Court meeting: 18 June 2018
The University Court held its most recent meeting on 18 June.
We publish regular updates on matters discussed at all Court meetings, during which members consider matters of strategic importance to the University.
Meetings of the Court are held five times a year.
The Court is the University’s governing body and its legal persona.
With a focus on strategic direction, it takes the final decisions on issues of fundamental concern to the wellbeing of the University.
Detailed information on the membership and activities of the University Court, including meeting agendas, papers and minutes, is available online.
Summary of Court meeting: 18 June 2018
The following is a summary of a selection of items considered on 18 June.
Student Experience Update
The Senior Vice-Principal introduced a regular update on the University’s student experience enhancement activities, with a presentation on the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences led by the Head of College, with a contribution by a Business School undergraduate and peer support leader. Case studies for the School of Economics and the Business School and convergence in staff-student ratios and workload allocation models within the College were discussed.
The Director of the Institute for Academic Development presented on drivers for curriculum change – including technology, widening participation, graduate outcomes, government policy changes, desire for flexibility and joint degrees – and possible responses, with the last major curriculum review having taken place in 2001-04. Court thanked the presenters and noted the contents of the paper and presentations, with further updates to be provided as scheduled.
Planning Round 2018-2021
The final draft of the University’s three year financial plan for 2018-21, synthesising business plans and investment proposals developed by the three Colleges and three Professional Services Groups was approved.
An update on the final phase of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal negotiations was considered. The expected funding profile and negotiating outcome was welcomed and leadership shown by University staff in progressing the City Region Deal congratulated. Court authorised the Senior Vice-Principal to sign the public-facing City Region Deal document as designated representative of the universities and colleges of the region, with the University Secretary authorised to sign a University Grant Agreement between the City of Edinburgh Council and the University, subject to approval of the final legal and funding arrangements by the City Deal Executive Governance Group.
Campus Network Replacement
An opportunity to incorporate the student residences and conference data network and telephony service into the University campus network within the current campus network replacement project was considered. Noting the potential benefit to the student experience, the change to amend the current campus network procurement to include the residential and conference network and associated capital expenditure was approved.
Developing a University Strategy: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Misconduct
University activity to prevent and respond to sexual violence and to identify priority future actions was reviewed. The approach and activity to date was welcomed. Learning from other sectors and organisations and a comprehensive approach including all gender orientations and student and staff categories was discussed. The proposed future plans were approved, with a taskforce chaired by the Vice-Principal People & Culture to report to the University Executive.
Recognition of Alumni Clubs
Formal recognition of the following alumni clubs was approved:
- Edinburgh University Club of Toronto (EDUCT)
- Edinburgh University Boston Club
- Edinburgh University Club of New York
- Edinburgh University Alumni Club of Washington DC
- The London Club
- Edinburgh University Brussels Society
- London Alumni Network
Updates from EUSA and reports from Court’s committees on activities being undertaken in support of Court were received. Court also reviewed an Estates Funding Strategy and received an update on work to develop a capital prioritisation methodology; approved the latest iteration of the University Risk Register and Risk Appetite Statement; approved the appointment of Clare Reid as a co-opted member of Court from 1 August 2018 for a three year term; approved the submission of a regular Strategic Plan Forecast document to the Scottish Funding Council; approved Resolutions including the Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Higher Degree Programme Resolutions; approved changes to Court documentation and practices to ensure compliance with a revised version of the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance; and approved the appointment of David Newall, former Secretary to Court & Director of Administration at the University of Glasgow and current Chair of the Board of Management at Glasgow Clyde College as facilitator of an external effectiveness review of Court and its committees and the approach to the review.
Further information on the remit and work of Court and its Committees can be found online.