Education at UWA

Educational principles

Further Information 

Endorsed by Academic Council R125/09.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is committed to those educational values which imbue student learning at all levels, summarised within its Educational Principles.

The University seeks to nurture excellence, enable creativity and intellectual exploration, and promote effective citizenship among its students and graduates in the Australian community and beyond.

In pursuit of these values, and to support a distinctive UWA education, the University will promote among its students the ability and desire to promote the following actions:


To develop disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills through study and research-based enquiry, at internationally recognised levels of excellence

  • to think, reason and analyse logically and creatively
  • to question accepted wisdom and be open to innovation
  • to acquire the skills needed to embrace rapidly changing technologies


To further develop the skills required to learn, and to continue through life to learn, from a variety of sources and experiences

  • to develop attitudes which value learning
  • to acquire skills in information literacy


To develop personal, social, and ethical awareness in an international context

  • to acquire cultural literacy [1] 
  • to respect Indigenous knowledge, values and culture
  • to develop ethical approaches and mature judgement in practical and academic matters
  • to develop the capacity for effective citizenship, leadership and teamwork


To communicate clearly, effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts

  • to develop spoken and written English communication skills at high levels
  • to acquire skills in critical literacy and interpersonal communication



  1. The terms 'cultural competence' and 'cultural literacy' are often used interchangeably in the literature. Cultural competence has been defined as ‘a set of skills that allow individuals to increase their understanding of cultural differences within, among and between’ diverse cultural groups, marked by respect for such diversity. [Ana E. Nunez, ‘Transforming cultural competence into cross-cultural efficacy in women’s health education’, Academic Medicine, 2000, 75, 11, 1071-1080.] The term is most often used with reference to diversity based on nationality, race and ethnicity, although it has also been used with reference to difference based on gender and sexuality.

    The term 'cultural literacy' used within this document builds on such definitions of generalised ‘competence’. It denotes the further development of skills to enable students to engage effectively with cultural diversity in more specific scholarly and/or professional contexts, as appropriate to their major area of study.

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