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Terms of reference for Council

The University Council has decided formally to adopt the Higher Education Code of Governance (2014) and has agreed the following Statement of Primary Responsibilities in line with the Code.

  1. To approve the mission, strategic vision, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators of the University.
  2. To ensure that processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the University against the plans and approved key performance indicators, which should be benchmarked against other comparable institutions.
  3. To ensure that an effective framework is in place to manage the quality of the student academic experience and for the maintenance of standards.
  4. To delegate authority to the Vice-Chancellor as head of the University and to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures and limits within which such authority is exercised.
  5. To ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment.
  6. To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the governing body itself, with a formal review at least once every five years.
  7. To conduct its business in accordance with best practice in HE corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
  8. To safeguard the reputation and values of the University.
  9. To appoint the Vice-Chancellor (in consultation with the Senate), put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance and set appropriate remuneration (through the Remuneration Committee).
  10. To appoint a Secretary to the governing body and to ensure that, if the person appointed has managerial responsibilities in the University, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability.
  11. To be the accountable  financial and business authority of the University, to ensure that proper accounts are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate.
  12. To ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the University’s legal obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the University’s name.
  13. To receive assurance that adequate provision has been made for the general welfare of students.
  14. To ensure that any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift made to the University is used to support its work.
  15. To ensure that the University’s constitution is followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.

Delegation of responsibilities

While Council determines some matters itself, many matters are delegated to individuals and groups in order that suitable proposals may be brought forward.

The key principle is that the delegation of authority should be:

  • to a statutory committee when there is a legal or due process requirement;
  • to Senate and the Vice-Chancellor as its Chair for academic matters (for example course details, examining procedures, awarding degrees, etc);
  • to the Vice-Chancellor, the University Executive Board (The Board) or individual officers when it is an executive matter, in accordance with the agreed Scheme of Delegation.

In addition to the above responsibilities, the Council also has a number of powers and functions as set out in Statute 11 of the Charter and Statutes

University Council Chair

Who to contact


Council Pre-meeting events

  • Tuesday 29 November 2022, 15:30-18:30
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023, 15:30-18:30
  • Wednesday 17 May 2023, 15:30-18:30
  • Monday 24 July 2023, 15:30-18:30

Council Dinners

  • Tuesday 29 November 2022, 18:30-21:30
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023, 18:30-21:30
  • Wednesday 17 May 2023, 18:30-21:30

All Council meetings will take place in room RCH/103, Ron Cooke Hub unless otherwise specified

  • Wednesday 30 November 2022, 09:30-13:30
  • Wednesday 1 March 2023 09:30-13:30
  • Thursday 18 May 2023, 09:30-13:30
  • Monday 24 July 2023, 09:30-13:30

Council Away Day - Friday 7 October 2022 - The Lakehouse, Ron Cooke Hub


Council Pre-meeting events

  • Tuesday 28 November 2023, 15:30-18:30
  • Tuesday 27 February 2024, 15:30-18:30

Council Dinners

  • Tuesday 28 November 2023, 18:30-21:30
  • Tuesday 27 February 2024, 18:30-21:30

All Council meetings will take place in room RCH/103, Ron Cooke Hub unless otherwise specified

  • Wednesday 29 November 2023, 09:30-13:30
  • Wednesday 28 February 2024, 09:30-13:30

Council Away Day - Friday 6 October 2023 - Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building