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Awards Regulations - Conferral of Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure covers the eligibility for, and granting of, Victoria University Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards for higher education (HE), Vocational Education and Training (VET) and research students. 

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Section 2 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: 1.5 Qualifications and Certification

(3) Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (Cth)

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies in the event that a student has been prevented from completing their studies, or has completed studies but not yet graduated, due to an incapacitating illness, missing status, injury or death.

(5) As per ASQA regulations, VET students are eligible for Posthumous awards but not eligible for Aegrotat awards.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Posthumous and aegrotat awards are defined in Part 2 and 3 of the Awards Regulations 2018.

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(7) Awards Regulations 2018.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibility
College responsible for the coordination of the course . Initiate the process for consideration of the award. 
. Seek endorsement from Executive Dean.
. Coordinate communication with the family, meet and assist the family on the day of graduation ceremony.
Research Student Supervisor for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidate . Initiate the process for consideration of the award.
. Seek endorsement from Dean, Graduate Research.
Dean . Endorse, or otherwise, the granting of  posthumous or aegrotat awards.
Awards and Graduations . Review submission.
. Prepare memo to be sent to Director, Student Administration for referral.
. Inform Events Services Team and Integrity Office of awards.
Manager, Exams, Results and Graduation . Review and recommend students for posthumous awards or aegrotat awards to the Chief Student Officer.
Chief Student Officer . Approves, or otherwise, recommendation for posthumous awards or aegrotat awards.
Events Services . Arrange inclusion of posthumous/aegrotat awards in graduation ceremony.
. Brief family on ceremony arrangements and assist with stage proceedings.

Part B - Procedures

(8) The responsible Executive Dean of the college, or Dean of Graduate Research for HDR students will recommend the conferral of a posthumous award where the student has completed all the requirements for the degree but has passed away before the degree was conferred.

(9) The responsible Executive Dean of the college, or Dean of Graduate Research for HDR students, will recommend the conferral of an aegrotat award where the student is deceased or has sustained a permanent incapacitating injury or illness that precludes the completion of an award course and:

  1. had satisfactorily completed at least half of the course leading to the award in question;
  2. had been enrolled at VU for at least one academic year in total, or at least half the length of their course where enrolled in course of one year’s duration;
  3. received results whilst studying at VU (or, in the case of a research degree, the candidate has made satisfactory progress) that would lead to the reasonable conclusion that the student would have successfully completed the course and qualified for the award in question.

(10) In both cases, it should be confirmed that the conferral of an award will not cause offense or undue distress to the relatives of the deceased, the incapacitated student or to others within VU or the community.

(11) The responsible college will submit a letter to request the granting of aegrotat or posthumous award and Application for Graduation to Awards and Graduations.

(12) Awards and Graduations will review the submission to determine if it meets the criteria in the Awards Regulations 2018 and has the endorsement of the Executive Dean.

  1. Where a student has completed all course requirements and passes away after conferral the relevant college will liaise with the family to arrange attendance at the ceremony to receive the award on the student’s behalf. 

(13) Awards and Graduations will prepare a memo to be sent to the Manager, Exams, Results and Graduation with a recommendation to grant an aegrotat or posthumous award. The Manager, Exams, Results and Graduation forwards the request to the Chief Student Officer with a recommendation that it be approved.

(14) The Chief Student Officer approves, or otherwise, the award.

(15) The relatives of the deceased student should be invited to receive the award either In Absentia or as a presentation at the appropriate graduation ceremony. In the case of an aegrotat award to a living person, the student should be invited to participate as fully as practicable in the appropriate graduation.

(16) Posthumous and aegrotat awards should be conferred at the next conferral round after approval, or – if possible – at the point in time when the student might otherwise have expected to graduate, providing this is within two years of the death of the student. This provides for the sharing of the experience of grief and support between surviving relatives, friends and peers.

(17) In the case of the missing students, the Deceased Student or Missing Person Arrangements Procedure should be referred to, with individual cases being assessed by the Director, Student Administration.