The Council is "the supreme governing body of the University" and its responsibilities include "the oversight of the management and administration of the revenue and property of the University" and "oversight of the conduct of the affairs of the University "*. The Council is also responsible for the appointment of lay officers, including its Chair and the Chancellor, and lay members of the Council and external auditors and for the making and amending of the University’s Statutes (subject to the Privy Council’s approval) and Ordinances. The Council’s principal committees include the Finance and Resources Committee, Audit Committee, Lay Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Council comprises 25 members. The majority of its membership is of lay members (16); other members include staff and student representatives. The Council holds five meetings per year.

* Extract from Section 8 of the University’s Charter.

To access the Council SharePoint site for Agendas, Papers and Minutes please click on the button below:


The Council Secretariat

The Council Secretariat supports the work of:

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

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;
  • to be pro-active in all issues around good governance and bring developments in good practice to the attention of the Council;
  • ensuring Council receives overviews of relevant current policy issues in Higher Education regulation;

 Terms of Reference

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 the content. The cover-sheet should comprise a brief summary of the paper in 1-2 paragraphs (possibly 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 from the cover-sheet.
The template for a cover-sheet is available here.
Submission of Papers
Papers must be submitted to the Council Secretariat at least 8 days before the date of the meeting with a completed cover sheet. Submission may be 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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Last Updated: 10/11/2021