Higher Education Graduate Attributes Policy

Higher Education Graduate Attributes Policy

Policy Code: LT1228


This policy describes how Federation University Australia (FedUni) will embed its Graduate Attributes into its learning, teaching, assessment and program outcomes in higher education. FedUni is committed to supporting its students to develop a range of attributes that, upon successful completion of their program, will enable them to participate effectively in the workforce and contribute positively to the community in which they live.

They ensure our graduates are capable of contribution to society, are employment ready, and socially and ethically aware.

Graduate attributes:

  • are “qualities, skills and understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the institution. These attributes include, but go beyond, the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the core of most university courses. They are qualities that also prepare graduates as agents for social good in an unknown future.” Bowden, J. et. al. (2000). 'Generic Capabilities of ATN University Graduates'
  • provide students with an indication of the university and society's expectations; they should encourage and nurture a respect for lifelong learning and community engagement. These skills are also significant in preparation for employment.
  • provide academic staff with an overarching framework for discipline knowledge and skills that may be linked to particular professional or vocational outcomes. Reference to the attributes provides a holistic way of evaluating and discussing students' work and progress, as well as providing some guidance in curriculum development.
  • provide professional staff with strategic direction for shaping the delivery of services, programs and resources to contribute to the development of graduate attributes in students. Professional staff can work in collaboration with academic and other professionals foster the development of student graduate attributes.
  • provide the university with an opportunity to reinforce and demonstrate its values and mission.

FedUni's Graduate Attributes

Thinkers: Our graduates are curious, reflective and critical. Able to analyse the world in a way that generates valued insights, they are change makers seeking and creating new solutions.

Innovators: Our graduates have ideas and are able to realise their dreams. They think and act creatively to achieve and inspire positive change.

Citizens: Our graduates engage in socially and culturally appropriate ways to advance individual, community and global well-being. They are socially and environmentally aware, acting ethically, equitably and compassionately.

Communicators: Our graduates create, exchange, impart and convey information, ideas, and concepts effectively. They are respectful, inclusive and empathetic towards their audience, and express thoughts, feelings and information in ways that help others to understand.

Leaders: Our graduates display and promote positive behaviours, and aspire to make a difference. They act with integrity, are receptive to alternatives and foster sustainable and resilient practices.


This policy applies to all FedUni higher education staff and higher education students undertaking coursework and research programs.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Higher Education Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
  • The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act)


Term Definition
Graduate Attributes The University’s Graduate Attributes are as detailed in its Graduate Attributes Policy.
Learning Outcomes The knowledge and skills a student is expected to be able to demonstrate by the end of the course/program.
Course Description A thorough description of the expected course learning outcomes, assessments, due dates, marking guides and sequence details of a course. It must align with FedUni Course Description (CD) template.
Course Outline A brief description of the course including learning outcomes, content and assessment which is used as the basis for the Course Description.

Policy Statement

Principle Demonstrated by:
Encourage all graduates to develop the Graduate Attributes through explicit learning, teaching and assessing strategies and outcomes embedded in our programs. (At any given program level, the depth to which a graduate attribute may be developed will vary and within a program incremental development is encouraged)
  • Mapping Graduate Attributes across the whole program of study.
  • Explicitly including at least one of the Graduate Attributes in the Learning Outcomes.
  • Explicitly assessing Graduate Attributes at appropriate points within the program and ensuring this is reflected in the marking criteria for an assessment task.
  • Ensuring the Course Description and Course Outline refer specifically to the Graduate Attributes.
Monitor and report on the students’ acquisition of Graduate Attributes
  • Monitoring the development and acquisition of Graduate Attributes in Program Reviews
  • Monitoring at a School level, students’ acquisition of Graduate Attributes and reporting annually to Learning and Teaching Committee.
Promote awareness of Graduate Attributes among staff and students
  • At a minimum:
  • Publishing on FedUni website.
  • Including in orientation (for students) and induction (for staff).
  • Incorporating, as appropriate, in graduation ceremonies.
  • Publishing Graduate Attributes within the learning platform


Council (as the Approval Authority) isresponsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure/s

Chair, Academic Board (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Council.


The Graduate Attributes Policy will be communicated throughout the University community:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews (Staff and Students) website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. Distribution of e-mails to Deans / University staff; and/or
  3. Documentation distribution via Moodle pages and forums
  4. Notification to Schools


The Graduate Attributes Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website  (Staff and Students) and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. Staff induction sessions
  3. Training sessions