Our Code of Ethics is our commitment to sound corporate governance and to high standards of ethical conduct in all our activities.

This Code sets out the standards of behaviour essential to the life and operation of the University across all its activities. It applies to all staff, including Emeritus Professors, honorary and visiting staff, students and governors of the University, who must act responsibly and ethically in accordance with the seven principles of public life set out by the Nolan Committee: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. It applies to all conduct and interactions whether undertaken in person or online. This means that the same level of integrity, respect and care are required for exchanges, synchronous or asynchronous, in a digital environment as for physical meetings.

Ethical conduct means acting consistently in a way that upholds our values and is honest, transparent and fair, encouraging others to do likewise.

Our shared values affirm our commitment to the following Values of the University Strategy 2021-26:

  • delivering quality and excellence, whilst being quick to listen and learn;
  • nurturing high aspirations, for the benefit of all;
  • aspiring to the highest standards of scientific, ethical and professional integrity, whilst supporting the freedom to challenge received wisdom;
  • supporting a sustainable community and adopting best environmental practice; and,
  • fostering inclusion, equality, diversity and accessibility where the unique value of each individual is recognised as we build a community of trust and care by treating each other with respect.

We uphold our values and the seven principles of public life through our policies, procedures, actions and guidance. What the Nolan principles mean in the context of our University and how they infuse our practices is illustrated below by the information links:

Selflessness:

to set aside personal interests in order to work with the University for the benefit and care of students, staff and community, and in support of the wider common good

Integrity:

to maintain independence, be honest and truthful and act in line with statutory and University policies

Objectivity:

to behave with consistency, treat others appropriately and provide opportunity and access for all

Accountability:

to be aware of individual and corporate responsibilities

Openness:

to promote transparency in all our activities and uphold freedom of speech within the law

Honesty:

to be honest and truthful, act with probity and manage any conflicts of interest

Leadership:

to ensure all actions are undertaken in accordance with legal, regulatory and institutional requirements and to foster the wellbeing and talents of all members of the University community

Background Note

There are a number of committees, groups and individuals in the University with ethics responsibilities. The major ones are:

  • Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee (AEIC) – (reporting to Senate) will normally consider ethics issues arising from research and teaching.

There is a new Research Ethics Governance process developed by the PVC (R)’s office and Chair of AE&IC which will introduce a more unified approach to research ethics for staff and students. This work will be supported through a number of sub committees.

  • Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body – (reporting to AEIC and UEB) is responsible for reviewing and monitoring animal research and promoting a ‘culture of care’ within the University
  • Standing Group for Financial Probity - (reporting to UEB) has responsibility for institutional engagement with the Bribery Act, Criminal Finances Act, Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.

While Council, the Vice Chancellor and Senate have particular responsibilities with regards to ethics, the University community as a whole has a responsibility to be mindful of ethical considerations, both in individual decision making and collective decision-making through the University committee structure.

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Owner: Head of Strategic Governance
Approval date: 30 June 2021
Date of next review: 2024
Approved by: University Ethics Committee