Statement of Primary Responsibilities of Council

The University Charter establishes Council as the Governing Body of the University, subject to other terms of the Charter and the Statutes, and specific responsibilities.

Council has responsibilities for:

  1. general control over the University and all its affairs, purposes and functions.
  2. the management and administration of the revenue and property of the University.
  3. the custody and use of the Common Seal of the University.

The Council has identified a number of primary responsibilities arising from these general duties under the Charter:

Planning and Monitoring

  1. To approve the mission and strategic vision of the University, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders.
  2. To ensure 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, where possible and appropriate, benchmarked against other comparable institutions.
  3. To ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to monitor and evaluate the student academic experience and maintain the quality and standards of academic awards.

Financial, Legal and Risk

  1. To approve the annual budget and financial statements, to ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest.
  2. To be the principal financial and business authority of the University, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, and to have overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate.
  3. To be the institution’s legal authority and, as such, to ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the institution’s legal and regulatory obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the institution’s name.
  4. To ensure that the University has appropriate procedures for the management of risk and to oversee the operation of these procedures. 


  1. To be the employing authority for all staff in the University and to be responsible for establishing a human resources strategy.
  2. To appoint the Vice-Chancellor as chief executive and principal Academic and Administrative Officer of the University, in accordance with paragraph 7 of the Charter, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance. 

Governance Arrangements

  1. To appoint the Secretary to Council, and to ensure that, if they have managerial responsibilities in the University, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability.
  2. To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of Council itself.
  3. To conduct its business in accordance with best practice in higher education corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
  4. To ensure that the University’s Charter, Statutes and Ordinances are followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.
  5. In accordance with paragraph 19 of the Charter, to consider any recommendations from Senate on matters with academic implications and to refer the same to Senate for consideration where the Senate has not previously been consulted.
  6. To delegate authority to the Vice-Chancellor for the appointment of University nominees to the boards of public bodies, limited companies and other institutions.


  1. To safeguard the good name and values of the University.
  2. To make such provision as it thinks fit for the general welfare of students, in consultation with Senate.
  3. To promote equality, diversity and inclusivity throughout the University, including in relation to its own operation.
  4. To ensure that appropriate provision is made for the preservation of health, safety and environmental standards.


Updated July 2019.