The UCA Board of Governors is collectively responsible for determining the educational character and mission of the University, overseeing its activities and encouraging an environment which enhances the student learning experience.

The Board:

  • Approves the University’s Strategic Plan;
  • Approves the key business plans;
  • Is the employing authority for all staff;
  • Has specific responsibility for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and the University Secretary & Clerk;
  • Has overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate; and
  • Ensures that systems are in place for meeting the University’s legal obligations.

There are twenty two members: sixteen external appointees, the Vice-Chancellor, three members of staff and two students.

A list of members can be found here.


Student governors bring direct experience of university life to the board. This distinct perspective helps inform decisions about:

  • The kind of university UCA is;
  • How UCA should develop;
  • UCA’s financial priorities;
  • UCA’s plans for capital and estates improvements;
  • Student support and;
  • The framework for managing Academic quality and standards.

Decisions are taken collectively by all members acting as a body, which mean Student Governors do not act as if delegated by the group from which they are drawn, but bring their student experience to help shape decision-making. These shared responsibilities are an important element of governance, and help to avoid ‘them and us’ type distinctions between internal and independent governors.


If you are appointed to the position of student governor, you will be expected to:

  • Attend the induction provided by the Clerk before the first meeting and any follow-up sessions organised to brief you on specific matters of business;
  • Attend all Board meetings. These take place four times a year at one of the campuses of the University. They usually start at 2pm and are normally preceded by lunch and a briefing on an area of university activity;
  • Read the papers well before the meeting, prepare any points you wish to raise;
  • Take part in the annual residential Strategic Away Day held at the end of January;
  • Participate positively and constructively;
  • Keep confidential those items of business marked as confidential;
  • Disclose any conflicts of interest, i.e. when your decision making might be influenced by your personal circumstances; and
  • Conduct yourself in accordance with the seven accepted standards of behaviour in public life as expressed by the Nolan Committee – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.


The Clerk to the Board is your main source of support and guidance throughout the role.
Support will be available from the students’ union Chair of Trustees.


Start date of appointment 1 August 2016
Duration of appointment 1 year, renewable for a further year
Time commitment 5-6 days per year, including reading time


A student governor should:

  • Be able to bring student insight to the proceedings of the Board;
  • Understand the distinction between governance and management;
  • Be able to demonstrate an interest in and commitment to higher education and to public service;
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to exercise their responsibilities with independence and discretion;
  • Be able to attend all Board meetings and the annual residential away day; and
  • Be able to work as part of a team.