The general definition of the term 'Convocation' is a "gathering together for a large formal assembly". When applied in the context of a university, it refers to those members of the university community who 'when gathered together in a formal meeting' are entitled to have input into aspects of the governance of the university such as voting for members of the governing body or reviewing major decisions, such as changes to statutes.
Why does Convocation make UWA different? Because Convocation is an integral part of the University, it means that all graduates are regarded as equally important a part of the University, as the staff and students. This means that UWA considers the support we supply to graduates are as important as the services we supply to students.
The University of Western Australia needs a strong and vibrant graduate community. Convocation works to:
- Enhance the reputation of the University
- Maintain a long-standing commitment to undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards
- Encourage good governance of the University through the election of members of Convocation to the University Senate and the Council of Convocation
- Bring graduates together in a range of activities, including reunions
- Invite influential speakers to address Ordinary Meetings of Convocation in March and September annually
When the UWA Act was drafted in 1911, it created the Guild to represent the interests of students, and created Convocation to represent the interests of graduates. However, while members of the Guild are only students, membership of Convocation (in accordance with its historical precedents) encompasses all the senior members of the University community who are entitled to form the electorate for the university. Today membership of Convocation comprises:
- All graduates of the University
- All recipients of Honorary Doctorates
- All senior academic staff of the University
- All members and past members of the UWA Senate
- Nominated representatives of commercial, industrial, scientific, professional or educational associations
- Graduates of other universities admitted to be members by Convocation
- Persons who have rendered services or made gifts to the University