14 October 1998

UQ streamlines academic dress colours

The University of Queensland has streamlined the number of colours to be used in its academic dress and adopted a new system based on level of award, according to Academic Dress Committee Chair Professor Cindy Gallois.

She said the new colours would represent the University well and had been chosen for their association with the University.

Professor Gallois, who is President of the Academic Board, said the University's present system of using colours to signify specific academic awards had originally been adopted in line with the long tradition of European universities.

"This tradition harks back to the Middle Ages," she said.

"In those days, and indeed until the second half of this century, most universities offered only a
small number of degrees - each of which could be readily matched to a distinctive dress style.

"The situation is different today."

Professor Gallois said the large number of degrees offered at the University - which had resulted in more than 100 variations in hood trim - meant that the University was literally running out of colours.

"In addition, there is no obvious way to link hood colour to the field of an award, to related awards, or to the level of the award," she said.

"In short, there is no longer a clear academic rationale for the present set of colours.

Professor Gallois said the Academic Dress Committee had decided to adopt a system of colours based on the level of award.

This would reflect the level and type of award in a simple way, encompass a manageable number of colours, suit any changes in degree structure or location, represent the University, and still contribute to a colourful and interesting graduation ceremony, she said.

For all existing degree awards, the only proposed change is in hood colour. Non-degree awards will be distinguished by a stole, along with a bachelors degree hood for postgraduate certificates and diplomas.

The new colours are white for all bachelors degrees, royal blue for masters, maroon for professional doctorates, scarlet for PhDs, and gold for higher doctorates.

For non-degree awards, the colours are white for undergraduate certificates, blue for diplomas and associate diplomas, maroon for postgraduate certificates and gold for postgraduate diplomas.

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