In response to the report into governance relating to remuneration by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the University underlines its commitment to being well led and governed in order to ensure the University’s continued success.

Thomas Sheppard, Chair of Council, the University’s governing body, said:

“We are committed to ensuring our University is well led and well governed. We accept the findings of the HEFCE report and are open to all its recommendations. We are pleased the report acknowledges that we have always followed the national requirements in relation to our governance structures and their functions, but we accept we can do more in relation to best practice at a time where expectations of the sector are rapidly evolving. We stand ready to make the changes needed and to continue delivering excellent teaching to our students and world-leading research with our partners in the future.

“The governing body of the University, its Council, will meet shortly and we will be looking at the recommendations in detail.

“The report contains criticism of the handling of February’s meeting of Court, which is a stakeholder body of around 200 representatives. The University deeply regrets that this meeting was not handled significantly better on the day. We further accept that this could have led to negative perceptions of this aspect of our governance, which is something we take very seriously. We have already started drawing up Standing Orders for this body, which will specifically address how to handle potential conflicts of interest, so future meetings will be more effective for all involved. We are doing this thoroughly but swiftly, and intend to share these with members of Court next month.

“Furthermore, we have already announced that we are conducting a full, independent and rigorous Effectiveness Review of Council. The review will include full consideration of the operation of the Remuneration Committee to ensure it reflects developing best practice. We have already made changes to our Remuneration Committee including the decision that the Vice-Chancellor will no longer be a member. In addition, as recommended by the HEFCE report, we will carefully consider the findings of the Committee of University Chairs’ (CUC) review of remuneration practice which will be published in April 2018.

“Looking ahead, we understand that we need to continually improve to ensure our governance structures are effective. Our focus as a University is to ensure we deliver excellent teaching to our students and excellent research that solves real-world problems.”