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Primary elements, core values and guiding principles

Regulation 141 of the Articles provides that the Corporate and Academic Governance Framework shall comply with: (i) the six primary elements of higher education governance, as set out in the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) ‘The Higher Education Code of Governance’, that embody the core values of higher education governance[1]; and (ii) the Office for Students Regulatory Framework, Notices and Advice[2].

The six primary elements of the CUC ‘The Higher Education Code of Governance’ are as follows:

  • Primary Element 1: Accountability

The Board of Directors is collectively responsible and accountable for institutional activities, approving all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern within its remit.

  • Primary Element 2: Sustainability

Working with the Executive, the Board of Directors sets the mission, strategic direction, overall aims and values of the Institute. In ensuring the sustainability of the Institute the Board of Directors actively seeks and receives assurance that delivery of the Strategic Framework is in line with legislative and regulatory requirements, the Institute’s values, policies and procedures, and that there are effective systems of control and risk management in place.

  • Primary Element 3: Reputation

The Board of Directors safeguards and promotes the Institute’s reputation and autonomy by operating in accordance with the values that underpin the CUC Code, its various elements and the Nolan principles of public life.

  • Primary Element 4: Equality, inclusivity and diversity

The Board of Directors promotes a positive culture which supports ethical behaviour, equality, inclusivity and diversity across the Institute, including in the Board of Directors’ own operation and composition. This includes ensuring under-representation and differences in outcomes are challenged and, where practicable, corrective action is taken to ensure fair outcomes for all.

  • Primary Element 5: Effectiveness

The Board of Directors ensures that governance structures and processes are robust, effective and agile by scrutinising and evaluating governance performance against this Code (and other Codes where an Institute’s constitutional form requires it), and recognised standards of good practice.

  • Primary Element 6: Engagement

The Board of Directors understands the Institute’s various stakeholders (globally, nationally and locally) and is assured that appropriate and meaningful engagement takes place to allow stakeholder views to be considered and reflected in relevant decision-making processes.

The CUC ‘The Higher Education Code of Governance’ provides that at the heart of higher education delivery across the UK are a set of core values which higher education governance should be founded on.  The core values are: integrity, sustainability, inclusivity, excellence, innovation and growth, and community.  These core values, together with the ‘Nolan Principles of Public Life’ [3], provide an ethical framework for the personal behaviour of directors and boards as corporate entities, and are the foundation blocks of the CUC Code.  The Nolan Principles of Public Life are: integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Regulation 142 of the Articles provides that the Corporate and Academic Governance Framework shall also embrace our own guiding principles:

  • The shareholders, directors and management should act in a way which does not detract from the need to: (i) set and maintain academic standards; and (ii) assure and enhance academic quality
  • To ensure staff and students have a real input into our strategic and operational development, including the effective setting and maintaining of academic standards and the assuring and enhancing of academic quality, there should be an appropriate balance between: (i) decision-making by the directors and management; and (ii) collegial deliberation
  • To support the effective setting and maintaining of academic standards and the assuring and enhancing of academic quality, an Academic Committee (with external academic advisors and student representation) should be established as a committee of the Board of Directors and should be empowered to advise the shareholders, directors and management
  • To ensure the effective setting and maintaining of academic standards and/or the assuring and enhancing of academic quality, the ‘cost of doing business’ for a provider of higher education by necessity includes expenditure which cannot be compromised
  • Students should be recognised as members of our academic community (rather than merely customers of the company) and their views should be effectively represented and acted upon where appropriate


[1] Committee of University Chairs, ‘The Higher Education Code of Governance’ (2020).  See:

[2] See:

[3] See:

Quality and Enhancement Manual