In accordance with the requirements of Section 94 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 ('the FOI Act'), this Information Statement is provided by The University of Western Australia (UWA) in its commitment to uphold the objectives of the FOI Act as an open, transparent and accountable government agency.
The purpose of this Information Statement is to provide the public, a reference and overview of the information maintained at the University and the options available to access this information.
In our commitment to make information accessible, this Information Statement is available on the University's website.
UWA was established by The University of Western Australia Act, 1911 as Western Australia's first University. It was the first free University in the British Empire, actively promoting equal access to tertiary education for all social classes. Today, UWA is ranked amongst the best Australian Research-Lead Universities with enrolments exceeding 25,000 students across 23 Schools.
Our website provides more information about the History of the University.
The University's Mission, Vision and Values are defined in the UWA2030 Strategy. The University's mission is:
'To provide world-class education, research and community engagement for the advancement of the prosperity and welfare of our communities'.
Creating the next generation of global leaders through experience-rich education and world-leading, trustworthy research.
The core values underpinning our activities are:
We consistently pursue the highest levels of achievement, creating the best outcomes possible.
We are honest and ethical and show respect for, and appreciate, each other, our partners and our communities valuing our differences.
We are constantly, and creatively, improving and adapting.
We share our collective intelligence to achieve more.
We are committed to providing everyone at UWA equality of opportunity, experience and outcome.
In 2019 the University launched its UWA2030 Vision and Strategic Plan 2020-25. The UWA 2030 vision defines the University's strategic objectives across the pillars of Education, Research and Innovation, and Global Partnerships and Engagement; enabled by Sustainable Environments, People and Culture, and Effective and Sustainable Operations plans.
The University of Western Australia Act 1911 provides the legislative machinery for administering the University; it establishes the Governing Body (the Senate), which is empowered to have the entire control and management of the affairs of the University. The University is responsible to the State Minister for Education for the proper conduct of its business under State Legislation. Also, due to funding invested by the Commonwealth as a public University, it is accountable to Commonwealth Minister for Education for the delivery of its teaching and research programs, and for the provision of adequate infrastructure to support those programs.
In addition to the UWA Act, there are over 100 items of legislation that affect the operational structure of the University which includes Acts, By-Laws, Regulations, Rules and Statutes. Specific information on these are found under the University Governance Website, the UWA Handbook and the University's Recordkeeping Plan 2018 (available on request).
The University's governance structure is made up of the following:
- University Committees
- The Executive (Officers of the University)
The Senate is the University's governing body, empowered with the authority under the University of Western Australia Act 1911 that gives the Senate powers to act in the interests of the University through the making of statutes, regulations and by-laws, and through the management of income and expenditure. It provides powers of delegation for the Senate, so that day-to-day management of the University can be delegated to officers employed by the University.
Senate's key activities are:
- Setting strategic directions;
- Oversight, audit and review of proper governance processes to ensure proper systems of control, accountability and risk management
- Assessment and monitoring of performance against targets and benchmarks, including financial performance
- Making and Amending of University Legislation
The Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor are elected by Senate in accordance with provisions of The University of Western Australia Act 1911 and the procedures set out in the Standing Orders of Senate. The Chancellor is the chair of the Senate. The Pro-Chancellor acts in the Chancellor's absence. Both positions of Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor are honorary.
The Senate consists of 17 members, either elected, appointed or co-opted.
The University has a number of Committees and Boards which cover all aspects of the University's operations including academic and professional governance. Committees operate in an advisory or decision making capacity, to oversee University roles and functions and support effective decision making. The roles and responsibilities of each committee are defined in its constitution.
Standing Committees of the Senate
The following University Committees are standing committees of the Senate that make recommendations to the Senate on relevant matters:
- Audit and Risk Committee
- The Chancellors Committee
- The Strategic Resources Committee
- The Honorary Degrees Committee
- Senate Nominations Committee
- Investment Committee
The Senate appoints the Vice-Chancellor and works in partnership with the incumbent in this role to maximise the University's capacity and performance and to ensure its fiscal viability. The University's Executive Team advise and report to the Vice-Chancellor on all matters related to their relative portfolio of responsibility and consist of Executive Deans, Academics and Professional Staff Members. A full listing of the UWA Management Structure and current Executive Team is available on the University's Website.
The Executive Team represent the following University Functions:
- Global Partnerships
- Professional Services
On the 19th October 2020, The University Senate approved a Proposal for Change from the Vice-Chancellor to improve efficiency and effectiveness of University decision making by streamlining management structures and empowering Academic Schools with greater financial responsibility and accountability. As a result, the previous Faculty management structure (as positioned in the UWA Statute Chapter 7) was disestablished and replaced with a College of Schools structure to support the University's guiding principles.
Each of the Academic Schools report to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or direct through to the Vice-Chancellor) facilitating direct input into strategic decision making and giving Academic Schools increased autonomy and agility. These changes came into effect from the 7 January 2021.
Convocation is the University entity that represents the graduates of the University. It was created in the University of Western Australia Act 1911 as an integral part of the University to establish an electorate of those eligible to vote in elections for positions on the Senate and the Council of Convocation and to review proposed changes to UWA Statutes.
Graduates of UWA and members and past members of the University's Senate are automatically members of Convocation. Also included in its membership are persons specifically admitted by the Council of Convocation or the Senate under the provisions of the University of Western Australia Act and Statutes, including academic staff of the University, representatives of commercial, industrial, scientific, professional or educational bodies, and those who have rendered services or made gifts to the University.
Many committees at the University include public participation for the formation and performance of its functions.
The Senate membership in particular has the majority of its standing members not UWA staff or students, but members of the public who represent industry, professions and other tertiary institutions. This ensures there is public participation in decision making at the highest level for the University.
The University promotes public participation in a vast number of research studies and forums which effectively determines the direction taken by stakeholders. These include numerous committees and associations, such as:
- Convocation - The UWA Graduates Association
- The UWA Student Guild
- Community Partnerships and Programmes
Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) continue to support the University's overall income diversification strategies by facilitating the generous philanthropy of private and public sector groups and individuals who continued to provide significant endowments, bequests and other gifts to further the work of the University.
The University recognises that to build strong community relationships it must continue to demonstrate the value that it brings to society. In that regard, throughout the year many hundreds of academic and professional staff presented comment through various media to support informed debate on important community issues.
Under the University's Policy Framework, establishment of new or updated University Policies are often distributed to staff and students for open consultation before they are approved by the relevant authority and published on the University's Policy Library.
The University generates a vast collection of documents (as defined in the FOI Act) which are created, received, managed, retained and disposed of in accordance with the University's Information Privacy, Protection and Retention Policies, the University's Recordkeeping Plan 2018, and the State Records Act (WA), 2000.
Examples of the types of documents managed by the University are outlined in the Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority (WAUSDA) which include the following key functions:
- Collection Management
- Community Relations
- Equipment & Stores
- External Relations
- Facilities Management
- Financial Management
- Industrial Relations
- Information Management
- Legal Services
- Occupational Safety & Health
- Staff Development
- Strategic Management
- Student Administration
- Student Services
- Teaching and Learning
- Technology & Telecommunications
University Information Management Systems
University information is managed in various information systems and repositories across the campus, including the University Website. The Information Governance team is responsible for declaring a University Information Management System as a System of Record (SoR) and registering of these. An SoR is a system that has been identified as the source of truth for a specified type (set or subset) of University Records.
A vital SoR is the University's official Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) referred to as `TRIM' (or HPE Content Manager) and it contains over 4 million University Records. TRIM is managed by the Records, Archives & Digitisation Services (RADS) Unit operating under the University Library.
All documents received, created, managed and retained by the University must be sentenced and disposed of in accordance with an approved Disposal Authority. Approximately 10% of University Records will be archival (preserved indefinitely). These records are deemed to possess continuing administrative, evidential or research value to the University and form part of the cultural resources of the State. The University's Archives are managed by the University Archivist operating under the University Library.
Regardless of a documents format or the repository for which it is stored, all documents managed by the University are subject to discovery through the FOI Act.
Access to University documentation is governed in accordance with the University's Information Policies on Privacy, Protection and Retention.
The University embraces the principle of `openness and transparency' and seeks to provide access to records where possible. The University aims to make information available promptly, at the least possible cost and where possible, documents will be provided outside of the FOI process. Therefore, a formal application under the FOI Act is only required if you encounter difficulties in obtaining access to documents you seek from the relevant University department.
Please contact the relevant department for the documents you seek in the first instance.
Documents publicly available
Some documents are freely available to the public and more information is available on the University Website. These include digital versions of the following:
- The University Annual Reports - The official report on University operations, statistical profile, financial statements and performance indicators;
- University Calendar - a compilation of semester and meeting dates, and University and public holidays
- UWA Handbook - outlines the rules and details of courses, majors, honours specialisations and units offered by the University
- University Course Guides - provide course overviews and information for future students
- University Policy Library - Official University Policies
- Research Expertise - showcases the research areas and contact details of University researchers through an online search facility
- University Archives - The University facilitates public access through a reference services and administers public access to University archives in accordance with the State Records Act, 2000
- University Rankings - showcases University rankings
- World Rankings - showcases dashboards of University World rankings
- Scholarship and Prize Conditions - information on current Scholarships and Prizes including conditions
- UWA News - showcases latest news, media statements and events for the University
- Social Platforms - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all showcase a University Profile.
Note: A charge may be required for the above documents if you require a hardcopy. Please contact the relevant department.
The University Libraries provide students, staff and the general community with access to a wide number of library services. The Library's online OneSearch allows searching remotely. Please refer to the specific library for opening hours and borrowing arrangements.
Non-members are welcome to use the free library services offered, which include:
- Browse and read books, journals and newspapers
- Access the Library catalogue
If you wish to borrow material from the Library, you may apply to register as a Community Member. To find out more about these memberships contact the University Library.
University Archives & Special Collections
The University Library also manages the University's Archives and Special Collections. Examples of material managed by the University Archives include:
- Campus Building Records including original maps and plans
- Central Administration Files from 1913 to Current Date
- Convocation Records
- Early UWA Financial Records
- Examination Registers, Including The Public Examinations Board
- Festival of Perth, Adult Education Board and Extension Records
- Microfilm of Student Files Pre and Post 1963
- Minutes of Major and some Minor University Committees unless deemed Restricted
- Oral History Collection Featuring Interviews with Prominent University Figures
- Papers of Both Prominent Academic and UWA Staff
- Legacy Personnel (Staff) Files
- Photograph Collection
- Personal Papers
- Records from Schools and Individual Departments
Please contact the University Archivist for more information about accessing material held in the University Archives.
Documents available at inspection
Some documents may be provided to you for inspection with the appropriate authority. This includes access to your Staff or Student file. For other types of documentation, contact the relevant department for the documents you seek.
If you would like to access your University Student File, you can request access through the Director, Student Life as approval must be provided.
Access to any information about you which may include information relating to others, information provided by a third party or information not captured in your Student File (i.e. disciplinary matters, academic performance, the award of a scholarship/prize etc) first contact the relevant department for the documents you seek. Where necessary or under certain circumstances you may be required to make an FOI Application.
University Staff members may view their own official personnel file by submitting a formal written request to Human Resources. No material may be removed from the file, but permission may be granted by the Director, Human Resources or nominee for material to be copied.
Personal Information about you
For access to personal information the University holds about you, you should contact the department that holds the information. If this information is incorrect, or needs to be updated, you will be able change it. Depending on the type of change, this can be done online through the StudentConnect Portal or by application at Student Central. At times, the University may require requests for personal information to be made in accordance with the FOI Act.
You may request access to, or correction of, Personal Information we hold about you, unless providing you with access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or would contravene the University's other legislative obligations.
Documents available at cost
The following types of documents can be made available to you at a cost. Contact the relevant department for access to these documents:
- Your Statement of Academic Record (Academic Transcript) Paper Document
- Your Statement of Qualification Paper Document
- Your Letter of Enrolment Paper Document
- Your Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) or Testamur. Paper Document
- Photographs: University Archivist
- Copies of UWA Thesis
- UWA Publishing - Collection of books and scholarly series
Where information cannot be provided to you outside of the FOI process, the FOI Act provides individuals the right to apply for access to documents held by the University.
The FOI Act provides the public with the means to participate more effectively in governing the State (which includes the University), and to make the persons and bodies that are responsible for managing the University more accountable to the public. It also provides the avenue for the public to amend personal information held about you.
FOI Applications are received, processed and decided by the Information Governance Team, operating under the Governance Directorate at the University.
Information about FOI, the process on how it is managed at the University and how to make an application is available on our dedicated Freedom of Information Website. All enquiries about FOI including submissions of FOI Applications are to be directed to:
Manager, Information Governance
Information Governance M461
The University of Western Australia
Perth WA 6009
(08) 6488 1706 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday.