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Student Name Policy

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Section 1 - Background

(1) The University of Newcastle (University) has a diverse student population and the students follow a range of cultural naming conventions.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy establishes the University’s requirements for the data entry and display of names according to naming conventions in Australia and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards for machine readable travel documents.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) In the context of this document, the following definitions apply:

  1. “chosen name” means the name used by a person in their daily life that is different to their legal name. This name is not an abbreviated name or nickname but a name used that affirms the persons gender, is locally used or anglicized name; and
  2. “preferred name” means an anglicised name, abbreviated name or acceptable nickname by which a student wishes to be referred;
  3. “Primary identifier” means the surname / last name / only name / family name, as identified on a passport or birth certificate; and
  4. “secondary identifier” means the first / other / given name(s), as identified on a passport or birth certificate.
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Section 4 -  Policy

Data Entry of Student Names

(4) A student's name that is to be entered into the administration system must be verified against a passport or birth certificate which clearly identifies the student's primary and secondary identifiers.

(5) Where the name format is ambiguous on a passport, the Machine Readable Zone at the base of the details page must be referenced for primary identifier and secondary identifier(s). 

(6) Data entry of the student name must align exactly to the proof of identity (i.e. passport or birth certificate). The proof of identity must be verified by a staff member or Justice of the Peace. Data entry should be as follows:

  1. the primary identifier must be entered into the ‘Last Name’ field;
  2. the secondary identifier must be entered into the ‘First Name’ field; 
  3. in circumstances where an applicant has only one name, that name must be entered in the ‘Last Name’ field, with a full stop entered in the ‘First Name’ field. This practise relates only to data entry into the student  enrolment system. No full stop will appear on the student's testamur; and
  4. the order of name components is not to be rearranged according to any other naming convention.

Appearance of Student Names on Documentation

(7) The academic transcript and testamur will display the secondary identifier and primary identifier, in that order. The primary identifier will be capitalised.

(8) The Learning Management System and class lists will display, in order, the preferred name or secondary identifier and primary identifier.

(9) The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) will display only the secondary identifier and primary identifier, in that order.

Change of Name

(10) Students may apply for their name to be changed in the administration system when the student:

  1. marries or becomes divorced;
  2. changes their name by deed poll;
  3. changes their name as a result of gender affirmation;
  4. wishes to hyphenate their name;
  5. identifies typographical errors from initial data entry or where there is a system error.

(11) All change requests must include documentary evidence of proof of identity.

Preferred Names

(12) The University will consider requests to accommodate, wherever possible, a student's preferred name and pronoun. However, a student's legal name must appear on legal documents, such as transcripts and testamurs. For students who wish to list a chosen name on their Student ID for gender affirmation purposes or localisation of an international name, a request can be made via AskUON.

(13) Each request is subject to approval by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience or their nominee.

(14) Requests to include numbers or special characters as a chosen name will not be approved.

(15) Requests to include offensive words, nicknames or inappropriate names will not be approved.

(16) The University's decision in relation to a request to accommodate a chosen name is final and there is no further avenue of appeal.

(17) The following links are available to assist with making requests to change University systems:

  1. Ask UON Knowledgebase article – How do I change my name with the University?
  2. 17000 Service Now Portal can be used to request an email address be updated with a preferred name.
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Section 5 - Appendices

(18) International Standards for Passport Name Formats in the Machine Readable Zones