship is funded has expressly directed otherwise.

3.14 Scholarship conditions must be consistent with Australian taxation requirements for income tax exemption for the recipient, specifically that:

(a) the scholarship is for educational purposes only;

(b) there is no requirement for the recipient to become, or remain, an employee of the scholarship provider at the time of receipt of the scholarship or in the future;

(c) there is no requirement for the recipient to provide any kind of service or labour in return for the scholarship at the time of receipt of the scholarship or in the future;

(d) the scholarship is open to a range of recipients;

(e) the recipient is enrolled full-time in the relevant course of study, except as provided for under taxation legislation; and

(f) the scholarship is paid by the University.

3.15 The University must not provide advice to scholarship recipients about any financial or taxation implications for individual students but may inform them that scholarships may affect income tax liability or Centrelink payments and that it may be desirable for them to consult the Australian Taxation Office or Centrelink.

3.16 It is the responsibility of scholarship recipients to check the implications for income tax liability or Centrelink payments of accepting a scholarship.

3.17 Minimum amounts for scholarships are determined by the Scholarships Committee, and reviewed periodically, taking into account relevant factors including standard amounts provided by Commonwealth scholarships but not limited to Commonwealth Scholarship funds awarded consistent with Government requirements. This is in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

3.18 The value of a scholarship is normally stated in the Conditions of the scholarship, where possible.

3.19 For continuing scholarships, the Conditions must include the criteria for continuation. Normally, this will be that the student continues to meet enrolment and other relevant conditions.

3.20 Students who are granted a period of approved leave do not normally forfeit their scholarship unless stated otherwise in the conditions for the individual scholarship.

3.21 Scholarship Conditions must include the stipulation that any thesis, dissertation or other publication resulting from research undertaken by the recipient while in receipt of a scholarship must acknowledge the support of the scholarship and carry the University by-line.

3.22 Scholarship Conditions must include reference to and the requirement for adherence to the University's Intellectual property policy.

4 Governance and administration of scholarships

4.1 Subject to clause 4.3, unless the Academic Board decides otherwise, scholarships are awarded by the Higher Degree Research Scholarships Committee and the Coursework Scholarships Committee, where relevant.

4.2 The Scholarships Committees, by their constitutions, have the role to, among other matters:

(a) advise and make recommendations on policy and other matters relating to undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships;

(b) monitor academic standards for the award of scholarships; and

(c) on behalf of Academic Board, approve the establishment of all scholarships and each scholarship's conditions, including any amendment or cancellation thereof.

4.3 Higher Degree by Research Scholarships are administered by the Graduate Research School, whereas Coursework Scholarships are administered by the Office of the Dean of Coursework Scholarships.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Associated Director, Graduate Research School

Related Policies or legislation:

1 UP13/3 Charitable Gift Acceptance Policy

2 Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation is located in four separate Acts: the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and the Age Discrimination Act 2001. c.f.

3 The University of Western Australia, University Policy on: Intellectual Property, Policy No. UP07/49, 1997 c.f.