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Web Governance Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy establishes the principles that guide practices around Macquarie University’s web presence, including any online information or service representing all or part of the University.

(2) The objectives of this Policy are to:

  1. enhance and protect the reputation of the University;
  2. ensure the University’s virtual presence embodies the culture, atmosphere and experience of the physical organisation;
  3. deliver a positive experience to those who use the University’s online resources;
  4. comply with relevant Federal and State legislation; and
  5. support the University’s strategy to incorporate information technology as an integral part of decision-making, competitive positioning and delivery of services.


(3) Macquarie University’s web presence is a virtual manifestation of the University as a place and as a community. The University’s web presence must embody the culture, atmosphere and experience of Macquarie.

(4) Macquarie University’s key web principles are to put our users first, remain consistent with our brand and ensure our digital presence is aligned with our strategic plan.

(5) The University has several websites that this Policy applies to, including:

Public Website

Purpose Audiences
Attract, inform and engage though usable and up-to-date content.
Communicate key information about the University to external audiences.
Show our strengths, our distinctiveness and our brand personality.
Enhance the reputation of the University.
future students (domestic and international)
industry partners
the media
external researchers
future staff

Student Website or Portal

Purpose Audiences
Provide accurate and relevant information for all students.
Provide quick pathways to commonly used online resources and tools, such as iLearn.
Nurture scholarship.
Exhibit the unique culture and personality of Macquarie University.
current students
international (including college and English language students)

Staff Website or portal

Purpose Audiences
Provide accurate and relevant information for all staff.
Provide quick pathways to the most important online resources and tools for each staff member.
Exhibit the unique culture and personality of Macquarie University.
current staff
agents, contractors and suppliers


(6) This Policy applies to all components of the University’s web presence and digital channels, including social media services and mobile applications, irrespective of whether resources are provided on campus or hosted externally.

(7) This Policy applies to all elements of the University and other organisations that are a part of, or owned, managed and staffed by the University, or run by funding awarded under the auspices of the University, irrespective of whether the content resides on University infrastructure or otherwise.

(8) This Policy sets out long-term principles. The associated Web Content Governance Standards will be regularly updated to provide information relevant to a rapidly changing environment.

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Section 2 - Policy

Multiple Audiences

(9) Content must be tailored appropriately for the target audience. For example, information for year 12 students must be appropriate for their level of learning.

(10) Generic content for multiple audiences is to be avoided as it is less effective than targeted content.

(11) If information is for more than one audience, its primary location will be on the website for that primary audience. The content may be linked to or appear in websites for other audiences without duplication. Campus maps are an example.

(12) When identifying a location for new web content, Content Owners must actively seek locations on the website that are visited by the target audience. User testing with a sample of the target audience is recommended to validate the placement of web content.

(13) The website must be easy to use or learn for anyone not already familiar with Macquarie University. This includes but is not limited to new students, new staff and external audiences.


(14) The University will maintain a high standard of communication through its web presence by managing the publishing, monitoring, maintenance and archiving of content and functionality in line with the Our Shared Identity Project brand principles, Macquarie University Web Content Governance Standards and the Macquarie University Style Guide and Brand Lexicon.

(15) The purpose of the University websites is to communicate effectively with specific audiences. This could be through written content, photos, video, social media feeds or a combination of these media. Content Owners have ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the content they publish.

(16) Special platforms are used for key types of University information. The following types of information will be hosted on the specified platform, not websites. Links to this information can be added to University websites.

Material Platform to host the information
Publications Macquarie University ResearchOnline
Teaching materials iLearn and iShare
University records TRUTH
Software and files that are not University records Cloudstore, Shared drive, Google drive
Collaborative spaces Wiki
Research materials IT to advise on a case-by-case basis

(17) Using the correct platform ensures an efficient approach, appropriate backup, security, organisation, management and discoverability of the information.

(18) Use of certain content types such as Flash and PDF on the website is discouraged. See the Web Content Governance Standards document for details.

Images, Graphics and Video

(19) Imagery that meets a high professional standard plays a critical role in creating a positive image of Macquarie University. All imagery used on the website should inspire our users and make a connection with the guiding principles of our digital engagement and reflect the strategic direction of the University.

(20) All digital imagery will comply with the Macquarie University brand guidelines.

(21) All digital imagery will comply with copyright.


(22) Content will be accurate and up-to-date, and archived as necessary.

(23) Content will be conveyed clearly and unambiguously in a tone appropriate to the audience and consistent with the image and reputation of the University.

(24) Content will be delivered in an appropriate format for its intended audience.

(25) Content of a confidential or sensitive nature will be restricted to the appropriate audience.

(26) Where practical, authoritative sources will provide the content for display as part of the web presence. Where authoritative sources exist outside the University’s web presence, links to these must be used rather than replicating the information.


(27) Where current industry standards exist, the Macquarie University web presence will comply in order to help maximise accessibility, sustainability, flexibility and maintainability.


(28) Best practice security will be applied to the Macquarie University web presence as described in the Cyber Security Policy and related documents.

(29) The default visibility for information on the public, staff and students websites will be publicly available. Visibility of specific information can be restricted upon request by raising a support ticket through the University support system.


(30) The University is morally and legally obliged to make information and services available to all web users, including those with disabilities or impairments, and will take a risk-based approach in working to meet or exceed Australian Government web standards.


(31) All contributors to the University’s web presence must comply with the laws of Australia.


(32) All entities contributing to the University’s web presence will reflect the University’s values and culture, convey the University’s brand, and be clearly identifiable as part of the University.

(33) Co-branded entities must refer to the brand council for guidance and obligations concerning adoption of the Macquarie University brand for their websites.


(34) The Web Steering Committee is responsible for the web presence of Macquarie University, including governance, brand, and strategic decisions.

(35) The Web Transition Taskforce is responsible for monitoring compliance, recommending changes and responding to questions and clarifications about interpretation and implementation of this Policy. Requests for exceptions and exemptions are to be directed to the Web Transition Taskforce in the first instance.

(36) Members of the University Executive are responsible for planning activities in alignment with the principles of this Policy, and ensuring that staff recruited into roles that work on the web presence can adhere to this Policy.

(37) Publishers of web content must maintain familiarity with current branding and web standards including maintaining currency and accuracy of content, complying with accessibility obligations, and writing content in a way that is appropriate for the target audience.

(38) The Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for brand guidelines for the University.

(39) The Chief Information and Digital Officer is responsible for determining the authoritative systems for specific types of information, and which technical standards must be followed to maintain acceptable service standards, manage legal liability or avoid damage to the reputation of the University.


(40) Web standards will be developed by the Web Transition Taskforce, and communicated to those affected. Web standards are documented in the Web Content Governance Standards.


(41) Violations of this or related policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines may result in suspension or loss of access, after consideration by the relevant delegated University authority. Additional sanctions may apply.

Monitoring, Reporting and Review

(42) The Chair of the Web Transformation Taskforce will report any significant issues or opportunities to the Web Steering Committee.

(43) This Policy will be reviewed by the Web Steering Committee every two years or as deemed appropriate based on changes in data and information, technology, or regulatory requirements.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(44) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(45) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(46) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Content means the information and experience conveyed to consumers over a digital channel such as text, documents, data, applications, images, audio and video.
  2. Content Owner means the person delegated the authority to create and maintain web content for a unit of the University.
  3. Publisher means the person who implements web content on behalf of a Content Owner. This may be the same person as the Content Owner.
  4. Social media means internet based applications that facilitate the creation, dissemination and exchange of user generated content. These social platforms are usually interactive enabling individuals and communities to share, co-create, discuss and modify content.
  5. Web presence means Macquarie University’s web presence which includes any online information or service representing all or part of Macquarie University including, but not limited to, websites, blogs, social networks, web-based applications, mobile applications and media.