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Intellectual Freedom Statement

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The University of New England Act 1993 (NSW) defines the primary object of the University as 'the promotion, within the limits of the University's resources, of scholarship, research, free inquiry, the interaction of research and teaching, and academic excellence', and a principal function as 'the encouragement of the dissemination, advancement, development and application of knowledge informed by free inquiry' (Section 6).

(2) The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) (as amended) requires all higher education providers to have policy material that 'upholds free intellectual inquiry in relation to learning, teaching and research' (Section 19-115).

(3) The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 requires that 'The higher education provider promotes and protects free intellectual inquiry and expression in its higher education learning, teaching, and research activities' (Provider Registration Standards, Section 4.2).

(4) Intellectual freedom is supported in the UNE Code of Conduct for Staff.

Section 2 - Scope

(5) This Rule applies to all UNE Representatives and Students and is intended to affirm the University's commitment to intellectual freedom.

Section 3 - Rule

General

(6) Intellectual freedom is the freedom to conduct research, teach, learn, speak, and publish, subject to the norms and standards of scholarly inquiry, without interference or penalty, wherever the search for truth and understanding may lead.

(7) The University upholds this freedom as a fundamental principle to be applied in decision making, within the limits of the University's resources. It reflects the University's commitment to free and responsible enquiry as essential to the conduct of a free and democratic society and to the quest for intellectual, moral and material advancement through informed comment and debate.

(8) Intellectual freedom carries with it the duty to use the freedom in a reasonable manner consistent with a responsible and honest search for, and dissemination of, knowledge and truth.

Authority and Compliance

(9) This Rule is made by the University Council, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act.

(10) University Representatives and Students must observe it in relation to University matters.

(11) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this Rule. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(12) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date.

(13) Previous statements/Rules regarding intellectual or academic freedom are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule. Definitions

Section 4 - Definitions

(14) Effective Date is the date on which this Rule will take effect.

(15) Student — means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

  1. Admitted student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study.
  2. Enrolled student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study at UNE or elsewhere and who is enrolled in a unit at UNE.

(16) UNE Act means - the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).

(17) University Representative means — a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent) contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.