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Monash University Ethics Statement

Monash University Ethics Statement


Monash is a leading International university, with campuses in Australia and overseas. The members of the Monash community come from diverse backgrounds, religions, cultures and countries.

Today, universities are not only centres of knowledge, learning and research, but also complex communities in which people engage, live, compete, collaborate and face a variety of ethical challenges.

Monash University seeks to improve the human condition by advancing knowledge and fostering creativity. In achieving our goals, we acknowledge the rights and responsibilities we owe to each other, to Monash University, and to the environments in which Monash exists.

This Ethics Statement details the ethical values and principles that are expected of all staff and students as members of the Monash community. It is comprised of general principles which guide individuals in their decision-making. It should inspire us, and challenge us to identify, consider, discuss and resolve ethical questions.

Ethics Statement

Monash as a Place for People to Work and Study

  • Honesty, fairness, mutual respect and the responsible exercise of power are fundamental to the way we treat each other.
  • We value diversity and promote equality of opportunity. We are open to different perspectives and beliefs. We respect the inherent dignity and human rights of all individuals.
  • We acknowledge responsibility for our decisions and actions, as individuals and as an organisation.

Monash as a Learning, Teaching and Research Institution

  • Transparency, integrity and professionalism are fundamental to the University’s endeavours.
  • We value freedom of thought and of expression.
  • We acknowledge our responsibility to treat both humans and animals humanely and ethically.
  • We promote the empowerment of individuals through learning, and the empowerment of society through research.

Monash in Society

  • In advancing knowledge, we should strive to achieve social justice for all and to redress past wrongs.
  • We acknowledge our responsibility to promote, and to contribute to the achievement of, environmental sustainability.
  • We acknowledge responsibility in relation to the communities in which we operate.


Monash University recognises its obligation to assist staff and students to identify and resolve ethical issues and to build and maintain a sound ethical culture.

Monash University encourages all the members of its community to engage with ethical questions when they arise. We should each be conscious of the impacts of our decisions, and mindful of ethical considerations.

Many ethical questions will not be able to be simply resolved by deferring to authority or specific policy and procedure. We are a collegiate university, and where appropriate, ethical questions should be discussed with others.

The University acknowledges that many staff and students have concurrent allegiances to their profession, discipline, community, employers, and religious and cultural traditions.

This Ethics Statement underpins the University’s policies and procedures, which set out specific rules and standards of conduct expected from staff and students. It does not exclude or replace those policies or procedures, or applicable legal rights and obligations. So far as it is possible to do so consistently with their purpose, the University’s other documentary processes must be interpreted in a way that is compatible with the values and principles contained in this Statement.

Ethical Decision-Making: Things to Think About

Making the Decision

  • Does any specific policy/procedure apply?
  • What values are relevant from the Ethics Statement? What options are consistent with the Ethics Statement, and what options can you eliminate?
  • Discuss the issue with your performance development supervisor, head of unit and colleagues - what do they think?
  • Which of your personal values are relevant?
  • Whose interests are potentially affected? (Mine, other people’s, the University’s…)

Final Checks: Ask Yourself...

  • Is my decision consistent with the Ethics Statement?
  • How would I feel if someone did this to me?
  • Will this decision bring about a good result?
  • Would I be happy if my family knew what I am about to do?
  • How will taking this action affect my character, or the character of Monash University?
  • Would I be happy for this decision to be on the public record, or on the cover of a newspaper?
  • What would the University be like if everyone made decisions like this?

More information

Printable version

Ethics Statement Diagram

Ethics Statement Diagram