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University Medals Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University of Newcastle (University) may award a University Medal to an eligible graduate in recognition of exceptional academic achievement.

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Section 2 - Audience

(2) This procedure should be read by:

  1. all relevant University staff; and
  2. all students seeking information on the criteria for consideration of a University Medal.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) In the context of this document:

  1. “annual graduating cohort” means the number of graduates of AQF level 7, 8 and 9 programs awarded in a calendar year.
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Section 4 - General Procedural Principles

Eligibility and Nominations

(4) Student Central will determine the maximum number of medals which may be awarded by calculating 0.75% of the annual graduating cohort.

(5) The total number of medals will be divided by College, based on the proportion each College contributes to the annual graduating cohort, to determine the maximum number of medals per College.

(6) Student Central will prepare an eligibility list for each College according to the following criteria:

  1. the program completed must be either:
    1. AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours:
    2. AQF level 9 Master of Architecture; or
    3. AQF level 9 Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice; and
  2. the graduate must:
    1. be a graduate of a 4 year AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours program; or
    2. be a graduate of a 1 year AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours program and have achieved Honours Class 1, who was admitted to the program based on completion of a University of Newcastle AQF level 7 Bachelor program; or
    3. be a graduate of an AQF level 9 program listed in clause 6a; and
    4. have a cumulative Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 85 or greater, calculated in accordance with the Weighted Average mark (WAM) Calculation Guideline from results in eligible courses above the 1000 level from a program or programs listed in clause 6a. The WAM calculation for graduates of a 1 year AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours program will include all eligible courses above the 1000 level in the AQF level 7 Bachelor program used for admission. Where credit has been awarded for completion of courses at the University, the grades for internal credit above 1000 level will be included in the WAM calculation; and
    5. have completed at least two thirds of the program at the University of Newcastle. Credit for courses completed at other institutions is capped at one third of the total units.

(7) Student Central will also provide the WAMS for University Medallists for the previous five years, for comparative purposes.

University  Medals Committee Membership

(8) The members of the University Medals Committee will be:

  1. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President (Chair);
  2. the President Academic Senate;
  3. one Deputy President of Academic Senate; and
  4. where a need is identified, an additional member chosen from Academic Senate and appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President.

(9) Student Central will provide the secretarial support for the University Medals Committee.

Consideration and Award of University Medals

(10) The University Medals Committee will meet once per year to consider and review nominations. The University Medals Committee will use the following guidelines to assist in its deliberations and will make a recommendation for the awarding of the University Medals to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President:

  1. normally, no more than one University Medal will be awarded within a program unless more than one major is available in the program;
  2. if the top candidate is not of exceptional standard equivalent to previous medal recipients then no medal will be awarded;
  3. where two or more eligible graduates within one program/major are equal in terms of the overall cumulative WAM, the graduate with the greater number of High Distinctions and Distinctions will be awarded the University Medal;
  4. University Medals can be awarded to no more than 0.75% of graduates from a College;
  5. the overall academic record of students who transfer between programs will be considered;
  6. where two or more eligible graduates within a program/major are of exceptional merit and are high in rank order within the University and/or the College and cannot be separated, they may each be awarded a University Medal; and
  7. the University Medals Committee may decide to not award a University Medal based on a student’s record of academic or non-academic misconduct.

(11) The award of a University Medal must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President subject to the recommendation of the Committee.

(12) Minutes of the Committee meeting and records of deliberation must be retained in accordance with the Records Governance Policy.


(13) The University Medals Committee Chair will schedule a nomination round for eligible graduates annually for all graduating students of the previous calendar year.

(14) All University medallists will be awarded their medal at the first graduation ceremony at the relevant campus following the outcome of the nominations process. Any University medallist who attends a graduation ceremony before their nomination for a University Medal has been considered will be able to either attend the next graduation ceremony to be awarded the medal or have their medal, updated transcripts and Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) provided through registered post.