As a public institution, we are dedicated to maintaining strong internal policies. We also actively engage with changes in government policy by making regular higher education and research policy submissions, across a wide range of issues.
As a public institution, we have a rigorous and robust policy framework under the jurisdiction of the Policy Management Unit in the Office of the General Counsel.
Our framework consists of four types of documents:
Our Policy Register is the authoritative source for University policy documents and can be searched by students, staff and the general public. The Policy Register contains documents on topics such as health and safety, community relations, infrastructure and procurement.
The Policy Register does not contain course resolutions, faculty resolutions and other documents relating to the academic governance of individual faculties or University schools and their courses. To find them, please go to the handbooks website.
Policy documents which are publicly displayed on the Policy Register are the definitive and current versions, regardless of different versions which may exist elsewhere.
Documents which were superseded after the register began in 2012 are stored in the Policy Register record base.
Copies of documents superseded before the implementation of the register may be available, but this cannot be guaranteed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about availability and access to superseded documents.
The register provides several options for users to locate documents, including:
However you navigate the site, a breadcrumb trail will appear at the top of the page, showing the path you have taken to the page you are on. Clicking on any of these links will take you back along that path.
Use the "Search by" drop-down menu to select the criterion you want to search by. Criteria include:
The register search looks for an exact match of the search criterion you have entered. This means that searching for distinctive words and phrases is the best approach (rather than typing the whole title of a document).
Use * to search for all words beginning with certain letters (eg, searching for "exam*" will bring up results containing words like "examination", "examiner", "examine", etc.). Please note that the search function requires exact spelling, unlike Google searches. Typos will give you a nil result.
|Alphabetical||Select "All" or a letter from the alphabet. Choose the option from the drop-down menu which will appear in the search text box. Hitting search will then display an alphabetical listing of policies with titles beginning with the letter you have selected. Please note that the "All" search may take a little longer to complete.|
|New||Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.|
|Updated||Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.|
|Due for review||Time based. Requires you to select your search from a drop-down list which will appear in the search text box.|
|Keyword||Requires you to select one of the pre-determined keywords from the drop-down menu which will appear in the search text box.|
Each document in the register has several keywords attached to it. Keywords help to identify the documents’ principal themes and effects. They can be useful as sometimes a commonly used term will not appear within a document but by tagging the document to that work it makes the document easier to find.
You can search using keywords in two ways:
This kind of search, known as a “content” search, is not currently available but is in development.
The "Filter search by" drop-down menu allows you to select the type of document you are looking for, including:
Depending on the search criterion you choose to search by you may also be presented with a second filter/drop-down menu to help you refine your search. You can only select one value for each filter, but you can use more than one filter at once.
Documents are displayed in lists, with each document represented by way of an icon and a title.
Hovering your cursor over the icon will display a pop-up box which gives the following details:
Hovering your cursor over the document title will display a pop-up box which gives a brief summary of the document’s effect.
Clicking on either the document's icon or title will display a PDF copy of the document in a pop-up window.
The version published on the Policy Register website is always the definitive one. Only the latest version of a policy document is published and the Policies Development and Review (Rule) 2011 provides that the Register’s published version is authoritative.
Registered policy documents must not be reproduced on any other website and you should only rely on the version found in the Register.
Some listed documents have an attached related documents tag. Generally, they will be different types of documents which address the same subject matter (eg, the Gift Acceptance Policy and Gift Acceptance Procedures will each display the other as a related document).
Sometimes a link will be included to an external document, for example a national code of practice, or there will be a link to another related resource.
Some related documents are displayed using an icon of a magnifying glass rather than a PDF icon. These documents are not registered policy documents but are linked to registered documents to provide background, explanation or access to related-tools.
As a major publicly-funded education and research institution, we maintain important relationships with governments at all levels.
The federal government has a comprehensive policy framework for education and research that provides the context for our core education and research activities. We also engage with the NSW government across a wide range of issues, as well as with local governments in the communities we serve.
Activities relating to higher education policy are led by staff based in the Vice-Chancellor's Office.
We regularly provide input to government and parliamentary policy processes that affect the University’s operations. Our submissions for the last 5 years are made publicly available here in the interests of transparency.
On 25 February 2021, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment released a consultation paper on the development of a model for university research commercialisation and possible mechanisms to incentivise and increase partnerships between businesses and universities.
The University made a submission after consulting widely with our successful research commercialisers and through them with their industry partners.
On 14 December 2020, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) released a Draft Place Strategy for the Westmead Precinct. Feedback was being sought to inform the final plans and help shape the future of Westmead as a health and innovation district.
The University made a submission, reiterating our wish that continued efforts be placed on incorporating the extensive work already undertaken by the Department of Premier & Cabinet, DPIE and the University in relation to the development of a University campus at Westmead, while noting that the draft Westmead Place Strategy contains some inconsistencies with the Parramatta North Structure Plan.
On 4 February 2021, the Senate referred the Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020 [Provisions] and Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020 [Provisions] for inquiry by the Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee.
The University made a submission, following our more detailed submissions made to the Office of the National Data Commissioner containing feedback on the exposure draft and accreditation framework (6 November 2020); the Data Sharing and Release Legislative Reforms Discussion Paper (15 October 2019) and the Data Sharing and Release Legislation Consultations (1 August 2018), and two submissions in 2016 to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Data Availability and Use.
While the University is broadly supportive of the Bill, we did raise some concerns, including about how data custodians will apply the ‘public benefit’ test of the research, and the fees associated with accreditation of institutions and their researchers and also those charged for access to the datasets.
On 2 November 2020, the Australian Government - through the Attorney-General’s Department - released draft legislation to establish their proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission which intends to strengthen integrity arrangements across the federal public sector. The draft legislation comprises two Bills - the Commonwealth Integrity Commission Bill 2020 and the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Legislation Amendment (CIC Establishment and Other Measures) Bill 2020.
The University made a submission emphasising our deep concerns about the fundamental conceptual and structural problems with the proposed legislation. We also elaborated on three of our key concerns: the unnecessary duplication and intersection with the effective State-based anti-corruption regimes that already apply to most Australian public universities; the different standards proposed for staff of higher education providers, and the increased administrative and extra red tape burden the proposed regime will introduce for higher education providers.
On 21 December 2020, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security commenced a review into the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020, following a referral from the Attorney-General. The Bill was introduced into Parliament on 10 December 2020.
The University made a short submission, following our more detailed submissions made in 2020 to the Department of Home Affairs containing feedback to the exposure draft (27 November) and the consultation paper (16 September).
Further, in addition to reiterating the importance of a proportionate and workable regulatory approach, we also endorsed the submission from Universities Australia and any advice the Group of Eight provided on behalf of its member institutions.
In the 2020-21 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it would consult on allowing individuals to deduct education and training expenses they incur, where the expense is not related to their current employment.
On 11 December 2020, Treasury released a discussion paper, which seeks stakeholder views on whether tax arrangements should play a greater role in encouraging Australians to retrain and reskill to support their future employment and career and, if so, how this would best be achieved.
The University made a brief submission, with one of our concluding statements being that making such a change to Australia’s tax system would send a strong and timely message to the community about the importance and value of individuals pursuing further education and training throughout their lives.
On 4 November 2020, the Australian Government’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security commenced an inquiry into national security risks affecting the Australian higher education and research sector. The requested reporting date is July 2021.
The University made a submission emphasising the importance of international engagement (in research and education collaboration) to both the University and Australia, and the extensive efforts underway to mitigate national security risks. The submission also provided feedback on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Government’s relevant policies and programs for national security and foreign interference, and detailed the University’s position on a range of our international activities.
TEQSA discussion paper: making and assessing claims of scholarship and scholarly activity – 14 December 2020
On 12 October 2020, the Australian Government (through the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) released a discussion paper on making and assessing claims of scholarship and scholarly activity. The discussion paper is intended to inform updates to TEQSA’s Guidance Note on Scholarship which is under review.
The University made a submission, suggesting a guidance note which relies more on general description and narrative examples and is supplemented with a quality assurance audit of TEQSA-specified courses to ensure that principle is translating to practice. The submission also provided general feedback to the discussion paper and responded to the six discussion questions.
On 9 November, the Department of Home Affairs released the Exposure Draft of the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020, accompanied by an Explanatory Document for public consultation. The Bill seeks to amend the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 to implement an enhanced critical infrastructure security framework, with the Department anticipating that the Bill will be introduced into Parliament in December 2020.
The University contributed to and endorsed the submissions from Universities Australia and the Group of Eight, and made our own submission to complement the feedback they provided on our behalf.
Our submission identifies eight key areas of concern and emphasises the importance of a proportionate and workable regulatory approach. This includes a tighter definition for a ‘critical infrastructure asset’ owned and operated by a higher education provider, to ensure that the proposed protection regime applies only to assets that, if compromised, would represent a threat to the nation.
On 3 November 2020, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor attended a Decentralisation Summit on behalf of the University. These summits are designed to provide key sector representatives the opportunity to contribute to the development of a revitalised decentralisation strategy, with greater synergy being sought between business, the tertiary education sector and Government.
On 4 November, the Office of the Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education distributed a questionnaire to Summit participants, as flagged by the Minister at the conclusion of the previous day’s Summit.
The University made a submission, responding to three of the four follow-up questions.
On 28 October 2020, the Australian Government (through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) invited submissions from the public to help inform the development of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent for the Pacific Islands Forum. The public submission process consisted of seeking views on four key questions, found on the webpage above.
The University made a submission, with academic experts identifying biosecurity, food security, climate change, disease control, marine health, animal welfare, disaster response, economic development, good governance and management as the key challenges facing the Pacific region.
The University’s submission also stressed the value of systematic and strategic investment in education as vital for realising long-term benefits for Pacific countries.
In September 2020, the Australian Government (through the Office of the National Data Commissioner) released the exposure draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill, which seeks to deliver more seamless services to the public by modernising how the Government manages the wealth of information supplied by Australians to various government agencies. The ONDC also sought feedback to a discussion paper released on the proposed Accreditation Framework.
The University made a submission; providing feedback to both documents. This submission consolidates the University’s active participation in this policy process, having attended face-to-face consultations and lodging earlier submissions on Data Sharing and Release legislation since mid-2018, and engaging in the Productivity Commission’s Data Availability and Use inquiry in 2016.
In June 2020, the Australian Government introduced the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF) under the Job-ready Graduates package. The NPILF will allocate block grants to universities to support enhanced engagement with universities and industry to produce job-ready graduates. In September, a consultation paper was released by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, with members of the public invited to contribute their ideas on the paper.
The University made a submission.
On 3 September 2020 the Australian Government introduced the Australia Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 to the Federal Parliament.
The Bill was referred immediately to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 22 October.
The Bill seeks to protect and manage Australia’s foreign relations by ensuring that arrangements entered into by State/Territory entities (including public universities) do not adversely affect Australia’s foreign relations or are inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy.
The University’s submission sets out its grave concerns about the negative impacts the bill, if passed as currently drafted, would have on the international collaborations of Australia’s autonomous public universities.
The submission recommends that the Committee not allow the bill to pass the Senate in its current form and offers support for the more detailed submissions made by Universities Australia and the Group of Eight.
In August 2020, the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner invited the University to provide an update on the measures that we have implemented to fulfil the recommendations from the landmark Change the Course report (released by the Australian Human Rights Commission in August 2017).
The University provided an update, which can be found on our Safer Communities on campus webpage.
In August, the Department of Home Affairs released a consultation paper on ‘Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance’ - the policy framework for amending the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.
The University contributed to and endorsed the submission made by Universities Australia to this consultation process.
We also made our own submission, emphasising our concerns in four key areas: the processes for identifying critical infrastructure; aligning reporting obligations with other government reporting requirements; the activities required to execute the Positive Security Obligations, and engagement before enforcement of ‘security notices’.
Senate Inquiry into the Federal Government’s proposed Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 - 10 September 2020
On 3 September 2020 the Senate referred the Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 25 September 2020.
The University made a submission expressing our concern that this extremely complex Bill - which will have consequences for generations of future Australians - has been developed without careful consideration of the evidence, alternative policy options and adequate consultation. The submission provides supplementary information to our earlier feedback on the exposure draft (17 August 2020) including some new research findings relevant to our key concerns with the Bill. The submission also recommends to the Government an alternative way forward.
In August 2020, the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, invited submissions from the public to help inform the development of the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy. The public submission process was contained in the ‘Australia-Vietnam EnhancedEconomic Engagement Strategy: Discussion paper for consultations’, found on the webpage above.
The University made a submission, emphasising our strong interest in further enhancing our educational and research ties with Vietnam; building upon more than two decades of engagement.
On 7 August 2020, the Minister for Education announced that lawyer and former Vice-Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) Sally Walker AM would conduct an independent review to evaluate the progress that universities have made implementing the French Model Code on university free speech. Subsequently, on 31 August, Prof Walker invited the University to make a submission directed at any aspect of the review’s (five) Terms of Reference.
The University made a submission, sharing how we incorporated the principles of the model code recommended by former High Court Chief Justice, Robert French AC in the University’s Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom. Our submission also provided responses to four specific questions posed by Prof Walker.
On 11 August 2020, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment released for feedback the exposure draft for the Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.
The University made a submission which encourages the Government to refer the Bill to the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment for thorough inquiry and public consultations before any decisions are made on such fundamental changes to higher education funding. Our analysis of the exposure draft was based on our academic expertise in labour market forecasting, vocational and higher education policy, research and innovation policy, economic policy, gender studies and social and equity policy.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 571KB)
In May 2020, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability released an issues paper focusing on the experiences of people with disability in employment.
The University made a submission, highlighting the findings of a research project on Disability Disadvantage and Vocational Education and Training.
In May 2020, the NSW Legislative Council’s Portfolio Committee No. 3 – Education adopted Terms of Reference for an inquiry into and report on the future development of the New South Wales tertiary education sector. The Terms of Reference note that the Committee will report by 30 November 2020.
In February 2020, the Minister for Foreign Affairs asked the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into strengthening Australia’s relationships with countries in the Pacific region.
In addition to the submission made on 30 April (see below), the University made a supplementary submission which highlighted some current and recent projects in the Pacific region led by academics in our School of Architecture, Design and Planning and the Conservatorium of Music.
In May 2020, Orange City Council put on public exhibition a draft Health & Innovation Precinct Masterplan to attract investment and encourage growth in Orange’s health and research sector. The masterplan was prepared by NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Planning & Environment and Orange City Council.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 551KB)
In early 2020, UNESCO requested information through its global Chairs and hosting institutions to map the interplay between Higher Education and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the mandate of leaving no one behind. Their survey concentrated its request on information aligned with SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG5 (Gender Equality) and SDG10 (Reducing Inequalities).
The University completed the survey; providing detailed information related to institutional and legislative frameworks, data collection and initiatives that support inclusion, equality and diversity in our staff and student community.
In May 2020, the NSW Government (through the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) put on public exhibition the Sydney Metro West Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Westmead to The Bays and Sydney CBD and sought feedback on the Stage 1 tunnelling between Westmead and The Bays.
The University made a submission making clear our support for Government consideration of a spur-line or switchback option to enable the Metro West route to include Camperdown as a station location, effectively linking up the two health and education precincts of Camperdown/Ultimo and Westmead/Parramatta.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 216KB).
View Sydney Metro West map. (pdf, 978KB)
The NSW Government (through Transport for NSW) is seeking to improve accessibility at Redfern Station as part of its Transport Access Program, with the plans to upgrade Redfern Station the first step in renewing the Redfern North Eveleigh precinct. In May 2020, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was put on public exhibition with feedback sought from the community.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 147KB)
In May 2020, the NSW Government (through Infrastructure NSW) released three precinct plan scenarios that seek to illustrate how urban renewal of Blackwattle Bay could look and feel. The community was asked to provide feedback on the scenarios to help inform a final precinct plan for Blackwattle Bay.
The University made a submission noting that many members of the University community either live within or travel through Blackwattle Bay to our Camperdown campus, or are involved in the rowing and dragon boating activities based at the University’s Glebe Boatshed facilities. The submission requested that the neighbouring Camperdown-Ultimo Collaboration Area be taken into consideration in all planning and policy decisions made for the Blackwattle Bay Precinct, to ensure both areas can leverage off one another to create world-leading places where people want to live, work and visit.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 186KB)
In February 2020, the Minister for Foreign Affairs asked the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into strengthening Australia’s relationships with countries in the Pacific region.
The University made a submission which highlighted some current and recent projects in the Pacific region (led by academics in our School of Health Sciences and our School of Physics) while touching on our use of funding from the Australia Awards program to expand the skills and networks of emerging Pacific Islander leaders who will be responsible for managing their countries’ technological, economic, social and political development.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 299KB)
In March 2020, the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues adopted Terms of Reference for an inquiry into the State Records Act 1998 and the Historic Houses Act 1980. The documents tabled as part of the inquiry include a policy paper on the review of the State Records Act 1998.
After assessing the Policy Paper, the University formed the view that combining the legislation for the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW and the Sydney Living Museums would not assist the University and other similar institutions to meet the community’s information needs by protecting and preserving NSW’s key cultural assets. We did, however, support other proposals in the Policy Paper.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 150KB)
In February 2020, the Tuition Protection Services released a discussion paper (pdf, 821KB) addressing possible changes to the TPS levy for 2021 and beyond.
The University made a submission making clear our support for differentiated calculation of the levy based on the sub-sector and individual tertiary education provider compliance and risk factors.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 103KB)
In December 2019 the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Temporary Migration to inquire into and report on the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions.
The University made a submission, which emphasised both the critical importance of temporary migration recruitment for the Australian higher education sector and the vital part that international students play in our University community and Australian society more broadly.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 148KB)
Academics from the University of Sydney Business School (Dr Stephen Clibborn and Associate Professor Chris F White) also made a submission on reforming Australia’s Temporary Migrant Labour policy regime, drawing on their extensive relevant research.
View their submission (no. 42 in the list)
In December 2019, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women and the Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific announced a consultation process to guide a new Australian development policy to drive the Government’s international development efforts in support of security, stability, prosperity and resilience in the Indo-Pacific.
The University made a submission which addressed the challenges ahead for biosecurity and population health, disaster management, animal health and food security in the Indo-Pacific. We also encouraged the Government to increase its support for Australia Awards scholarships in health and education for emerging leaders from Indo-Pacific countries, and highlighted some of the extensive relevant research being led by academics in Infectious Diseases, Public Health, Paediatrics and Veterinary Science.
View the University’s submission. (pdf, 139KB)
In January 2020 the Federal Minister for Education invited stakeholder comment on the proposed Higher Education Support Act (HESA) amendments, as recommended in the Report of the Independent Review of Freedom of Speech in Australian Higher Education Providers (the French Review). The Government has proposed amendments to two current sections, in addition to introducing a definition of ‘academic freedom’.
The University made a submission based on the volume of work conducted in 2019 on how the University should respond to the recommendations of the report of the French Review, in particular the Model Code as revised by a working group of the University Chancellors Council.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 291KB).
Submission to the Business Council of Australia's Future-Proof discussion paper: Future-proof- Australia future post- secondary education and skills system – January and August 2018 (pdf, 388KB) and submission in resoponse to to BCA's final Future-Proof reform plan - August 2018 (pdf, 263KB)
Submission regarding legislative proposals arising from proposed reforms of the Space Activities Act 1998 - April 2017 (pdf, 340KB)
Submission in response to review of the Space Activities Act 1998 – April 2016 (pdf, 20KB)