The purpose of this Charter is to specify the guiding principles for independent student advocacy at the University of New England.
Aims and Objectives.
All students at the University of New England have rights and responsibilities in regard to the quality of their education and how they treat and are treated by the University and other students. This Charter is to ensure that the students’ views and needs can be heard, respected and acted on.
Advocacy & Welfare will ensure the independent provision of information, advocacy and referral services for all students enrolled at UNE across a range of academic, procedural and administrative issues. These include, but are not limited to, issues relating to equity, discrimination, harassment, grievances, complaints, disputes, exclusion, discipline, misconduct, supervision and unsatisfactory progress. Our advocates are not counsellors, lawyers, accountants or real estate agents yet will refer students to these specialist services if required. This charter does not restrain a party from complying with any legal obligations that they have.
Advocacy & Welfare will:
Not charge students for access to advocacy services
Act in the best interests of students they represent
Be non-judgmental and respectful of student’s needs, views and experiences
Be independent of the UNE decision makers and other staff who administer the UNE academic and procedural rules and regulations
Act honestly and with reason, based on the facts and having regard to the University’s statutes, regulations, policies and procedures
Ensure that students are aware of relevant information and issues affecting a matter
Be guided by the principles of fairness and equity
Avoid potential or actual conflicts of interest in carrying out their duties.
Observe strict confidentiality and privacy of student information. Advocates will only disclose information to third parties with the student’s authorisation. If an Advocate holds a reasonable apprehension that a student is at serious risk of harming him or herself or a danger to others, then the matter will be disclosed to the relevant authority without any prior warning to the student. Files or relevant paperwork will be kept in the office of the Advocate concerned. Email communications are accessed by password. All electronic data is retained on a sealed queue within the SRM that can only be accessed by the relevant Advocate.
Uphold their duties and responsibilities as outlined by this Charter and the relevant legislation and policies
Have in place systems for monitoring performance and continuous improvement
Ensure their contact details are up to date and communicated to students and all relevant sections of the University
Welcome feedback, including complaints. There is a transparent process for receiving and addressing complaints that contribute to continuous improvement.
Students will have the responsibility to:
Decide whether to act on advice provided by the advocates on a particular matter
Check that any statements that have been made with the assistance of the Advocates are an accurate reflection of the student’s situation and if not will be amended by the student accordingly
Provide/disclose all information that is relevant to the matter(s) they are being assisted with, honestly and in a reasonable manner
Be individually responsible for all their verbal and written communications, including any which Advocates have assisted them with
Undertake all actions as agreed with the Advocates, such as attending appointments with University staff or specialist services after referral.
UNE Life Student HQ
Northern Ring Road
UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND NSW 2351
The University of New England respects and acknowledges that its people, programs and facilities are built on land, and surrounded by a sense of belonging, both ancient and contemporary, of the world’s oldest living culture. In doing so, UNE values and respects Indigenous knowledge systems as a vital part of the knowledge capital of Australia.