Posthumous Award Procedure

Policy Procedures Posthumous Award Procedure

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Intent

To provide procedural detail to enable the University to bestow a posthumous Award of the University where a student/ HDR candidate has died while admitted to a course at the University.

Scope

This procedure applies to any person admitted to a course at the time of their death.

Definitions

Nil

Procedure

Introduction

  1. A posthumous Award may be awarded in accordance with the Awards Nomenclature and Qualifications Issuance Policy, to a student/ HDR candidate who has died while studying at the University.
  2.  By awarding a posthumous Award the University acknowledges that, but for death, the student would have been expected to complete their studies. 
  3. The decision to bestow a posthumous Award should take into account the wishes of the immediate family.  At all times interactions with the family must be undertaken sensitively and with discretion, avoiding the possibility of giving the family unreasonable or incorrect expectations as to the eventual outcome. 
  4. The number of University staff contacting the family must be kept to a minimum and such contact should be coordinated through the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic.
  5. The Academic Board will review and determine requests for posthumous Awards in accordance with the criteria specified below. 
  6. In urgent circumstances, the Chairperson of the Academic Board can make an executive decision and any such decision shall be notified to the Academic Board at its next meeting.

Coursework Awards

  1. The University may bestow an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework Award posthumously if the student had, at the time of death, successfully completed a minimum of 66% of the total credit points required for the Award (including credit points awarded by advanced standing) and would have successfully completed the course of study had death not occurred .
  2. If the Academic Board decides not to bestow a posthumous Award in which the student had been admitted, they may decide on the recommendation of the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor, to bestow an alternative or intermediate Award where the student had completed a minimum of 66% of the total credit points required for the alternative or intermediate Award (including credit points awarded by advanced standing).
  3. Where no posthumous coursework Award is to be bestowed, the family of the deceased student is to receive a Certificate of Achievement.
  4. Requests for consideration of a posthumous Award by coursework may be made to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic by the student’s immediate family, the Course Coordinator, the relevant College Dean or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  5. Before a recommendation to the Academic Board is made, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic must consult with the Director, Student Services and the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor to confirm that the criteria have been met.

Higher Degree by Research Awards

  1. The University may bestow a higher degree by research (HDR) Award posthumously if a HDR candidate had, at the time of death:
    1. successfully completed the confirmation of candidature and mid-candidature review; and
    2. undertaken design, data collection and preliminary analysis of findings in such a form that, when collated by the Advisory Panel and reviewed by two examiners external to the university, the determination is that the HDR candidate had progressed to a point representing 66% completion of their thesis, portfolio, or exegesis, and would have successfully completed this output from their research, had death not occurred.

2) The Advisory Panel may be requested to insert supplementary and/or explanatory material to facilitate the examiners’ understanding of the HDR candidate's research contribution.  A statement should then be appended to the thesis indicating the work undertaken by the Advisory Panel on the HDR candidate's behalf.

3) Each examiner, having determined that the required academic progression had been achieved, must also make a recommendation on whether sufficient evidence exists to indicate that had the HDR candidate lived, in the normal course of events the requirements for the Award would have been satisfied within the prescribed time limits.  For the Award to be bestowed, both examiners must be in agreement.

4) If the Academic Board decides not to bestow a posthumous Award in which the HDR candidate had been admitted, they may decide, on the recommendation of the Dean, Graduate Research, to bestow an alternative or intermediate Award where the HDR candidate had progressed to a point representing 66% completion of the alternative or intermediate Award.

5) Where no posthumous higher degree by research Award is to be bestowed, the family of the deceased HDR candidate is to receive a Certificate of Achievement.

6) Requests for consideration of a posthumous higher degree by research Award may be made to the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic by the HDR candidate’s immediate family, the relevant College Dean or Deputy Vice Chancellor, the student’s supervisor or the Dean, Graduate Research.

7) Before a recommendation to the Academic Board is made, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic must consult with Dean, Graduate Research to confirm that the criteria have been met.

Conferral of a Posthumous Award

  1. There are several options available to the family of the deceased/HDR candidate for the conferral of the posthumous Award:
    1. conferral in absentia where the Testamur is issued direct to the family; or
    2. conferral at a graduation ceremony where a family member representing the deceased student or HDR candidate is presented with the Testamur on behalf of the deceased student/HDR candidate; or
    3. conferral at a private ceremony where a University representative presents the Testamur to a family member on behalf of the deceased student/HDR candidate.
  2. The records will indicate that the award is posthumous.  The decision as to the timing and method of conferral of the posthumous Award will be at the sole discretion of the family.

Related policy instruments

Awards Nomenclature and Qualifications Issuance Policy

Schedules/Appendices

Nil

Administration

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Chairperson, Academic Board

Version no

15-1

Date for next review

1 September 2018

Revision History

Version

Approval date         

Implementation date

Details

Author

15-1

14/10/2015

2010/2015

Procedure established

Contact: Chair Academic Board