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University Council

University Council Minutes 4 October 2022

Last updated: 26 July 2023

Minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2022 at 3.15 pm in FW015, Fullwood House, Park Campus, Cheltenham.


In attendance:

C.22.102        Prayer
The Rt Revd Robert Springett opened the meeting with a prayer.

C.22.103        Welcome and Apologies

                     Received: apologies for absence from Ingrid Barker, Dr Andrew Misiura, Mehjabeen Patrick, Daniel Ramsay, Elonka Soros, Beth Timmons, and Peter Warry. Apologies for late arrival were received from Chris Fung and for early departure from the Rt Revd Robert Springett.

C.22.104        Business of the Agenda

                     Noted: that there had been no requests to unstar any items on the agenda and that therefore papers C/76/22 to C/83/22 would be approved or noted as stated.

C.22.105        Declarations of Interest

                     Noted: that no interests were declared.

C.22.106        Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2022   

                     Resolved: that the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting held on 28 June 2022.

C.22.107        Matters Arising (C/61/22)

                     Noted: the matters arising as outlined in the paper.

C.22.108        Chair’s Business

C.22.108.1     Received: updates from each of the Committee Chairs on key discussions held at the following  meetings:

  1. Council Chairs’ Group, 18 August and 7 September 2022;
  2. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 13 September 2022;
  3. Audit and Risk Committee, 16 September 2022;
  4. Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, 4 October 2022.

C.22.108.2     Noted: that since the last meeting, there had been no exercise of delegation nor any use of the Company Seal, but there had been one decision made via circulation. On 5 July 2022, Council members were sent a request via email to approve the recommended appointment of Dr Sarah Jones as the University’s new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Enhancement and Research). This was approved and it was noted that Dr Jones would be joining the University from 17 October 2022.


C.22.109        Students’ Union Update (C/62/22)

C.22.109.1     Received: an update from the Students’ Union (SU), including an overview of its Welcome and Induction activity from the start of the academic year and details of priority campaigns. Council Members were invited to review and respond to current work being undertaken by the SU, and to offer suggestions and support for ongoing activity throughout the year, noting that suggested actions could be found at the foot of each section. The following were highlighted:

  1. the increased activity seen on campus;
  2. the campaign focussed on the cost of student living, noting discussions with the Accommodation team around likely increases in private rents, work with the local foodbank (with some students already having to use the service), and the request for the University to be mindful of the situation when setting commercial targets;
  3. the continuing #NeverOK campaign with its focus moving towards educating students on helping to create safe environments both at the University and in the wider community;
  4. the campaign to improve international students’ access to their educational, social, and cultural experiences at the University, particularly in response to the marked increase in international recruitment in 2022;
  5. the introduction of the advice service supported by the Barnwood Trust.

C.22.109.2     Considered:

  1. the opportunity to work with the County, Cheltenham, and Gloucester Councils in the #NeverOK campaign;
  2. a request for Council Members to identify potential part time work opportunities that could be advertised through the Job Shop which would help students through the challenging economic environment;
  3. the work being done by the County Council to ensure people had access to advice to support them through the cost of living crisis and how that could be tailored for students (as well as an invitation to the SU to share details of the ‘Warm Places’ scheme being developed).

C.22.110        CONFIDENTIAL: Vice-Chancellor’s Report (C/63/22)

C.22.110.1     Received: a paper updating Council on major developments affecting the University since the previous meeting, highlighting in particular:

  1. the recent release of the Condition B3 dataset from the Office for Students (OfS) which defined the minimum performance standards for completion and graduate employment;
  2. the release of the Teaching Excellence Framework dashboard that would be considered in preparation for the University’s submission in the spring of 2023;
  3. the restructure of the School of Sport and Exercise which had been merged with the School of Natural and Social Sciences as of 19 September 2022;
  4. the outcomes of recently published league tables, noting how the National Student Survey results had impacted the University’s position;
  5. the update on pay and industrial relations;
  6. the development of a new business plan for the Growth Hub once European Union funding finished, noting opportunities to raise income through in-house delivery of the ‘Help to Grow’ programme, subscription schemes, short courses, and grant applications. It was suggested that an update could be presented to Council and that Steve Mawson would have to declare an interest for that item due to his role on the Local Enterprise Partnership.

C.22.110.2     This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.22.110.3     Noted: the developments reported in the paper.

C.22.111        CONFIDENTIAL: Update of Growth Plan (C/64/22)

                      This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.112        CONFIDENTIAL: Growth Ambition Scenario Planning (C/65/22)

                      This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.113        CONFIDENTIAL: Strategy Delivery Plan – 21/22 End of Year and 22/23 Milestones (C/66/22)

                      This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.114        CONFIDENTIAL: Review of 2022/23 entry and plans for Recruitment and Marketing in the Next Cycle (C/67/22)

                      This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.115        CONFIDENTIAL: 2021/22 Draft Financials (C/68/22)

                     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.116        CONFIDENTIAL: 2022/23 Budget Confirmation (C/69/22)

                     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.117        CONFIDENTIAL: NSS Results and Intervention (C/70/22)

                     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.118        Graduate Outcomes (C/71/22)

C.22.118.1     Received: a paper outlining how success in Graduate Outcomes was defined, the University’s current performance compared with competitor institutions, and plans to improve results.

C.22.118.2     Considered:

  1. the plans and uptake for the Job Shop, noting in particular demand from international students;
  2. the development of a professional mentor scheme, allowing students to connect with different voices, including alumni of the University. Council Members were encouraged to participate and to share details of their professional networks;
  3. the progress made since the arrival of the Director (Student Employability).

C.22.118.3     Noted: the update on Graduate Outcomes and the plans in place to continue to make further improvements to the University’s performance.

C.22.119        Risk Management Report (C/72/22)

C.22.119.1     Received: the updated Risk Register and Action Plan following the annual risk workshop held in August 2022.

C.22.119.2     Considered:

  1. the need to ensure that the impact of the cost of living crisis was reflected in risks related to both staff and students;
  2. the importance of the biennial staff engagement survey as part of Risk 7 (“Failure to offer effective leadership causes poor morale, low productivity, and loss of key staff as well as difficulties in recruiting new staff”).

C.22.119.3     Resolved: Council considered and approved the Risk Register and Action Plan for 2022/23 on the recommendation of Audit and Risk Committee.

C.22.120        Prevent – Council Delegation of Authority (C/73/22)

C.22.120.1     Noted: that guidance from the Office for Students had changed so that the annual accountability and data return for the Prevent Duty could be signed off by the ‘Governing body or an individual who has received delegated authority from the governing body’.

C.22.120.2     Resolved: Council delegated authority to the Vice-Chancellor to sign off the annual Prevent accountability and data return for 2022, and for each year after that whilst guidance from the Office for Students allowed. It was noted that the return would still be presented to Council as a starred item for information.

C.22.121        CONFIDENTIAL: Council Membership (C/74/22)

                     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.122        Updated Code of Conduct (C/75/22)

C.22.122.1     Received: proposals from Governance and Nominations Committee for revisions to the current Code of Conduct for Members of Council. It was noted that changes mostly reflected wording in the Articles of Association and were intended to clarify the obligations and responsibilities of Members.

C.22.122.2     Resolved: on the recommendation of Governance and Nominations Committee, Council approved the updated Code of Conduct. It was noted that, once approved, all Council Members would be asked to sign the new Code.

C.22.123        Education Strategy* (C/76/22)

                     Resolved: Council approved the Education Strategy.

C.22.124        People Strategy* (C/77/22)

                     Resolved: Council approved the People Strategy.

C.22.125        Marketing and Communications Strategy* (C/78/22)

                     Resolved: Council approved the Marketing and Communications Strategy.

C.22.126        OfS Regulation Compliance: committee terms of reference* (C/79/22)

                     Resolved: Council approved inclusion of the following line in the terms of reference for Audit and  Risk Committee and Finance and General Purposes Committee to reflect their oversight of the Office for Students’ (OfS) regulatory requirements: ‘To ensure compliance with any regulatory requirements for registration with the Office for Students which fall within the remit of the Committee.’. Council noted the inclusion of the line in the terms of reference for other committees.

C.22.127        Review of Register of Council Members’ Interests* (C/80/22)

                     Noted: the declarations of interest received from Council’s members for 2022/23.

C.22.128        CONFIDENTIAL: City Campus Property Progress Report* (C/81/22)

                     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.129        Internal Audit Plan 2022/23* (C/82/22)

                     Noted: the internal audit plan for 2022/23 as approved by Audit and Risk Committee.

C.22.130        Council Schedule of Business* (C/83/22)

                     Noted: the Schedule of Business.

C.22.131        Minutes from Council Committees*

                     Noted: that the minutes from the following meetings would be available from

  1. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 13 September 2022;
  2. Audit and Risk Committee, 16 September 2022.

C.22.132        Any Other Business


  1. Dr Andrew Misiura and Dan Ramsay (although they would be continuing as Members until 26 November 2022). Council thanked them both for their work and support;
  2. upcoming events at the University, including a workshop for staff being led by Elonka Soros entitled ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ on 12 October 2022, and the new Chancellor’s inauguration on 17 October 2022.

C.22.133        Date of Next Meeting

                     Tuesday, 29 November 2022 at 9.15 am (via Teams)

C.22.134        RESERVED BUSINESS: Report from Remuneration and Human Resources Committee.

                     This item was discussed under Reserved Business.

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