Our governance

The University of Birmingham is an independent, chartered institution whose legal status derives from our Royal Charter granted in 1900. The University is an exempt charity and is regulated by the Office for Students.


The Chancellor of the University is Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBE, DL. The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University. He presides at Degree Congregations and confers degrees of the University and has an important ambassadorial role for the University. He is an advocate of the University working to raise the University’s profile and advance its interests nationally and internationally.

The University Legislation consists of the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and Codes of Practice. These documents set out how the University operates, including its status, powers, governing body and senior officers.

The University is committed to best practice in all aspects of corporate governance and reviews its Code of Practice on Corporate Governance on an annual basis.


The governing body of the University is the Council and is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor, Mr Mervyn Walker. Council consists of 24 lay, academic and student members, the majority of whom are lay members external to the University. The members of the University Council are the charity trustees and are responsible for ensuring compliance with charity law. The primary responsibilities of Council include approval of the mission and strategic vision of the University, monitoring and evaluating the performance of the University, oversight of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and approval of the annual budget and accounts.

There are five Committees which report to Council:


The Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and consists of up to 60 members drawn from the leadership of the University, academic staff and the student community. It is the principal academic body of the University and is responsible to the Council for regulating and directing the academic work of the University in teaching, examining and research and for award of all Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other academic distinctions of the University. Senate oversees quality assurance and standards of the education provided by the University and provides an annual assurance report to Council on academic quality, standards and the student experience. Council also considers a report from each meeting of Senate covering key aspects of teaching and learning, student experience and quality matters (e.g. admissions, progression, degree classification, external examiners report, employability etc.).

There are three Committees which report to Senate:

University Executive Board

The University Executive Board (UEB) is the senior leadership team of the University and a Committee of Council. It is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal and its membership consists of the Provost and Vice-Principal, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Heads of College, the Registrar and Secretary and Chief Operating Officer and the Finance Director. It is responsible for the management of the University and normally meets weekly to steer the implementation of strategy and consider key issues.

Contacting the Governance Support Team

Further information about the governance of the University is available in our Publication Scheme.

The Governance Support Team provides support for the governance of the University, including Council, Senate and UEB. If you need any further information, please contact:

Colette McDonough
Head of Governance

Paul Bowman
Governance and Risk Officer

Chris Ellison
Governance Officer

Phoebe Kirkland
Governance Support Administrator