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Posthumous Awards Procedure
1. Purpose:
The purpose of these procedures is to provide information on the posthumous conferral of awards while ensuring that the standards of the University are maintained with regard to an appropriate level of academic achievement.
2. Scope:
Applies to students enrolled in a University of Canberra award course at the time of their death.
3. Procedure:
  1. The Dean of Students will be the contact for all requests for a posthumous award and will be responsible for undertaking necessary consultations with faculty Deans and managing all stages of the process relating to the awarding of a posthumous award.
Eligibility for posthumous award
  1. The Dean of Students will recommend the conferring of the award where a student had met all requirements for the award for the course in which they were enrolled but the award had not been conferred. Under these conditions conferral of the award will be automatic.
Coursework award requirements incomplete
  1. The Dean of Students, after necessary consultations with faculty staff and the relevant faculty Dean, may consider recommending a posthumous award under the following conditions:
    1. the student was within one semester of completion of an award of 2 years (full-time equivalent) or more full-time equivalent duration;
    2. the dean of the faculty responsible for the course in which the student was enrolled is of the view that the student would likely  have completed all requirements of the award were it not for their death; or
    3. the student had met all requirements for an exit pathway award as identified in the rules of the course in which they were enrolled.
Higher degree by research award incomplete
  1. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research & Innovation) may recommend a posthumous award under the following conditions:
    1. the student was sufficiently advanced in their research to have completed the literature review and data collection (or equivalent) components, and have drafted more than 50% of their thesis; and
    2. two assessors (only one of whom may have been the supervisor or associate supervisor) review the available work and form the view that the research requirement has been met substantially; then
    3. the thesis or other written work should be submitted for examination, subsequent to which there must be expressed the unanimous view of the examiners that there exists a reasonable expectation that the student would have satisfactorily completed the requirements of the award.
  2. In assessing a student’s eligibility the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research & Innovation) may request the supervisor to provide an outline of the research project to facilitate the examiners' understanding of the candidate's research contribution.
  3. The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & VIce-President (Research & Innovation) will liaise with the Dean of Students in order that the Dean of Students can manage all stages of the process relating to the awarding of a posthumous award.
  1. Where the relevant criteria are met, the Dean of Students will make a recommendation to Academic Board that an award be conferred posthumously.
  2. Academic Board will review the recommendation and, if in agreement, certify by resolution that an award be made posthumously, and recommend to Council that it admit the student to the award.
  3. The University Council will review the Board’s recommendation and, if in agreement, the Chancellor, or such other member of the Council or the University as the Council determines, will posthumously confer an award to the student on behalf of the University.
  1. The Dean of Students or nominee will arrange appropriate notification of the outcome of the request for a posthumous award to the representative of the deceased student.
  2. Following approval of the Council, the award may be conferred as a posthumous award at a graduation ceremony where the award is presented to a family member or representative of the deceased student, or in absentia. The Dean of Students, or nominee, will liaise with the Director of Student Administration, or nominee, regarding the method of conferral as appropriate.
  3. Wherever possible, posthumous awards should be conferred within two years of the death of the student.
  4. The death of the student will be recorded in the student management system, with reference that the award was granted posthumously, if applicable.
Council Approval
  1. Outside of the above procedures, Council also have the authority to determine whether an award of the University be awarded posthumously, and in such a manner as it sees fit (as detailed in the University of Canberra Conferring of Awards Rules 2013).
4. Roles and Responsibilities:
Who Responsibility
Council Admit a student to a posthumous award.
Academic Board Certify a student is awarded a posthumous award.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor & VIce-President (Research & Innovation) Assess eligibility for posthumous award for higher degree by research students.
Dean of Students Assess eligibility for posthumous awards for coursework students.
  • Make recommendations to Academic Board on the granting of a posthumous award.
  • Oversee the progress of the application.
  • Arrange appropriate notification of the outcome of the request for a posthumous award to the representative of the deceased student.
Director, Student Administration (or nominee)
  • Arrange for the conferral of the award as appropriate.
  • Record the conferral of the award in the student management system.
6. Definitions:
Terms Definitions