University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy




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

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

2.3 While this policy applies 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.

3. Principles

3.1 UTS values and celebrates diversity and recognises that students come from all age groups, backgrounds, cultures and stages of life with a variety of different abilities, orientations, attitudes, beliefs, identities and life experiences.

3.2 Integrity underpins UTS's core values and activities. Integrity — personal, academic and research — has a significant impact on the university’s reputation and standing. Students must act with integrity in line with this policy.

3.3 UTS believes that everyone has a right to live, work and study safely. As members of a community that values respect, inclusion and safety, students at UTS must complete any relevant training or programs that promote these values.

3.4 UTS seeks to help its students become effective contributors in their communities, leaders in their chosen field and responsible global citizens. UTS will strive to ensure that every student is given the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding learning experience that 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 legislative and regulatory frameworks and standards and, where relevant, satisfies the requirements of professional societies, accrediting bodies and organisations.

4.2 Courses will be regularly reviewed and updated based on relevant research, academic discussion and feedback from students as part of UTS’s continuous improvement process.

4.3 Students will be provided with information about the inherent requirements of their courses.

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

4.5 Students will be provided with 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.

4.6 Students will have reasonable access via appropriate means (normally, face-to-face and/or via university-supported online tools) to teaching and professional staff.

4.7 Students will have access to properly maintained and accessible resources and facilities (classrooms, library, study facilities, online teaching and learning information and necessary technology).

4.8 Students are encouraged to participate in informed, robust and respectful discussions in their learning and to exercise academic freedom in line with the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression Policy.

4.9 Students have a right, subject to the normal limits of such provisions, to fair, accessible and efficient administrative procedures including:

4.10 UTS will provide students with access to appropriate support services, including:

4.11 Students have a right to expect, in line with relevant legislation and university policy, full participation in the UTS community and campus life generally, including:

  • that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure a safe campus
  • that UTS staff will adhere to the Code of Conduct
  • that all students, without exception, will be treated equitably and with courtesy and respect
  • that the university will address any verifiable university-related incidents of victimisation, intimidation or harassment and conduct the relevant misconduct proceedings as necessary
  • that personal privacy will be respected and information only requested in line with the Privacy Policy
  • 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, the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy and the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression Policy
  • the opportunity to provide feedback on UTS teaching and learning activities and facilities via student organisations, committee memberships, official UTS student feedback mechanisms (such as surveys) and the complaints process, and
  • the freedom to participate in student clubs, societies and associations if eligible.

Student responsibilities and behavioural expectations

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

4.13 Students are responsible for their own learning (on the basis of information provided to them) and must work to the best of their ability. It is expected that students will make genuine attempts to progress successfully through their course of study. Students are expected to seek advice and assistance from university staff if required.

4.14 Students are expected to attend all required teaching and learning activities (either in person or online), and submit required work on time (unless otherwise arranged).

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

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

4.17 Students must protect and promote academic freedom and freedom of speech in line with the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression Policy.

4.18 Students have a responsibility to themselves, to other students, to UTS and to the wider community to ensure the university’s behavioural standards are met in all interactions including online environments. As such, students must:

  • treat all students, staff and members of the community with courtesy and respect
  • not insult, harass, victimise, intimidate and/or discriminate against others on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, political beliefs, accessibility requirements, background or family responsibilities
  • seek to respectfully express opinions while engaging in open enquiry and active engagement, in line with the Equity, Inclusion and Respect 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.

4.19 Students must act in accordance with UTS’s ‘zero tolerance’ commitment towards indecent assault, sexual assault and harassment (refer section 16, Student Rules).

4.20 Students are encouraged to provide constructive feedback on university teaching and learning activities and other facilities through the university’s evaluation processes.

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

4.22 Students must take reasonable steps to address personal safety and secure their own personal property while on university campus or undertaking university activities.

4.23 Students should inform UTS Security where a disability or health condition could impact their ability to evacuate UTS premises in an emergency.

4.24 In undertaking the administrative responsibilities associated with maintaining their enrolment, students are expected to:

  • read and reply to correspondence in a timely manner and no later than the communicated deadlines
  • supply accurate information (personal and otherwise) to the university, and keep this information up-to-date
  • fulfil all enrolment requirements as guided by the university
  • meet their financial commitments to the university
  • be fair and reasonable in raising any complaints, in line with the Student Complaints Policy.

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

Academic integrity

4.26 UTS will work to build a culture of integrity, acknowledging the important benefits that a high standard of academic integrity provides to its students, graduates, staff, affiliates and the wider community.

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

4.28 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.

4.29 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 or plagiarism
  • falsification of data or results
  • making unauthorised use of facilities or equipment
  • making unauthorised use of copyrighted material.

4.30 Students should also be aware of the:

4.31 UTS provides guidance to students on academic integrity, including information about the university’s required academic standards and research integrity standards and the consequences of failing to maintain these standards (refer Academic integrity).

Conflicts of interest

4.32 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.

4.33 If students believe 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

4.34 UTS 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 appropriate use of its facilities. As such, breaches of this policy by students will be managed in line with section 16, Student Rules.

4.35 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.

Carer means an individual who provides ongoing, unpaid support to a family member, neighbour or friend who needs help because of disability, terminal illness, chronic illness, mental illness and/or are frail and ageing. A person is not a carer if they care for a person as a paid employee, a volunteer or as part of education or training.

Conflicts of interest are defined in the Code of Conduct.

Integrity At UTS we operate with integrity. Acting with integrity means acting 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. UTS supports its community through the promotion of academic integrity and professionalism (refer Academic integrity). This definition applies for staff (refer also Code of Conduct) and students.

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).

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 session 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 session.

Approval information

Policy contact Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date 2024
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.
2.0 Academic Board (AB/21-4/68) 29/09/2021 09/11/2021 Scheduled review resulting in updated references to academic freedom, respect and inclusion, and inherent requirements.

PDF version

Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF 189kb)


Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion

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 values

UTS Rules: