University Governance

The governance of the University

Swansea University operates within a constitutional framework established by its Charter and Statutes. 

Supplemental Charter outlines the objects, powers, officers and principal bodies of the University, granting the authority to teach, conduct research, and to award degrees and other qualifications.

Statutes lay down a number of high-level rules supporting the Charter and these, in turn, are supported by more detailed Ordinances together with a comprehensive range of academic and operational regulations and procedures, including those associated with Public Accountability.

Governance Structure

The Council

The Governing Body of the University, the Council, consists of 28 members, a majority of whom are "lay" members not directly connected with the University. There are also staff and student members.

You can read more about the current members of Council › HERE

All members of Council have equal status and carry equal responsibility for the decisions taken collectively by the Council.

The University is a registered charity and Council acts as the Board of Trustees of the charity.

The Council normally holds four meetings each year in October, December, March and July. Decisions from these meetings can be accessed via this link: Council Meeting Decisions .

The University recently underwent its first external review of Council Effectiveness which concluded that the Council was discharging its duties appropriately and effectively as the governing body of the University. A copy of the full report is available here ‌and an action plan has been developed.

The University has produced a code of practice which outlines in detail the remit of Council and the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of Council members.

Read the Council's code of practice   HERE

Serving as members of the Council and the committees supporting the Council

The University is seeking members of the public to serve as members of the Council and the committees supporting the Council. Members are expected to consider issues on merit and in terms of the best interests of the University, its objects and mission.  Members are not remunerated but reasonable travel and subsistence expenses are claimable.

The University values diversity and welcomes approaches from all sections of society in order to enhance the diversity profile of its governance-related bodies. It is committed to promoting equality and diversity, providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all. The University aims to ensure that such individuals  are treated solely on the basis of abilities and potential, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Members of the public interested in exploring the possibility of co-option to the University Council or its committees should contact the Secretary to Council at for an initial discussion.

The Senate

Subject to the approval of Council, the Senate is responsible for regulating and superintending the courses, awards and qualifications provided by the University. The Senate comprises almost 200 members and is the senior academic body in the University.

Membership consists of the Vice-Chancellor (Chair), the Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the Boards of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee and the College Directors of Learning and Teaching, Heads of Colleges, all professorial staff, 14 elected members of the non-professorial staff, and eight elected student members.

Senate's powers and constitution can be found in the University's Ordinances .

Further information on the Senate is available from the Governance Office at


The Court

The Court, a large body with over 300 members, stands above the University's main decision-making machinery. The Court plays an important and influential role, on behalf of the Institution's stakeholders, in seeing that the University is well-managed, properly governed and responsive to public and local interests and concerns.

Most members of the Court are from outside the University, representing the local community and other designated bodies with an interest in the work of the University. The membership also includes representatives of the staff of the University (both academic and non-academic) and the student body.

Meetings of the Court are held once a year (usually in January) and are chaired by the University Chancellor. The next Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 2 February 2019.

Further information on the Court is available from the Governance Office at

The Committees

The Council and Senate have established a range of policy and oversight committees to assist them in discharging their functions. A list of the University's statutory bodies and committees is available here » statutory bodies and committees

You can also view a diagram of the Council and Senate governance structure