Student Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a new brand?
Similar to other organisations, the University constantly evaluates its brand and position in the market. It is important that our brand and positioning stay relevant to our local and global communities. The University is seeking to affirm its place in Western Sydney and the world. This new identity better reflects the University's role in the community, growing international reach, and reputation as a student-centred and research-led university.
What is the aim of the new brand?
The new brand aims to enhance our strategic positioning as a leading institution in Western Sydney and internationally. The repositioning of the University aligns with our aspirational view of our students, staff and Western Sydney. It also better reflects the University's current and future direction.
Does the new brand align with the University's values?
Yes, the core values of the University remain the same. The new brand gives these values increased visibility to our internal and external audiences.
What has changed?
The University's name is now Western Sydney University. There are also changes to the University's logo, website URL and colour palette. These brand changes reflect the more fundamental repositioning of the University that is already underway.
Why "Western Sydney University"?
The University is proud to be part of Western Sydney, the geographic heart of Sydney and Australia's fastest growing region. We embrace our role in leading and contributing to the development and success of Western Sydney. The re-sequencing of our name reflects this commitment to the region by putting Western Sydney first.
How will students benefit?
The initiative will raise the profile of our University, students and graduates both nationally and globally. Investment will also be made in improving the digital experience of students and delivering targeted career services.
How much is the investment?
Over a three-year period, the investment will be comparable with other universities and will represent just over 1% of the University's total operating budget. The majority of the investment the University is making over the next three years is aimed at enhancing the experience of students through improving our digital presence, and delivering targeted career services and development programs.
Is the investment justified?
Like any organisation, the University must invest in brand development and marketing activity in order to operate successfully and achieve its goals. Higher education is becoming increasingly competitive both nationally and globally, and investment in marketing is essential. It is expected that the rebranding program will bring benefits to students and the region.
Was Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) funding used?
No, SSAF funds are spent according to the 19 allowable uses of the fee specified by legislation and the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines. You can find out more about the use of the fee and the new and improved services and amenities provided by the fee on the SSAF priorities website.
What is the rationale behind the new logo?
The new logo elevates Western Sydney, reflecting a strong sense of place, and the University's pride in its region. The simple shield design and the use of two different typefaces achieve a balance between academic gravitas and modernity. The shield forms the platform for a typographic 'W' which has a curved base to reference the landscape and the setting sun in the west. The use of deep red as the primary colour reflects the values of boldness, determination and confidence, and a strong connection to the land.
Is the tagline 'Bringing Knowledge to Life' still being used?
There is no official tagline to accompany the new logo. The new logo and visual identity uses "Western Sydney University" as a strong and standalone message.
Were students consulted?
Yes, extensive research has been conducted over the past three years to identify market and stakeholder perceptions of the University's brand and positioning. While it was not possible to consult with everyone, this consultation involved groups of students as well as parents, alumni, staff, and members of the community. A number of current students and Alumni are also featured in the media campaign and the new material.
Why didn't you spend the money on student services and facilities?
Over a three-year period, the investment in marketing will be comparable with other universities and will represent just over 1% of the University's total operating budget. The majority of the investment the University is making over the next three years is aimed at enhancing the experience of students. This will include improving our digital presence, and delivering targeted career services and development programs. The University is committed to ongoing investment in teaching, research and student services and facilities as a top priority.
Why did you choose red?
The use of deep red as the primary colour represents the University's brand values, including boldness, determination and confidence, and a connection to the land. It also aligns with the history of the University and the warm tones of red and orange used in the original Hawkesbury Agriculture and UWS Nepean logos.
Is the University copying Harvard University?
No, we are not copying Harvard or any other university. A number of universities use a shield image as part of their logo to represent academia. However, the new logo is uniquely ours – it uses a simple shield design and two different typefaces to convey both academic gravitas and modernity. This reflects both the excellence of our teaching and research and the boldness of our young University. Washington State University has been cited as having the same acronym, but equally UWS shared an acronym with University of West Scotland. The University is moving toward a more social description of the brand as 'Western Sydney U' or 'Western' rather than an acronym.
Are we calling ourselves WSU?
The formal University name is Western Sydney University. The University will be moving toward a more social description of the brand as 'Western Sydney U' or 'Western' rather than an acronym.
Will all the street and railway signs be changed?
Yes, the relevant bodies have been informed and public signs will be changed over time to reflect the University's new name.
What is our new website URL?
The new URL is www.westernsydney.edu.au. This was changed automatically on 30 August 2015. A series of redirects are in place to allow old 'uws.edu.au' URLs to remap to the new 'westernsydney.edu.au' URLs.
Will the website be further updated?
The website was updated to reflect the new visual identity on 30 August. However, there will be progressive updates and further investment in the University's website and the broader digital experience over the next three years to support the positioning and brand.
Impact on students
Will my student email address change?
Yes, but not straight away. Students will receive a new email address which will reflect the new University name in time for Autumn Session 2016.
Will I still be able to access old emails?
Yes, you will continue to have access to all of your current emails. You will also continue to receive all emails addressed to your UWS email address (this will be ongoing, so if someone sends an email to your old UWS address a year from now, you will still receive it).
Is my parking permit still valid?
Yes, your parking permit is still valid. Parking permits for 2016 will carry the new logo and will be available for purchase as per the normal procedure.
Do I need to get a new student ID card?
Your student ID card will still be valid until its expiry date, so there's no need to get a replacement before that date. From 2016, student ID cards will have the new logo so if your card expires during 2016, then your new card will have the new name and logo.
Am I expected to purchase new placement uniforms?
Students who have existing placement uniforms are not expected to purchase new uniforms. However, students who choose to replace their existing uniforms will be able to purchase uniforms designed using the new brand at a discounted price.
Is the name of vUWS changing?
We will not be changing the name of vUWS in 2015.
How does this affect my access to online systems?
Your University login and access for all our online systems remain the same and are not affected by the rebrand.
What will be on my transcript and testamur at graduation?
The change in brand will gradually roll out over the remainder of 2015. If you are graduating in 2015, your testamur will carry the name 'University of Western Sydney' and the blue book and bird logo.
Into 2016 academic documents will change to reflect our new brand, so students graduating from 2016 onwards will receive official documents in the new design.
Can I request a testamur with the new logo?
Students graduating from 2016 onwards will receive official documents in the new design. Previous graduates who need to have their documents replaced due the originals being irretrievably lost, stolen or damaged, will receive replacement documentation in the new design (charge applies).
The testamur is a legal document imprinted with the Academic Seal of the University confirming that the student has completed the degree named on the testamur, and is issued once. The status of the document is not affected by the rebranding of the Institution – it retains its status as proof that the award has been officially conferred by the University.
What if I am completing a double degree?
If you graduated from the first part of your double degree prior to 2016 and will graduate from the second part of your double degree in 2016, you can send in your original 2015 testamur and you will be issued with a matching, newly branded replacement testamur. A replacement testamur fee will apply. Please note that the new replacement testamur will include the wording "Replacement….issued….(dated)".
When was the last rebranding?
The University was last rebranded in 2002 when the blue 'book and bird' logo and the tagline "Bringing knowledge to life" were developed. Since then, there have been significant changes within the higher education sector, the University and Greater Western Sydney.
When was the new brand approved?
The University's Board of Trustees endorsed the new University brand in June 2015.
How long will the new brand last?
The new brand is designed for longevity, and it is expected to be in use well into the future.