Graduate Attributes Policy

The University of Sydney revised its Graduate Attributes policy in 2004 based on research and consultation within the university and benchmarking similar initiatives at other leading international universities. The research provided a conceptual basis for the University's statement of graduate attributes. You can read about the framework of four levels of graduate attributes identified in the research and an overview of the University policy or read more detail in the research publications.

The University of Sydney policy specifies two levels of graduate attributes. There are three overarching graduate attributes - Scholarship, Lifelong Learning, and Global Citizenship - which reflect the research intensive nature of the University, its scholarly values in relation to research-led teaching, and the place of its graduates in a global society. These attributes are developed through students' participation as active members of the university community, through extra curricular activities as well as their formal studies.

These overarching attributes are built on our graduates' development of the next level of graduate attributes. The development of these attributes is explicitly focussed on in teaching and assessment in students' formal courses of study at the University. This second level of attributes is described as five clusters of more specific attributes;

1. Research & inquiry,
2. Communication,
3. Information Literacy,
4. Ethical social & professional understandings, and
5. Personal & intellectual autonomy.

The details of these attributes are interpreted and contextualised differently in different disciplinary domains. The individual faculty statements of graduate attributes are available here. These were ratified by faculties after consultation with staff, students, alumni, government groups, employers, accrediting bodies and professional associations.

The development of the University's graduate attributes is in turn supported by the development of generic foundation skills and abilities.