Statement of Primary Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the University Court, as the governing body of the University, are:


To be satisfied that appropriate mechanisms are in place:

1. to administer and manage all of the revenue and property of the University and to exercise general control over its affairs, purposes and functions, taking all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the institution;

2. to safeguard the good name and values of the University and to ensure that the institution is responsive to the interests of its stakeholders, including students, staff, graduates, the local community and funding bodies;

3. to make provision, in consultation with the Senate, for the general welfare of students;

4. to ensure, in conjunction with Senate, the quality of the Institution’s educational provision;

5. to ensure the solvency of the University and to safeguard its assets ;

6. to ensure compliance with the University's Statutes, Ordinances, Resolutions and other rules and regulations of the University, as well as national and international law where applicable;

7. to appoint the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, including the terms and conditions attaching to the appointment, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his or her performance;

8. to appoint a Secretary of Court and to ensure that with regard to his or her managerial responsibilities in the University, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability;

Strategic Planning

9. to approve the mission of the University and its strategic plans, setting out its aims and objectives in teaching and research, and identifying the financial, physical and staffing requirements for their achievement; approve a financial strategy, long-term business plans and annual budgets; approve an estates strategy for the management and development of the University's estate and buildings in support of institutional objectives; approve a human resources strategy and to ensure that reward arrangements for its employees are appropriate to the needs of the University; monitor the University's performance against approved plans and key performance indicators;

Exercise of Controls make clear and to review regularly the executive authority and other powers delegated to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, to other senior officers and to other bodies of the University including the Senate and Committees of Court, such authority and powers to be set out in a Schedule of Delegated Authorities; ensure the proper use of public funds awarded to the University, observance of the terms of the Financial Memorandum between the University and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and compliance with the University’s Outcome Agreement with the SFC; establish and monitor effective systems of internal control and accountability throughout the University; oversee the University's arrangements for internal and external audit and to approve the University's annual financial statements; ensure that arrangements are in place for the proper management of health and safety in respect of students, staff and other persons affected by University operations;

19. 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.

Effectiveness and Transparency ensure, through the appointment of co-opted lay persons in accordance with the Statutes, and through liaison with the University’s General Council with regard to its Assessors, a balance of skills and experience amongst the membership of the Court sufficient to meet its primary responsibilities; ensure that the proceedings of the Court are conducted 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; ensure that procedures are in place in the University for dealing with internal grievances, whistleblowing, conflicts of interest and public interest disclosure; monitor its own performance and that of its Committees, with a formal evaluation of effectiveness undertaken not less than every five years.

January 2018