Policy Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure


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(effective for graduations December 2019)

Intent

This procedure outlines the eligibility criteria and process for awards of recognition that acknowledge and promote student academic excellence at James Cook University (“JCU” or “the University”).

Scope

This procedure applies to JCU students who are eligible to receive an award of recognition and to staff involved in the award process.

Definitions

The definitions used in this procedure are found in the Policy Glossary

Introduction

To acknowledge and promote student academic excellence, each year the University shall present the following awards of recognition, under the auspices of the JCU Academic Board, as approved by the delegated authority listed below:

Table 1: JCU Awards of Recognition

Award of Recognition

Delegated Approval Authority

Purpose and Criteria

University Medal

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of relevant Division

For outstanding academic achievement in a combination of coursework studies and research undertaken at undergraduate level.

The University Medal is awarded to graduands who have completed at least 50% of either of the following at JCU:

  • Bachelor degree and end on Research Honours degree; or
  • Bachelor degree with embedded Research Honours.

To be eligible for the University Medal, students must:

  • have completed an honours research component that is at least 6 credit points of value;
  • achieve a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 6.50 for JCU subjects (excluding Thesis subjects) undertaken   across the Bachelor and Bachelor Honours year levels contributing to the AQF 8 qualifications
  • achieve first class level A, B or C Honours rank
  • be of good character and a meritorious recipient for the medal.
  • be endorsed as eligible to receive the University medal by the relevant JCU College Dean

Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis

Dean Graduate Research

For a candidate whose higher degree by research (doctoral or masters) thesis was judged to be passed ‘cum laude’

To be eligible for the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis, students must:

  • have a recommendation for their higher degree by research to be awarded ‘cum laude’ independently by two external examiners;
  • meet the conditions specified in the HDR examination procedure; and
  • be endorsed as eligible to receive the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis by the student’s Advisory Panel and the Dean, Graduate   Research.

Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence

Dean, Graduate Research

For demonstrated excellence in a research higher degree where the candidate has been commended by their independent examiners for substantial contribution to their field of research.

To be eligible for the Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence, students must:

  • be awarded a research doctorate or research masters degree by JCU during the previous calendar year; and
  • be endorsed for the Award by the relevant JCU College Dean or Deans if the student was enrolled in more than one College.

Indigenous Academic Excellence Award

Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy  

For Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students who have demonstrated academic excellence and/or perseverance and commitment to their studies

To be eligible to receive the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award, students must:

  • have identified as  Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and have this identity recorded in the university’s Student Management System;
  • be currently enrolled as a fulltime student in an undergraduate course at JCU; and
  • be endorsed as eligible for the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award by the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy.

With Distinction

Director, Student Services

For excellent academic achievement in coursework studies undertaken at an undergraduate and postgraduate level at JCU

To be eligible, students must:

  • be a Graduand of a JCU Award; and
  • have achieved a minimum GPA of 6.00 for the coursework studies undertaken at JCU

Procedures

1.    Awarding a University Medal

1.1   Identification and Approval of Recipients:

1.1.1  The JCU Examinations Office will identify via the Student Management System eligible recipients of the University Medal based on the criteria outlined in Table 1.

1.1.2  GPA will be calculated only on those subjects undertaken at JCU.

1.1.3  The JCU Examinations Office will send the list of eligible recipients, and their respective GPA, to each of the relevant College Deans and/or Academic Divisions requesting confirmation that the identified students are eligible to receive the relevant nominated University Medal.

1.1.4  The College Dean shall consider the list of eligible recipients received from the JCU Examinations Office, taking into consideration the eligibility criteria outlined in Table 1, and make a determination and recommendation regarding final recipients of the University Medal. The College Dean shall then forward a submission to the Divisional Deputy Vice Chancellor of the relevant Division who is delegated to make the final determination regarding who with the College Dean’s submission shall receive the University Medal.

1.1.5  If approved by the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor, the JCU Examinations Office will arrange the award of the University Medal in preparation for the students’ graduation through either ceremony or Council meeting.

2.   Awarding the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis

2.1  Identification and Approval of Recipients:

2.1.1  The JCU Graduate Research School shall prepare and forward a list of eligible recipients for the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis as endorsed by the Dean, Graduate Research, for noting by the Academic Board and Council.

2.1.2  The Graduate Research School will also provide the name(s) of the final recipient(s) of the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis to JCU Ceremonies Office who will arrange the casting of the medals.

3.    Awarding the Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence

3.1  Identification and Approval of Recipients:

3.1.1 The JCU Graduate Research School shall prepare and forward a list of eligible recipients of the Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence to the relevant College Deans. College Deans are invited to make submissions in support (or otherwise) of the nominated eligible recipients to the Education Sub-Committee and Executive.

3.1.2  The College Dean’s submission must address the following criteria:

  • international recognition of the student’s research work;
  • impact of the student’s research (actual and potential);
  • the student’s publications or other outputs (e.g. creative works); and
  • any other recognition of the student’s research quality.

3.1.3.The College Dean’s submissions will be considered by the Research Education Sub-Committee Executive who will rank all eligible recipients on merit as follows:

  • external examiners’ reports (50%); and
  • nominations which address some or all of the criteria in Clause 3.1.2 above (50%).

3.1.4  It is intended that no more than 10% of students who have been awarded a research doctorate or research masters degree in the year under consideration will receive this Award.

3.1.5  The Research Education Sub-Committee Executive will forward its recommendations for final recipients of the Dean’s Award to the Dean, Graduate Research.

3.1.6  The Dean, Graduate Research will finalise the list of selected recipients of the Dean’s Award and send a letter of recognition to these recipients.

3.1.7   The Graduate Research School will publish the list of recipients on their website.

4.   Presentation of Medals

4.1  The casting and procurement of JCU Medals are the responsibility of JCU Ceremonies Office but must conform to designs approved by the Awards and Ceremonies Committee.

4.2  Recipients of the JCU  medals shall have the option to:

  • be presented with the medal at the relevant ceremony;
  • have the medal be sent directly to them; or
  • have the medal made available for collection at the JCU Student Centre (Townsville or Cairns).

4.3  The recipients of JCU  medals will have this noted on their Australian Higher Education Graduation Statements (AHEGS) and JCU Academic Records.

5.   Indigenous Academic Excellence Award

5.1  Identification and Approval of Recipients:

5.1.1.Each year the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy will prepare a list of students who are considered eligible to receive the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award based on the criteria in Table 1. The Pro Vice-Chancellor will send out this list to the Managers of Indigenous Student Support Programs and the Head of Indigenous Student Support Services (“the Managers”) who will select the preferred recipients of the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award.

5.1.2.The Managers must consider the following criteria:

  • excellence in Academic results by a student at JCU; and/or
  • a student’s demonstrated perseverance and commitment to their studies at JCU.

5.1.3.The Manager’s written nominations will be considered by the Indigenous Education and Research Centre Executive who will rank all nominees on merit, only on the basis of nominations which address of the criteria in Clause 5.1.2.

5.1.4.It is intended that no more than 10% of JCU students who meet the criteria for the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award in the year under consideration will receive the award.

5.1.5.The Indigenous Education and Research Centre Executive will forward their recommendations for final recipients of the Award to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy.

5.1.6.The Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy will determine the final recipients of the award and send a letter of recognition to them.

5.1.7.The Indigenous Education and Research Centre will publish the list of recipients on its website.

6.   Award with Distinction

6.1  Identification and Approval of Recipients

6.1.1  The JCU Examinations Office will identify via the Student Management System a list of eligible recipients of the Award with Distinction based on the criteria outlined in Table 1.

6.1.2  GPA will be calculated only on subjects undertaken at JCU.

6.1.3  The JCU Examinations Office will send the list of eligible recipients, and their GPA, to the Director, Student Services for approval to include the words “With Distinction” onto the eligible recipient’s Testamur.

6.1.3  If approved by the Director, Student Services, the JCU Examinations Office will administer the processing of the Awards with Distinction within the Student Management System in preparation for the students’ graduation through either ceremony or Council meeting.

7.   GPA Calculation for this procedure:

7.1.1.The GPA will be calculated in accordance with Grade Point Average (GPA) - JCU, to two decimal points.

7.1.2.The GPA is calculated on the results obtained for subjects undertaken as per Table 1;

7.1.3.Calculation of the GPA will exclude results of any ungraded subjects.

Related policy instruments

Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy

Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure

Grade Point Average (GPA) - JCU

Administration

NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Version no

19-1

Date for next Major Review

06/06/2022

Revision History

NOTE: A minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

Approval date - the date the Policy Sponsor approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the procedure was published in the Policy Library and is the date the procedure takes effect

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-1

06/06/2019

05/11/2019

Major review of procedure to tighten criteria in line with sector norms. Implementation delayed to more closely align with graduation period.

Deputy Chair, Academic Board

18-1

16/05/2018

24/05/2018

Procedural information added due to disestablishment of the Recognition of Excellence Policy and establishment of the Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy.  Rationalisation of HDR award procedures

Manager, Student Finance and Examination

17-1

16/03/2017

17/03/2017

Existing procedure reviewed and removed from the Recognition of Excellence Policy into this procedure template in accordance with the Policy and Delegation Framework associated procedures.

Director, Student Services

Keywords

Academic excellence; award of recognition, University Medal

Contact person

Manager, Student Finance and Examinations