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University Council

University Council Minutes 5 October 2021

Last updated: 17 October 2022

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2021 at 3.15 pm in TC216, Oxstalls Campus, Gloucester.

Ingrid Barker
Paul Crichard A
Nicola de Iongh (Chair)
Chris Fung
Steve Gardiner
Aimee Jones
Stephen Marston
Steve Mawson
Stephen Maycock
Dr Andrew Misiura
Mehjabeen Patrick
Daniel Ramsay (until C.21.111)
Dr Adeela Shafi (from C.21.108)
Pamela Sissons
Elonka Soros A
David Soutter
The Rt Revd Robert Springett
Asha Sutton
Julie Walkling
Dr Peter Warry A

Board Apprentices:
Julia Hopkins

In attendance:

Professor David James Dean (Academic Development)
Professor Jackie Labbe Deputy Vice-Chancellor
James Seymour (for C.21.108) Director (Communications, Marketing and Student Recruitment)
Camille Stallard Chief Financial Officer
Dr Nigel Wichall (for C.21.112) Director (Estates)
Dr Matthew Andrews (Officer) University Secretary and Registrar
Penny Gravestock (Minutes) Assistant Secretary to Council

C.21.101        Prayer
The Rt Revd Robert Springett opened the meeting with a prayer.

C.21.102        Welcome and Apologies


Received: apologies for absence from Paul Crichard, Elonka Soros, and Dr Peter Warry. Apologies for late arrival were received from Dr Adeela Shafi, and for early departure from Daniel Ramsay.


Noted: that Dr Andrew Misiura, Mehjabeen Patrick, Daniel Ramsay, and David Soutter would be attending the meeting via Microsoft Teams.

C.21.103        Business of the Agenda

Noted: that there had been no requests to unstar any items on the agenda and that therefore it would be assumed that papers C/81/21 – C/82/21 had been noted as stated. It was also noted that item C.21.108 would be taken after C.21.110.

C.21.104        Declarations of Interest

Noted: that there were no declarations of interest.

C.21.105        Minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2021   

Resolved: the minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting held on 29 June 2021.

C.21.106        Matters Arising

Noted: that there were no matters for report.

C.21.107        Chair’s Business (there was no paper C/69/21)


Received and noted: a verbal report from the Chair. Members were reminded to return their forms as part of the annual review process which had been started.


Received: updates from each of the Committee Chairs on key discussions held at recent meetings:

  1. Governance and Nominations Committee, 10 September 2021;
  2. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 14 September 2021;
  3. Audit and Risk Committee, 17 September 2021;
  4. Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, 5 October 2021.


Noted: that since the last meeting, there had been no decisions made by circulation nor any exercise of delegation. There had been one use of the Company Seal on 16 September 2021 for an underlease by part between the University, and Hartpury University to sublet Block B at Ermin Hall, Gloucester, and in parallel to secure agreement from the current landlord, Greenacre, for their consent to the arrangement.

C.21.108        CONFIDENTIAL: Communications, Marketing and Student Recruitment Update (C/70/21)

This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.21.109        Students’ Union Update and Operational Plan 2021/22 (C/71/21)


Received: the Students’ Union (SU) update. The Student Members introduced themselves and highlighted the following items from the report:

  1. the success of the recent Welcome Week, noting in particular that the Welcome Fair (with 120 stalls) had attracted a large number of students;
  2. the work underway to support students feeling safe, particularly where there was a lack of understanding of how the night-time economy worked;
  3. the review of onsite bars and funding, noting the recent work at Oxstalls and Francis Close Hall;
  4. the update on the decision to stop offering advice to students as Officers felt it was outside of their skillset, particularly for professionally accredited courses. It was reported that there had been some requests for advice and that students were being pointed to the Helpzones and online information, but it was felt that there was a need for an independent advice service. Potential sources for funding were being investigated but there was a need to show that continued financial support would be available.


Considered: different initiatives to keep students safe, noting the availability of a free bus from Pittville to the clubs in town, and plans to make arrangements for regular patrols in the area.


Noted: what the SU had been working on, particularly understanding some of the concerns raised.         

C.21.110        CONFIDENTIAL: Vice-Chancellor’s Report (C/72/21)


Received and noted: a paper updating Council on major developments affecting the University since the previous meeting. It was noted that a Covid update (C/72a/21) had been circulated separately. The following points were highlighted:

  1. the return of students to campus and the ongoing work to encourage safe working. It was noted that there were still concerns amongst some staff and students but that government guidelines were being monitored;
  2. the University’s position in the recently-published Guardian and Times League Tables;
  3. the outcomes of the recent Ofsted inspection;
  4. sector policy developments, including the change of the Secretary of State, and latest speculations regarding funding models. It was noted that the Vice-Chancellor would arrange a policy briefing for Council when the situation was clearer.

C.21.110.2     This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.21.111        CONFIDENTIAL: CONFIDENTIAL 2020/21 Draft Financials & 2021/22 Budget (C/73/21)

                     This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.21.112        CONFIDENTIAL: Ambition Plan Project Update (C/74/21)

                     This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.21.113        National Student Survey Results, Analysis and Planned Intervention (C/75/21)

Received and noted: the National Student Survey 2021 Report, noting in particular the intervention that was underway.

C.21.114        Risk Management Report: Revised Risk Register and Action Plan for 2021/22 (C/76/21)


Received: the Risk Register and Action Plan that had been updated for 2021/22 following the annual risk workshop.


Resolved: Council considered and approved the Risk Register and Action Plan for 2021/22 on the recommendation of Audit and Risk Committee.

C.21.115        CONFIDENTIAL: Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor: Appointments Process (C/77/21)

                     This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.21.116        Board Culture at the University of Gloucestershire: Revised proposal for Council workshops (C/78/21)


Received: a report proposing a revised approach to facilitate discussions concerning Council’s culture and values following the unsuccessful attempt to hold a series of workshops in the summer.


Resolved: Council accepted the proposed revised approach to the discussion of culture and values on the recommendation of Governance and Nominations Committee.

C.21.117        Council Member Competencies: Competencies Approach for Assessing Council Member Skills (C/79/21)


Noted: that the Advance HE governance review had suggested that the present list of Council Members ‘skills’ should be reassessed to encompass desired ‘competencies’. The University Secretary and Registrar presented a paper endorsed by Governance and Nominations Committee recommending the use of a revised self-assessment tool to identify skills and experiences, and that the Director Competency Framework from the Institute of Directors (IoD) should be used to assess competencies more thoroughly. It was noted that the University would wish to increase reference to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.


Resolved: on the recommendation of Governance and Nominations Committee, Council approved:

  1. the continued use of a revised self-assessment tool to capture professional skills and experiences;
  2. the adoption of the Director Competency Framework developed by the IoD, with some additional and explicit reference to equality, diversity, and inclusion;
  3. that the University Secretary and Registrar work with the IoD to develop an assessment tool for Council Members to gauge the extent to which they match the competencies.

C.21.118        CONFIDENTIAL: Council Membership: Update on membership of Council and Sub-Committees (C/80/21)

                     This item was discussed under Confidential Business.

C.21.119        Internal Audit Plan 2021/22* (C/81/21)

Noted: the internal audit plan for 2021/22 as approved by Audit and Risk Committee.

C.21.120        Council Schedule of Business* (C/82/21)

Noted: the Schedule of Business.

C.21.121        Minutes from Council Committees*

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

  1. Governance and Nominations Committee, 10 September 2021;
  2. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 14 September 2021;
  3. Audit and Risk Committee, 17 September 2021.

C.21.122        Any Other Business

Noted: that no other business had been raised.

C.21.123        Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 25 November 2021 at 9.15 am via Microsoft Teams.

C.21.124        RESERVED BUSINESS: Report from Remuneration and Human Resources Committee

This item was discussed under Reserved Business.

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