Terms of reference

Charter, paragraph 11

  1. There shall be a Council of the University (in this Our Charter called “the Council”) which shall, subject to this Our Charter and the Statutes, be the Governing Body of the University.
  2. The Council shall have the custody and use of the Common Seal.
  3. The Council shall be responsible for the management and administration of the revenue and property of the University and, except as may otherwise be provided in this Our Charter, shall have general control over the University and all its affairs, purposes and functions and shall have all such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by the Statutes or Ordinances.

Statute XIII, paragraphs 2 and 3

  1. Subject to the Charter and these Statutes, the Council shall exercise the University’s powers and be responsible 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.
  2. In addition to all other powers vested in it, the Council shall have the powers set out in Ordinance VIII (The Council).

Ordinance VIII, paragraphs 8 and 9

  1. Subject to the Charter and the Statutes, the Council shall have the following Primary Responsibilities: 
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.


  1. Subject to the Charter, the Statutes and this Ordinance, the Council shall, in addition to all other powers vested in it, have the following powers:
    1. To appoint a Chair, Deputy-Chair and Secretary.
    2. To co-opt members of the Council as provided for under this Ordinance.
    3. To appoint the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellors (including the Senior Pro-Chancellor) and Honorary Treasurer.
    4. To appoint the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Deans.
    5. To make, amend or repeal Statutes and Ordinances in accordance with paragraphs 16 and of the Charter and with this Ordinance.
    6. To be the employing authority of all staff in the University.
    7. On the recommendation of the Senate, to establish, modify and dissolve the academic organisational structures of the University and to prescribe or revise their constitution and functions.
    8. To determine, after considering any recommendations of the Senate, all University fees.
    9. To confer, on the recommendation of the Senate, the title of Emeritus Professor or Honorary Professor, Reader, Lecturer or Fellow.
    10. To approve the award of honorary degrees and University medals.
    11. To govern, manage and regulate the business and financial affairs of the University including without limitation:
      1. To appoint bankers and any other officers, advisors or agents.
      2. To invest any moneys belonging to or held by the University subject to such legislation or regulation that may, from time to time, be in force.
      3. To borrow money on behalf of the University and for that purpose, if the Council think fit, to mortgage or charge all or any part of the property of the University, whether real or personal, and to give such other security as the Council shall think fit.
    12. To sell, buy, exchange, lease and accept leases of real and personal property on behalf of the University.
    13. To provide the buildings, premises, furniture and apparatus, and other means needed for carrying on the work of the University.
    14. To provide and license Halls of Residence, lodgings, apartments, and other places of residence, whether or not maintained by the University and upon and subject to such terms and conditions as the Council shall think fit.
    15. To enter into, vary and cancel contracts on behalf of the University.
    16. To make provision for schemes of insurance, superannuation, pensions or retirement benefits for members of the University staff.
    17. To regulate the discipline of students at the University, on the advice of Senate.
    18. To take such steps as it thinks proper for regulating associations of Students, on the advice of Senate and in accordance with relevant legislation.
    19. To select a Seal, Arms and a Mace for the University and to have the sole custody and use of the Seal.
    20. Generally, to exercise all such powers as are or may be conferred on the Council by the Charter and these Statutes, including the power to make Regulations in the exercise of all the powers expressly set out in this Ordinance and of all other powers vested in the Council.