The Council is the supreme governing body of the University.

Responsibilities of the Council

The Council's responsibilities include: 

  • the oversight of the management and administration of the revenue and property of the University
  • the oversight of the conduct of the affairs of the University
  • the appointment of lay officers, including its Chair and the Chancellor, and lay members of the Council
  •  making and amending of the University’s Statutes (subject to the Privy Council’s approval) and Ordinances   

Principal Committees

The Council’s principal committees include:

  • Audit Committee
  • Ethics Committee
  • Finance and Resources Committee
  • Honorary Degrees Committee
  • Lay Nominations Committee 
  • People Committee
  • Remuneration Committee

Council comprises 25 members. The majority of its membership is comprised of 16 lay members, other members include staff and student representatives. The Council holds five meetings per year. To see profiles of our Council members visit our profile page

The Secretariat

The Secretariat supports the work of:

  • the University's Court
  • the University's Council
  • the Sub-Committees of Council
  • the Senate

Key responsibilities of the Secretariat include:

  • ensuring the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances are adhered to and updated appropriately by liaising with Council on any necessary changes
  • providing Council with authoritative guidance about its responsibilities under the Royal Charter, Statutes, Articles, Ordinances and regulations to which it is subject, including legislation and the requirements of the Regulator
  • ensuring new or revised responsibilities for the Council (e.g. arising from new legislation) are drawn to the Council’s attention
  • pro-actively bringing developments in good governance practice to the attention of the Council
  • ensuring Council receives overviews of relevant current policy issues in Higher Education

Guidance on papers and reports for Council and Sub-Committees

Agenda Items  

Requests for items or papers to be added to Council or Sub-Committee agendas, must be made at least three weeks before the date of the meeting. Requests may be by email to


Papers for Council and Sub-Committees must include a one-page cover-sheet that provides an instant overview of content. The cover-sheet should comprise a brief summary of the paper in 1-2 paragraphs (the Executive Summary), the recommended actions and, where relevant, the risks and resource implications. When drafting the summary you should draw out the key points and main issues/risks as sharply as possible in order to focus and guide the discussion at the meeting. The reader must be able to grasp the gist of the paper and the decision required from the cover-sheet.
The template for a cover-sheet is available here.

Submission of Papers
Papers must be submitted to the Secretariat at least 8 days before the date of the meeting with a completed cover sheet. Submission may be made by email to

Oral presentation of reports at meetings
If you are required to attend a Council meeting, please bear in mind you will have an allocated timeslot to present your paper. You should keep any framing/introductory comments to a minimum to allow as much as time as possible for discussion. You should outline the key issues to help the meeting make informed, risk-aware decisions and assume that the members have read the paper in advance.  

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