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University Council

Statement of primary responsibilities

Last updated: 4 July 2023

Council statement of primary responsibilities (as of June 2023)


The principal responsibilities of the Council of the University of Gloucestershire are set out in this Statement of Primary Responsibilities. Article 13 of the Articles of Association, which forms the constitution of the University, stipulates that the ‘affairs of the University shall be conducted by the Council who may exercise all such powers of the University as are not by the [Companies] Act or by these Articles required to be exercised by the University in General Meeting’. The Council has also agreed a detailed Scheme of Delegation whereby it has given authority for certain areas of its responsibilities to other individuals or groups within the University. Any delegated authority is in line with the Articles of Association, in which certain powers are reserved exclusively for the Council specifically those stated in Article 14 as the following.

Statement of Primary Responsibilities

1. To set and agree the mission, strategy, vision, and values of the University with the Executive.

2. To agree long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders, especially staff, students, and alumni.

3. To ensure that processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the University against the strategy, plans, and approved key performance indicators, which should be, where possible and appropriate, benchmarked against other comparable institutions.

4. To delegate authority to the Vice-Chancellor for the academic, corporate, financial, estate, and humna resource management of the University, and to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures, and limits within such management functions as shall be undertaken by and under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor.

5. To ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls, risk assessment, value for money arrangements, and procedures for handling internal grievances and managing conflicts of interest.

6. To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Council itself as the governing body of the University.

7. 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.

8. To safeguard the good name and values of the University.

9. To appoint the Vice-Chancellor, as chief executive, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring their performance.

10. To appoint the Secretary to Council 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 appoint other senior staff as described in the Articles of Association.

12. To be the employing authority for staff in the University, and to have oversight of any staff employed in associated subsidiary companies, and to be accountable for ensuring that an appropriate human resources strategy is established.

13. To be the principal financial and business authority of the University, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall accountability for the University’s assets, property, and estate.

14. To be the University’s legal authority and, as such, 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. This includes accountability for health, safety, and security, and for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

15. To ensure that processes are established to maintain the University’s legal and regulatory compliance, including satisfying the conditions of registration of the Office for Students.

16. To receive assurance that adequate provision has been made for the general welfare of students, in consultation with the Academic Board.

17. To act as trustee for any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift in support of the work and welfare of the University.

18. To ensure that the University’s Articles of Association are followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.

19. To promote a culture which supports equity, inclusivity, and diversity across the University.

20. To maintain and protect the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech legislation.

21. To ensure that all students and staff have opportunities to engage with the governance and management of the University.

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