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Degrees and Other Awards Statute 2011

Category Statutes
Type Statute
Approved by   Approved by Council – 11 October 2011
Date Statute Took Effect 1 January 2012
Last Approved Revision 10 May 2016
Sponsor Registrar and Secretary to the Council
Responsible Officer
Review Date

Policy Content

1. Title

1.1. This is the Degrees and Other Awards Statute 2011.

2. Commencement

2.1. This Statute shall come into effect on 1 January 2012.

3. Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates

3.1. Degrees are conferred and diplomas are awarded by the Chancellor on behalf of the University Council at Graduation Ceremonies held for this purpose. In the absence of the Chancellor this function is undertaken by the Pro-Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor. A student’s entitlement to graduate in person and the ceremony at which that may take place is determined by the Registrar and Secretary to Council.

3.2. Degrees are conferred and diplomas are awarded in person or in absentia at Graduation Ceremonies normally within twelve months following completion of the requirements for the qualification concerned. A candidate undertaking a further qualification, or wishing to complete the requirements for a further major subject in a degree, may apply to the Director, Academic Services, for permission to defer having the qualification awarded.

3.3. Each candidate eligible for the award of a degree or diploma of the University shall receive a document bearing the University Seal and signatures of the Chancellor and the Registrar and Secretary to Council or, in the absence of either, the person acting, certifying that the degree has been conferred or the diploma awarded.

3.4. Candidates eligible for the award of a certificate shall receive a document bearing the University Seal and signature of the Registrar and Secretary to Council or, in the absence of that person, the person acting, certifying completion of the requirements for the qualification. Certificates will be awarded in absentia.

4. Scholarships and Prizes

4.1. The general provisions of this clause shall apply to all University of Otago scholarships and prizes. Other provisions are established by the conditions approved by the Senate and the Council in respect of individual scholarships and prizes.

4.2. University of Otago scholarships and prizes are awarded by the Senate on behalf of the Council. The Council may supplement the value of a scholarship or prize or may award a special scholarship or prize to a candidate of merit for whom no other scholarship or prize is available.

4.3. An application to be considered for a prize is needed only where that requirement is provided for in the conditions of that prize. Except where otherwise specified under the conditions of a prize, the award of prizes shall be made each year on the results of that year’s examinations in the subjects appropriate to the various prizes.

4.4. Applications for scholarships are required unless otherwise specified under the conditions of a particular scholarship.

4.5. Where there is no candidate of sufficient merit for a scholarship or prize no award will be made.

4.6. The Senate may suspend or terminate a scholarship if the attendance and progress of a scholar is unsatisfactory.

4.7. The values of the various scholarships and prizes are dependent upon the funds available.

4.8.  The Senate may delegate the powers afforded ito it under Clause 4 of this Statute.

5. Honorary Degrees

5.1. The University may confer the following honorary degrees:

(a) Doctor of Laws;
(b) Doctor of Science:
(c) Doctor of Literature;
(d) Doctor of Music;
(e) Doctor of Divinity;
(f) Doctor of Commerce.

5.2. Nominations for honorary degrees may be made confidentially to the Vice-Chancellor by four persons each of whom must be a member of the Council or of the Senate. Each nomination shall be accompanied by a statement of the nominee’s career and the grounds for the award of the degree.

5.3. Before a person may be admitted by the University to an honorary degree, both the Senate and the Council shall have approved the nomination.

6. Hocken Library Fellowships

6.1. The University may confer Hocken Library Fellowships on suitably deserving persons provided that the number of living holders of such fellowships at any one time shall not exceed 15.

6.2. Nominations for the Hocken Library Fellowship may be made confidentially in writing to the Vice-Chancellor by three persons, each of whom must be a member of the Council or the Senate. Each nomination shall be accompanied by a statement of the nominee’s career and the grounds for the award of the Fellowship in terms of criteria which may be issued by the University Council from time to time.

6.3. Nominations shall be referred to a Selection Committee comprising the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), the University Librarian and the Hocken Librarian. The committee shall have power to co-opt up to two additional members.

6.4. Before a Hocken Library Fellowship is conferred, both the Senate and the Council shall have approved the nomination.

7. University of Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service

7.1. The University may confer the University of Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service on any member of the University’s alumni in order to recognise meritorious service to the University in terms of criteria which may be issued by the University Council from time to time.

7.2. The number of living holders of the University of Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service at any one time shall not exceed 15.

7.3. Nominations for the Medal may be made confidentially in writing to the
Vice-Chancellor. Each nomination shall be accompanied by a statement of
the grounds for the award of the Medal by reference to the criteria established by this Statute.

7.4. Nominations shall be referred to the Standing Committee of the Council which, if it supports the nomination, shall refer the matter to the Council, the approval of which shall be required before a Medal is awarded.

8. University of Otago Distinguished Alumni Awards

8.1    The University may confer the University of Otago Distinguished Alumni Award on any member of the University’s alumni in order to recognise his or her exceptional and sustained contribution to a profession or to the physical, social, cultural, sporting, environmental or economic well-being of the national or international community. The Council may issue additional criteria for the making of the Award from time to time.

8.2     No more than five University of Otago Distinguished Alumni Awards shall be made in any year.

8.3     Nominations for the Award may be made confidentially in writing to the Vice-Chancellor.  Each nomination shall be accompanied by a statement of the grounds for the making of the Award by reference to the criteria established by and issued under this Statute.

8.4     Nominations shall be referred to the Standing Committee of the Council which, if it supports the nomination, shall refer the matter to the Council, the approval of which shall be required before an Award is made.

9. Cancellation of Degrees and Other Awards

9.1. The Vice-Chancellor may rescind any degree which has been conferred and any diploma or certificate which has been awarded (in each case under clause 3 of this Statute) if he or she is satisfied that the requirements for the qualification concerned were not fully met or were affected by Academic Misconduct. Any decision of the Vice-Chancellor under this provision may be appealed to the Appeals Board of the Council. Appeals are governed by the provisions of the Appeals Statute 2011 and are to be commenced by lodging a Notice of Appeal in accordance with the provisions of that Statute within ten working days of the communication to the student of the relevant decision.

9.2. The Council may rescind the grant of any of the awards of the kind covered by clauses 5 to 8 of this Statute if it is satisfied that the grant of the award was affected by error or that the conduct of the recipient of the award (whether before or after its grant) or other relevant considerations render it inappropriate for the award to continue to be held.

10. Repeal

10.1. The following Statutes and Regulations are repealed with effect from the commencement of this Statute:

(a) The Scholarships and Prizes Regulations Statute 1991, and the regulations made thereunder;

(b) The Conferment of Academic Awards Regulations Statute 1991, and the regulations made thereunder;

(c) The Honorary Degrees Regulations Statute 1991, and the regulations made thereunder;

(d) The Hocken Library Fellowships Regulations.

Note: This Statute was amended by resolution of the University Council on 12 March 2013 and 25 February 2014.