About the University Council
The Council is the University's supreme governing body. The membership of the Council always consists of a permanent majority of 'lay' members, who are neither staff nor students of the University. Council's quoracy rules require the lay members to be in the majority at all meetings of Council.
Council is responsible for taking all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the institution, including the University's academic mission and strategic direction. It is responsible for ensuring that the systems, structures, procedures and rules for the running of the University are fit for purpose, that the University is being managed effectively, and that its legal obligations are being met. Council is NOT, however, responsible for the day-to-day management and delivery of the University's activities.
In their governor role as 'critical friends' of the University, members of Council are expected to ask probing, searching questions in relation to the above matters and to satisfy themselves that the responses are sound, confident and consistent. In support of this role members of Council also serve on a wide range of key University committees.
With regard to the University's charitable status, all members of Council hold the position of a charity trustee. This means that, under the law, each individual member is personally responsible for taking decisions or actions that are solely in the best interests of the University's charitable objectives, and for no other reason. All members are therefore subject to the University's comprehensive policy for the registration and declaration of members' interests.
- Corporate Governance Code of Practice (PDF, 366kb)
- Statement of Primary Responsibilities (PDF, 184kb)
- Role description for Lay Member of Council (PDF, 653kb)
- Role description for Staff/Student Member of Council (PDF, 158kb)
- Standing Orders (PDF, 211kb)
- Schedule of Delegation (PDF, 458kb)
- Fit and proper persons declaration form (PDF, 191kb)
- 2017 Effectiveness Review of Council (PDF, 1.4MB)
- Agreed Responses to the 2017 Effectiveness Review (PDF, 395kb)
Meetings of Council
Council normally holds five Ordinary meetings in each academic year - in September, November, March, May and July. Extra meetings, away days and development events may be organised from time to time, as required.