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Principal Dates Policy

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Section 1 - Overview & Scope

(1) This Policy provides the framework for the development, approval and publication of the University's principal dates.

(2) This Policy applies to UNE Representatives involved in the development, approval and publication of the principal dates.

(3) Within this Policy:

  1. Part A covers the academic calendar; and
  2. Part B covers principal dates.

Part A - Academic Calendar

(4) UNE’s academic calendar primarily consists of three trimesters comprising:

  1. 11 weeks teaching;
  2. a 2 week mid-trimester intensive school period (Trimester 3 also includes the end-of-year break); and
  3. a 2 week end-of trimester assessment and intensive period.

(5) UNE’s academic calendar also includes other teaching periods including:

  1. Year Long Periods – 2 trimesters in length teaching and a 2 week end-of trimester assessment and intensive period;
  2. Year Long Honours – 39 weeks teaching; and
  3. Blocks – 6 weeks teaching and a 1 week end-of trimester assessment and intensive period.

(6) Some courses and individual units (because of factors such as accreditation and placement requirements) adopt a different teaching structure within teaching periods or the academic year. These different teaching structures are approved through the course and unit approval process.

(7) Parallel academic calendars (e.g. the Joint Medical Program) are negotiated separately in accordance with the applicable agreements but approved through the approval process in Part B of this Policy.

Part B - Principal Dates

Key dates

(8) The Principal Dates shall include the following:

  1. Teaching Period start and end.
  2. Intensive School period start and end.
  3. Enrolment variation deadlines: must allow for what is considered academically reasonable for a late commencement to learning and for organisational stability.
  4. Census Dates: in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003, census dates must be no earlier than 20% of the way through the teaching period in which the unit is being undertaken. A student who is enrolled in a unit on the census date is deemed to be legally enrolled, and is liable for applicable fees and charges.
  5. Last date for withdrawal without academic penalty: dates will be set in accordance with the following:
    1. Trimester 1 and 2 units: first working day of week 10 of the trimester.
    2. Trimester 3 units: first working day of week 7 of the trimester.
    3. Year Long units: same day as the deadline for units in the second consecutive trimester.
    4. Year Long Honours units: for full time students, first working day of week 32 in the first year of candidature. For part-time students, first working day of week 32 in the second year of candidature (i.e. the second year long honours period).
    5. Block units: first working day of week 3 of the period.
  6. End-of-trimester assessment and intensive period start and end.
  7. Final date for release of unit results.
  8. Graduation ceremonies: Graduation ceremonies are normally held in April, August and December each year. Ceremonies for each faculty will be scheduled on alternate days from one year to the next.
  9. Orientation programs start and end.
  10. Open Day: will normally be the first Friday in May.
  11. NSW public holidays: where possible, teaching will not occur on NSW public holidays.

(9) Other dates may be added to the Principal Dates on application of the Executive Principal Education Futures (EP Ed Futures) and endorsement by Academic Board and approval by Council.

Development and approval

(10) Education Futures is responsible for development of the principal dates for each academic year. Where possible, principal dates for each academic year should be drafted and approved no later than twenty months before the commencement of that academic year.

(11) Once developed, draft dates for each year must be circulated to the following key stakeholders for twenty working days for comment:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (DVCR);
  3. Executive Principals;
  4. Deans;
  5. Heads of School;
  6. Director UNE International, Research Services, Residential System, UNE Life, Library Services;
  7. Members of Academic Board and Teaching and Learning Committee; and
  8. Secretary to Council.

(12) The final draft dates are submitted to Academic Board for endorsement and Council for approval. Once approved, Education Futures is responsible for the publication of the approved dates on the UNE website.

(13) UNE reserves the right to change a principal date (but not a statutory date) after it has been published. Any change should be made no later than the first day enrolments open for the relevant teaching period. Changes to principal dates must be endorsed by Academic Board and approved by Council.

(14) The Executive Principal Education Futures (EP Ed Futures) is authorised to make typographical corrections to the published dates.

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Education Futures
Responsible for the development and publication of the principal dates
Executive Principal Education Futures (EP Ed Futures)
Authorises typographical corrections to the published dates
Academic Board
Endorses final draft of the principal dates and any changes to the published dates
Council
Approves final draft of the principal dates and any changes to the published dates
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Section 2 - Authority and Compliance

Authority

(15) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (VC&CEO), consistent with the Vice-Chancellor Functions Rule, makes this Policy.

(16) The Executive Principal Education Futures (EP Ed Futures) is authorised to make procedures and processes for the effective implementation and operation of this Policy, and to publish as associated documents any tool that will assist with compliance.

(17) The Policy Administrator for this Policy is the Director Governance and University Secretary who is authorised to make minor administrative updates to this Policy.

Compliance

(18) UNE Representatives must observe this Policy. 

(19) This Policy operates as and from the Effective Date.

(20) Previous Policies on principal dates are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this Policy.

(21) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Policy, the VC&CEO may approve an exception to this Policy where the VC&CEO determines the application of this Policy would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the VC&CEO under this clause must:

  1. be documented in writing;
  2. state the reason for the exception; and
  3. be registered in the approved UNE electronic Records Management System in accordance with the Records Management Rule.