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Policy_

University of Sydney policies

We have a transparent and open approach to policy

As a public institution, we are dedicated to maintaining strong internal policies. We also actively engage with changes in government policy by making regular higher education and research policy submissions, across a wide range of issues.

Internal policies

As a public institution, we have a rigorous and robust policy framework under the jurisdiction of the Policy Management Unit in the Office of the General Counsel.

Our framework consists of four types of documents:

  • Policy - a mandatory statement of the principles guiding operations and decision making.
  • Procedures - mandatory statements of the standard and required practice.
  • Local provisions - binding statements of principles applicable only within a particular faculty, academic college or administrative unit.
  • Guidelines - advisory and explanatory statements offering detail, context or recommendations for good practice.

Policy Register

Our Policy Register is the authoritative source for University policy documents and can be searched by students, staff and the general public. The Policy Register contains documents on topics such as health and safety, community relations, infrastructure and procurement.

The Policy Register does not contain course resolutions, faculty resolutions and other documents relating to the academic governance of individual faculties or University schools and their courses. To find them, please go to the handbooks website.

Current policies

Policy documents which are publicly displayed on the Policy Register are the definitive and current versions, regardless of different versions which may exist elsewhere.

Superseded policies

Documents which were superseded after the register began in 2012 are stored in the Policy Register record base.

Copies of documents superseded before the implementation of the register may be available, but this cannot be guaranteed. Email policy.register@sydney.edu.au to enquire about availability and access to superseded documents.

1. How do I navigate the Policy Register?

The register provides several options for users to locate documents, including:

  • Search
    Use the "Search by" drop-down menu to select the criteria you want to search by (see question 2 for more information).
  • Category search
    Documents are listed under as many categories or subcategories as are relevant. Select a relevant category from the list of folders on the Policy Register homepage. Clicking on a category opens the relevant list of subcategories. Clicking on a subcategory opens the relevant list of documents.
  • Keyword search
    Browse keywords via an alphabetical list available on the Policy Register homepage. Click on a relevant keyword to see all documents tagged with that keyword.

However you navigate the site, a breadcrumb trail will appear at the top of the page, showing the path you have taken to the page you are on. Clicking on any of these links will take you back along that path.

2. How do I search the Policy Register?

Use the "Search by" drop-down menu to select the criterion you want to search by. Criteria include:

Search by Overview
Title

The register search looks for an exact match of the search criterion you have entered. This means that searching for distinctive words and phrases is the best approach (rather than typing the whole title of a document).

Use * to search for all words beginning with certain letters (eg, searching for "exam*" will bring up results containing words like "examination", "examiner", "examine", etc.). Please note that the search function requires exact spelling, unlike Google searches. Typos will give you a nil result.

Alphabetical Select "All" or a letter from the alphabet. Choose the option from the drop-down menu which will appear in the search text box. Hitting search will then display an alphabetical listing of policies with titles beginning with the letter you have selected. Please note that the "All" search may take a little longer to complete.
New Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.
Updated Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.
Due for review Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.
Keyword Requires you to select one of the pre-determined keywords from the drop-down menu which will appear in the search text box.

3. What are the keywords and how do they work? 

Each document in the register has several keywords attached to it. Keywords help to identify the documents’ principal themes and effects. They can be useful as sometimes a commonly used term will not appear within a document but by tagging the document to that work it makes the document easier to find. 

You can search using keywords in two ways:

  • Use the alphabet buttons. Click "All" underneath the buttons to see a full list of keywords. Then click a keyword to see all documents that have been tagged to that word.
  • Use the "Search by" drop-down menu and select "Keyword". The search field then changes to a filter/drop-down menu of all keywords. Select a keyword from the list to see all documents that have been tagged to that word.
4. Can I search for words appearing anywhere in a registered document?

This kind of search, known as a “content” search, is not currently available but is in development.

5. What are the filters and how do they work?

The "Filter search by" drop-down menu allows you to select the type of document you are looking for, including:

  • guidelines
  • legislation
  • local provisions
  • policies
  • procedures
  • rules.

Depending on the search criterion you choose to search by you may also be presented with a second filter/drop-down menu to help you refine your search. You can only select one value for each filter, but you can use more than one filter at once.

6. How does the register display information about documents?

Documents are displayed in lists, with each document represented by way of an icon and a title.

Hovering your cursor over the icon will display a pop-up box which gives the following details:

  • document name
  • document type
  • determining authority
  • administrator
  • date effective.

Hovering your cursor over the document title will display a pop-up box which gives a brief summary of the document’s effect.

Clicking on either the document's icon or title will display a PDF copy of the document in a pop-up window.

7. How do I know that I have the right version of a document?

The version published on the Policy Register website is always the definitive one. Only the latest version of a policy document is published and the Policies Development and Review (Rule) 2011 provides that the Register’s published version is authoritative.

Registered policy documents must not be reproduced on any other website and you should only rely on the version found in the Register.

8. What are related documents?

Some listed documents have an attached related documents tag. Generally, they will be different types of documents which address the same subject matter (eg, the Gift Acceptance Policy and Gift Acceptance Procedures will each display the other as a related document).

Sometimes a link will be included to an external document, for example a national code of practice, or there will be a link to another related resource.

9. What are the documents with the little magnifying glass icons instead of PDF icons?

Some related documents are displayed using an icon of a magnifying glass rather than a PDF icon. These documents are not registered policy documents but are linked to registered documents  to provide background, explanation or access to related-tools.

Higher education and research policy submissions

As a major publicly-funded education and research institution, we maintain important relationships with governments at all levels.

The federal government has a comprehensive policy framework for education and research that provides the context for our core education and research activities. We also engage with the NSW government across a wide range of issues, as well as with local governments in the communities we serve.

Activities relating to higher education policy are led by staff based in the Vice-Chancellor's Office.

We regularly provide input to government and parliamentary policy processes that affect the University’s operations. Our submissions for the last 5 years are made publicly available here in the interests of transparency.

Draft Research Animal Rehoming Guidelines – 1 November 2019

The NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Animal Research Review Panel recently developed Draft Research Animal Rehoming Guidelines and consulted directly with stakeholders to seek their feedback on the guidelines.

The University of Sydney submitted feedback. Overall the University has welcomed the guidelines, but it has also raised concerns about the feasibility of some of the detail.

View the University’s submission.


Redistribution pool of medical places discussion paper – 25 October 2019

The Commonwealth Department of Education released a discussion paper in September inviting stakeholder comments on options for managing a proposed ‘redistribution pool’ of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) for medical students intending to apply from 2021. This policy seeks to release medical CSPs from metropolitan-based universities for redistribution to universities offering end-to-end medical programs in regional, rural and remote areas. 

The University has been engaged with this process since 2017, most recently in relation to the reallocation of medical CSPs from Sydney to Dubbo as a participant in the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network.

View the University’s submission


Data sharing and release discussion paper – 15 October 2019

The Office of the National Data Commissioner released a discussion paper in July to inform consultations about proposed new national data sharing and release legislation. 

The University has engaged with this important process since it commenced more than a year ago. It has provided representatives for consultation sessions on the paper and made a brief submission.

View the University’s submission.


House of Representatives Agriculture Industry Inquiry – 14 October 2019

In August the Federal Minister for Agriculture asked the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources to initiate an inquiry into opportunities and impediments to primary production sectors realising their ambition to achieve a combined $100 billion value of production by 2030.

The University made a submission, drawing on our long and significant record of contribution to agricultural innovation in Australia, our region and beyond.

View the University’s submission.


NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Sydenham-Bankstown Line conversion – 4 October 2019

The Transport and Customer Service Portfolio Committee of the NSW Legislative Council is conducting an inquiry into aspects of the planned conversion of the Sydenham-Bankstown Line from heavy rail to metro. This conversion constitutes the southwest part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project. The committee report is due by Tuesday 31 March 2020. 

View the University’s submission.


Senate Inquiry into Adequacy of Newstart – 30 September 2019

In July the Senate asked its Community Affairs References Committee to conduct an inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia. 

The University made a submission arguing for improved student income support, particularly for domestic students who have to live independently in high-cost cities like Sydney.

View the University’s submission.


Bills to close the Education Investment Fund (EIF) – 24 September 2019

The Australian Government introduced the Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019 and Emergency Response Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 to Parliament on 11 September 2019.

Together the Bills support the government's 2019 election commitment to establish an Emergency Response Fund that can be spent on responses and recovery when major natural disasters occur in Australia.

To help fund the creation of this new resource, the government plans to close the existing Education and Investment Fund (EIF) and redirect the $3.9 billion remaining in that fund.

The University of Sydney supports initiatives to help Australia better prepare for natural disasters. However, its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into the Bills opposes the closure of the EIF as short sighted and likely to threaten the long-term competitiveness of Australia’s higher education system.

View the University’s submission


National Rural Health Commissioner: strengthening rural allied health consultations – 7 August 2019

On 5 July 2019 the National Rural Health Commissioner released a comprehensive discussion paper seeking feedback from stakeholders on a range of policy reform options designed to improve the availability and quality of allied health services across rural and remote Australia. Read details of the Commissioner’s paper and the consultation process.

The University delivers extensive rural health education, training, research and clinical service through a network of sites in the central west, far west and northern NSW. Its submission to this process was prepared with input from all faculties and schools that have an interest in rural health care.

View the University’s submission.


Higher Education Standards Panel: proposed changes to the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) – 29 July 2019

In June 2019 the Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel, Professor Ian O’Connor AC wrote to the leaders of all registered higher education providers seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Higher Education Standards Framework.

The amendments proposed by the Standards Panel were recommended in the final report of the Independent Review of Freedom of Speech in Australian Higher Education, undertaken for the Federal Minister for Education by the Hon Robert S French AC, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

They would replace current references in the standards to the concept of "freedom of intellectual inquiry" with the terms "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom". These proposed changes would bring the language used in the standards into alignment with the Model Code for the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom in Australian higher education providers, which was recommended for voluntary implementation by all providers.

View the University’s submission.


The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations – 3 July 2019

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade called for feedback in June on the role the federal government’s new foundation should play in strengthening relations between Australia and China. 

The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations will replace and build on the ground-breaking work the Australia-China Council has led for more than 40 years. It will promote Australian excellence in new areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, health and ageing, the environment and energy.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced a significant funding boost to support this initiative in March.

View the University’s submission.


Draft legislation tackling academic cheating services – 21 June 2019

The Federal Department of Education released an exposure draft and overview of legislation to tackle ‘contract cheating’ (https://www.education.gov.au/tackling-contract-cheating) in April to support academic integrity in higher education.  

View the University’s submission (pdf, 627KB).

 


Innovation metrics review – 28 March 2019

The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science released a consultation paper in March as part of a major review it is leading to improve the way it measures innovation across Australia.  

View the University’s submission (pdf, 160KB)


National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy: Issues Papers – 15 March 2019

Following the initial consultation process in February, the Expert Advisory Group has developed six Issues Papers outlining possible further actions to address the challenges facing tertiary education in regional, rural and remote areas.

View the University's submission (pdf, 230KB)


Australian Qualifications Framework Review – 15 March 2019

In the 2017-18 budget, the Australian Government announced a review of the AQF, which will ensure that the framework continues to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

View the University's submission (pdf, 250KB)


Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards – 15 March 2019

In December 2018 the Department of Education and Training released a discussion paper for the Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards.

View the University's submission (pdf, 1.6MB)


Tackling contract cheating - 1 March 2019

In December 2018 the Federal Government released the advice of the Higher Education Standards Panel into commercial (or 'contract') cheating in higher education. The Government is currently drafting legislation that would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services in higher education in Australia.

View the University's submission (pdf, 436.8KB)


National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces – 28 February 2019

On 20 June 2018 Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner announced a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

View the University's submission (pdf, 223.5KB)


Good Clinical Practice inspection program (GCP) – 22 February 2019

The TGA has released a ‘Consultation Paper’ on its plan to initiate a GCP inspection program of clinical trial sites this year.

View the University's submission (pdf, 56.1KB)


Performance-based funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme – 21 February 2019

In December 2018 the Federal Government released a ‘Discussion Paper’ about its proposed introduction of new performance-based funding arrangements for the Australian higher education sector. 

View the University's submission (pdf, 498.9KB)


Reallocation of Commonwealth-Supported Places for enabling, sub-bachelor and postgraduate courses – 15 February 2019

In November 2018 the Federal Government released a ‘Consultation Paper’ setting out options for a new mechanism for the Government allocation of enabling, sub-bachelor and postgraduate courses and seeks feedback from stakeholders on which courses should be funded and why.

View the University's submission (pdf, 404.2KB)


National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy – 1 February 2019

The Federal Government announced in November 2018 that it had asked a Regional Education Expert Advisory Group chaired by the Hon Dr Denis Napthine to develop a National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy for the Commonwealth. A ‘framing paper’ was released on 20 December 2018 to inform the first round of consultations with stakeholders.

View the University's submission (pdf, 510.1KB)


Publication of education agent and performance data – February 2019

Late in 2018, the Federal Minister for Education committed to publishing performance data on education agents in Australia's international education system. The Department of Education and Training sought feedback on developing a strategy for the publication of all education agent performance data by releasing a ‘policy paper’ on 11 January 2019. Publication of a final report is expected in the middle of 2019.

For more information please access the University’s survey responses (pdf, 147KB).


Submission to a review of Freedom of Speech in higher education - December 2018 (pdf, 50KB)

Submission to a consulation paper: Growing international education in regional Australia - December 2018 (pdf, 187KB)

Feedback on the Australian Labor Party's equity proposals - November 2018 (pdf, 121KB)

Submission to a discussion paper: Away from base futures – November 2018 (pdf, 548KB)

Submission to a consulation paper: Transition to new reporting standards under the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) requirements – September 2018 (pdf, 194KB)

Submission to a discussion paper: Student equity 2030 - September 2018 (pdf, 161KB)

Submission on exposure draft legislation regarding the establishment of external conduct standards for charities on – September 2018 (pdf, 169KB)

Submissions to Senate Committee reviews into the MyHealth Record System and related legislation – September 2018 (pdf, 126KB)

Submission to a review of the Indigenous student success program - August 2018 (pdf, 323KB)

Submission regarding the Medical Research Future Fund's (MRFF) Priorities for 2018-2020 – August 2018 (pdf, 13KB)

Submission to an issues paper: New Australian government data sharing and release legislation – August 2018 (pdf, 398KB)

Submission to the copyright modernisation consultations – July 2018 (pdf, 145KB)

Submission to a House of Representatives inquiry into Australian Government's funding for research – June 2018 (pdf, 240KB)

Submission to the Independent Review of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth) - May 2018 (pdf, 73KB) and Supplementary in July 2018 (pdf, 152KB)

Submission to the City of Sydney's international education plan – April 2018 (pdf, 75KB)

Submission to a Senate committee inquiry into Australia's implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – March 2018 (pdf, 174KB)

Submission to the Australian Labor Party’s  consultation about the terms of reference for its proposed post-secondary education review – March 2018 (pdf, 168KB)

Submission to a Senate Committee inquiry into the future of work and workers – February 2018 (pdf, 212KB)

Submission to the Business Council of Australia's Future-Proof discussion paper: Future-proof- Australia future post- secondary education and skills system – January and August 2018 (pdf, 388KB) and submission in resoponse to to BCA's final Future-Proof reform plan - August 2018 (pdf, 263KB)

Submission to the consultation paper: digital economy strategy - November 2017 (pdf, 330KB)

Submission to a consultation process to revise the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (pdf, 165KB)

Submission to a consultation paper on sub-bachelor course funding - September 2017 (pdf, 420KB)

Submissio to a consultation paper on visa simplication - September 2017 (pdf, 156KB)

Submission regarding the proposed closure of the Education Investment Fund (EIF) - September 2017 (pdf, 120KB)

Submission to a review of Australia's space industry capability - August 2017 (pdf, 645KB)

Submission to an Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education - August 2017 (pdf, 377KB)

Response to draft revision national standards for english language intensive courses for overseas students revisions - August 2017 (pdf, 332KB)

Submission to the Higher Education Standards Panel's discussion paper: Improving retention, completion and success in higher education - July 2017 (pdf, 300KB)

Submission to a Senate committee inquiry into Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - June 2017 (pdf, 2.3MB)

Submission to an issues paper regarding Innovation and Science Australia's strategic plan 2030 issues paper - May 2017 (pdf, 750KB)

Submission in response to the NHMRC open access policy consultation draft - May 2017 (pdf, 155KB)

Submission in response to the Higher Education Standard Panel's Admissions Transparency Implementation Plan - May 2017 (pdf, 275KB)

Submission in response to the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council's Independent Review of Accreditation Systems - May 2017 (pdf, 950KB)

Response to the NSW Ministry of Health draft genomics strategy - April 2017 (pdf, 455KB)

Submission regarding legislative proposals arising from proposed reforms of the Space Activities Act 1998 - April 2017 (pdf, 340KB)
Submission in response to review of the Space Activities Act 1998 – April 2016 (pdf, 20KB)

Covering letter for a set of submissions to the Greater Sydney Commission's draft district plans consulations - March 2017 (pdf, 140KB)

Submission in response to the Australian Taxation Office's review of advice on the tax treatment of scholarships - March 2017 (pdf, 110KB)

Submission in response to the review of Australian Research Council's open access policy - March 2017 (pdf, 185KB)

Submission on a consultation draft for a revised national code of practice for providers of education and training services to overseas students - March 2017 (pdf, 210KB)

Submission to the consultation paper: New research block grant data requirements - March 2017 (pdf, 190KB)

Submission regarding proposed changes to the publication of Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency's regulatory decisions - March 2017 (pdf, 300KB)

Submission regarding changes to the revision of the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research - February 2017 (pdf, 165KB)

Submission in response to the Australian Government's foreign policy white paper consultations - February 2017 (pdf, 390KB)

Submission to a review of Commonwealth-supported medical places – February 2017 (pdf, 290KB)

Submission to the draft National Research Infrastructure Roadmap - January 2017 (pdf, 365KB)

Submission to the Productivity Commission’s draft report: Data availability and use – December 2016 (pdf, 260KB)
Submission to the Productivity Commission's issues paper: Data availability and use – July 2016 (pdf,180KB)

Submission to the R&D Tax Incentive Review draft report – October 2016 (pdf, 260KB)

Submission to a review of the NSW local government rating system – October 2016 (pdf, 365KB)

Submission to an infrastructure capability issues paper – September 2016 (pdf, 650KB)

Submission to an evaluation of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) – September 2016 (pdf, 400KB)

Submission to a structural review of the National Health and Medical Research Council's grant program – August 2016 (pdf, 620KB)

Submission to a higher education reform options paper released by the Australian Government – July 2016 (pdf, 180KB)

Submission regarding the consultation paper: Research Block Grant Arrangements – July 2016(pdf, 320KB)

Submission in response to the Australian Research Council's consultations regrading for engagement and impact assessment – June 2016 (pdf, 565KB)

Submission regarding the Productivity Commission's draft report of the public inquiry into intellectual property arrangements – June 2016 (pdf, 320KB)
Submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into intellectual property arrangements – December 2015 (pdf, 367)

Submission to the Medical Research Future Fund Strategy and Priorities – June 2016 (pdf, 390KB)

Submission a Higher Education Standards Panel's consultation paper on admissions transparency – May 2016 (pdf, 127KB)

Submission to a Senate Committee inquiry into innovation and creativity of Australia's future workforce - March 2016 (pdf, 32KB)

Submission on the proposed public release of key financial metrics of  higher education providers registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – January 2016 (pdf, 80KB)

Submission to a Senate Committee inquiry into the role of agriculture and agribusiness partnerships in promoting development and stability in the indo-pacific region – November 2015 (pdf, 600KB)

Submission to the National Health and Medical Research Council providing a summary of our gender equity policies  – November 2015 (pdf, 7MB)

Submission in response a Senate Committee inquiry into Australia’s relationship with Mexico – October 2015 (pdf, 237KB)

Submission in response to a House of Representatives inquiry into agricultural Innovation – September 2015 (pdf, 350KB)

Submission to a review of Australian Government research policy and funding (Watt Review) – September 2015 (pdf, 1.7MB)

Submission to the draft National Health and Medical Research Council policy on misconduct relating to grant funds – September 2015 (pdf, 217KB)

Submission to a review of Australia's research training system – August 2015 (pdf, 120KB)

Submission regarding bills to amend the Educational services for overseas students Act 2000  – August 2015 (pdf, 240KB)

Submission to the consultation paper: Vision for a science nation – August 2015 (pdf, 135KB)

Submission to Senate committee inquiry into Medical Research Future Fund Establishment Bills – July 2015 (pdf, 65KB)

Submission to a consultation paper regarding current and emerging issues for National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship Schemes – June 2015 (pdf, 280KB)

Submission regarding a draft national strategy for international education – May 2015 (pdf, 315KB)

Submission to a review of the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program – April 2015

Submission to a Senate committee review of the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015 – March 2015 (pdf, 200KB)

Submission  to a Senate committee inquiry into the principles of the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014 – February 2015 (pdf, 1.4MB)
Submission regarding the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014 – February 2015 (pdf, 67KB)

Submission regarding the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015 – February 2015 (pdf, 205KB)

Submission to the Productivity Commission's research project on international education services – January 2015 (pdf, 100KB)

Submission regarding the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 – January 2015 (pdf, 77KB)