Ethical Framework


Universities are committed to the discovery and transmission of knowledge, wisdom and learning for the betterment of society. With the capacity to address humankind’s greatest challenges, universities advance
on the basis of merit in an environment of common endeavour and mutual respect.

As occasional ‘critics of society’ universities are bound to draw on evidence and reason. Members of a university are obliged to do the same – with a professional responsibility to look beyond self-interest and personal conviction in order to build and sustain their institution’s capacity to realise its distinctive purpose, values and principles.


To this end, the UON Ethical Framework is to guide and support decision-making at all levels. It is intended to be a ‘compass’ for navigating the University’s complex ethical landscape; not a ‘check list’, or ‘recipe’ for
making decisions.

When making decisions on behalf of the University, the ‘standard for judgement’ lies in this Ethical Framework rather than the personal beliefs of any individual. The Framework must be read and applied as a whole – as no single element has priority over another.

The Framework will not eliminate ambiguity – values and principles will compete from time to time. Thus, decision making requires the need for the exercise of judgement rather than ‘mere compliance’.

Download the framework in full here.

UON draft ethical framework

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.