University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy

This policy is current and enforceable, however is under review.





Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

PDF version


1. Purpose

1.1 The Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (the policy) outlines the rights, responsibilities and behavioural expectations of UTS students as active members of the university. This policy addresses issues of behaviour and integrity, including:

  • what students should expect from each other
  • what the university expects of its students, and
  • what students can expect from the university.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all students, and refers to all official academic records produced by the university.

2.2 This policy operates in addition to the expectations and requirements outlined in the Student Rules and Research Policy.

2.3 While this policy is applicable to students, staff are expected to provide appropriate guidance under this policy and act with integrity at all times, in line with the Code of Conduct.

2.4 The statements on academic integrity apply to staff and affiliates.

3. Principles

3.1 UTS values and celebrates diversity.

3.2 Integrity underpins our core values and activities and has a significant impact on the reputation of the university, our graduates and our awards. This includes personal integrity, academic integrity and research integrity (see Research Policy).

3.3 UTS looks beyond the classroom and seeks to help students become effective contributors in their chosen field and responsible global citizens. Together, UTS staff and students will strive to ensure that every student is given the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding learning experience which will promote their academic, social and personal growth (see also Sustainability Policy and Social Impact Framework).

4. Policy statements

Student rights

4.1 UTS students will be provided with high-quality education that meets the necessary Australian standards and, where relevant, satisfies the requirements of professional societies, accrediting bodies and organisations.

4.2 Courses will be reviewed and updated based on research, academic discussion relevant to the field and feedback from students; as part of a continuous improvement process.

4.3 Students will be provided with subject objectives/goals, work timelines and assessment tasks, in line with the Subject Descriptions and Subject Outlines Policy.

4.4 Students will be provided reasonable access to the necessary assessment information, guidelines for completion of all assessment tasks and feedback on assessment tasks, in line with the Coursework Assessments Policy.

4.5 Students will have reasonable access via appropriate means (normally, face-to-face and/or via university-supported online tools) to lecturers, coordinators and professional staff, throughout the teaching session.

4.6 Students will be encouraged to participate in relevant face-to-face and online learning activities, and will be guided on how to respectfully express opinions in a spirit of open enquiry and active engagement, in line with the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy.

4.7 The university will seek to provide a supportive learning environment, which includes:

  • reasonable access to properly maintained facilities (classrooms, library, study facilities, online teaching and learning information and necessary technology)
  • reasonable access to student support services (counsellors, general practitioners, academic and learning support, accessibility support and an independent Student Ombud).

4.8 Many interactions between students and the university will, necessarily, be administrative in nature. In managing administrative matters, students have a right, subject to the normal limits of such provisions, to:

  • fair, accessible and efficient administrative procedures
  • accurate information and advice about university activities and facilities
  • integrity-driven processes
  • access to all university rules, policies and relevant procedures
  • a clear and identifiable student complaints policy
  • access to their personal information held by the university, in accordance with the Privacy Policy, and
  • the opportunity to participate in campus and university life.

4.9 In their participation in the university community and campus life generally, and in line with relevant legislation and university policy, students have a right to expect that:

  • all reasonable steps are taken to ensure a safe campus
  • UTS staff will adhere to the Code of Conduct
  • all students, without exception, will be treated equitably and with courtesy and respect
  • provisions are made to report complaints and fraudulent activity (see Student Complaints Policy and Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Disclosures Policy)
  • the university will seek to manage any reported incidents of victimisation, intimidation or harassment and apply the relevant misconduct proceedings as necessary
  • open discussion, the sharing of ideas and independent thought (though sometimes challenging) will be supported and encouraged, within a respectful atmosphere, in line with this policy and the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy, and
  • feedback on all aspects of their learning and campus experience will be actively sought, via student organisations, committee memberships, official UTS student feedback mechanisms (such as surveys) and the complaints process.

Student responsibilities and behavioural expectations

4.10 Students must read, understand and abide by the university’s rules, policies and procedures in relation to their academic studies and expectations of conduct, and comply with university directions and requirements.

4.11 Students have a responsibility to self-inform (on the basis of information provided to them) and work to the best of their ability; making genuine attempts to progress successfully through each subject, by fulfilling all subject requirements.

4.12 Students must sign the Student Declaration in order to complete enrolment and, in doing so, agree to abide by:

4.13 Students are encouraged to seek advice and assistance from staff members where required, in line with their study management obligations.

4.14 Students must act with integrity in relation to their studies, research, and towards staff and each other (see also academic integrity).

4.15 Students must treat all students, staff (academic and professional) and members of the community with courtesy and respect.

4.16 Students also have a responsibility to themselves, to other students, the university and to the wider community, to ensure the university’s behavioural standards are met, in all interactions (face-to-face and online environments). As such, students must:

  • refrain from insulting, harassing, victimising, intimidating and discriminating against others on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, political beliefs, accessibility requirements, background or family responsibilities
  • ensure compliance with the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy and Sustainability Policy
  • behave in a manner that does not jeopardise the safety of others, and
  • understand the types of behaviour that constitute misconduct, as outlined in Rule 16.2, and act accordingly.

4.17 UTS has a ‘zero tolerance’ commitment to indecent assault, sexual assault and harassment, as outlined in section 16, Student Rules.

4.18 Students should participate in all expected face-to-face and online learning activities and, where necessary, seek support and advice on how to constructively participate and express opinions.

4.19 Students should provide constructive feedback on university teaching and learning activities and other facilities thorough the university’s evaluation processes.

4.20 Student must respect university property, facilities and support services as shared resources, and make use of such provisions in a way that is consistent with university rules and policies.

4.21 Students must take reasonable steps to address personal safety and secure their own personal property while on university campus or undertaking university activities. Students should inform UTS Security where a disability or health condition could impact their ability to evacuate UTS premises in an emergency.

4.22 In undertaking their administrative responsibilities, students are expected to:

  • supply accurate information (personal and otherwise) to the university by the communicated deadlines
  • fulfil all enrolment requirements as guided by the university
  • meet their financial commitments to the university
  • read and reply (as required) to all official university communications addressed to them, in a timely manner
  • undertake all administrative obligations in a timely manner and no later than the communicated deadlines, and
  • be fair and reasonable in raising any complaints, in line with the Student Complaints Policy.

4.23 Students must undertake any mandatory training or development identified by either the university or a relevant faculty.

Academic integrity

4.24 UTS will work to build a culture of integrity, acknowledging the value of high behavioural standards to:

  • students (personally and professionally)
  • the university (its reputation and quality of its graduates), and
  • the community.

4.25 UTS will maintain its high academic standards, in line with its academic policies and under the stewardship of Academic Board.

4.26 Students and staff are expected to uphold the university’s commitment to academic integrity and research integrity by exercising honest, responsible and fair conduct while undertaking academic scholarship or research.

4.27 Students should ensure that all work they do and submit represents their own learning achievements. Students should be aware of and avoid any dishonest academic practices that would breach academic or research integrity requirements. In particular, students should avoid:

  • any form of cheating, academic fraud and/or plagiarism
  • falsification of data or results
  • making unauthorised use of facilities or equipment
  • making unauthorised use of copyrighted material.

4.28 Students should also be aware of the:

4.29 UTS will provide guidance to students on required academic standards and research integrity standards and the consequences of failing to maintain these standards.

Conflicts of interest

4.30 Students are required to identify and declare conflicts of interest (refer Code of Conduct). The statements on conflicts of interest and conflict of interest disclosures outlined in the Code are applicable to both staff and students.

4.31 If students feel they or a staff member have a clear or perceived conflict of interest, they should alert the faculty or a university staff member.

Policy breaches and complaints

4.32 The university reserves the right to take any action necessary to protect the safety of its staff and students, its reputation, the integrity of its awards, and to ensure reasonable use of its facilities. As such, breaches of this policy by students will be managed in line with section 16, Student Rules.

4.33 Students may make complaints in line with the Student Complaints Policy.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) has responsibility for policy enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures. These are presented in addition to the definitions of misconduct outlined in section 16, Student Rules and the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Academic scholarship means any learning activity undertaken as part of academic study and the pursuit of knowledge (for example, reading, class or online participation, assessment tasks and submissions, investigation and analysis).

At UTS we operate with Integrity. Integrity means having the strength of character to act in an honest, fair and responsible manner.

  • Academic integrity upholds these values in relation to all learning, teaching and research activities and is key to success at university and beyond. We support our community through the promotion of academic integrity and professionalism. This definition applies for staff (see Code of Conduct) and students.

Student is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules. For the purposes of this policy, a student also includes a person who has:

  • recently completed the requirements of the course
  • withdrawn from the course
  • withdrawn temporarily from the course for a period of at least one semester through approved leave of absence
  • no active enrolment in subjects or in time-based study in a particular semester; or
  • been excluded from the course or from the university, in accordance with the UTS Rules, in the last semester.

Approval information

Policy contact Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date 2021
File number UR19/359
Superseded documents Advice to Students on Good Academic Practice (1998) (UR16/1187)

Statement of Postgraduate Coursework Rights and Responsibilities (1999) (UR16/1191)

Student Charter (2004) (UR16/1045)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Academic Board (AB/18-4/70) 19/09/2018 06/02/2019 New policy.
1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit 09/03/2021 08/04/2021 Amendments resulting from the Policy Impact Project (2020) and to refer to the new Research Policy and new Code of Conduct.

PDF version

Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF 189kb)


Code of Conduct

Coursework Assessments Policy

Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy

Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Disclosures Policy

Intellectual Property Policy

Privacy Policy

Research Policy

Student Complaints Policy

Student Declaration

Student Ombud

Subject Descriptions and Subject Outlines Policy

UTS core values

UTS Rules:

UTS Security