An overview of Council's responsibilities with links to further information on its remit and to its standing orders
Council is the University's executive governing body. It is responsible, under the Statutes, for “the advancement of the University's objects, for its administration, and for the management of its finances and property” and has “all the powers necessary for it to discharge those responsibilities”. Council is therefore responsible for the academic policy and strategic direction of the University, including its relations with colleges and external relations. All decisions concerning the University are made by Council or by any other body or person to whom Council delegates such decision-making powers, always subject to the powers of Congregation.
Council is responsible for determining the system of internal controls operated by the University and for monitoring the adequacy and effectiveness of the control environment. As set out in the University's Corporate Governance Statement in its Annual Financial Statements, Council has agreed on the major strategic risks to the University's activities and these are reviewed on a regular basis to identify developments and to consider any additional matters which need to be addressed.
Furthermore, Council is responsible to OfS for meeting the conditions of the Financial Memorandum between the OfS and the University. Council is required, amongst other things, to take reasonable steps to ensure that there are appropriate financial and management controls in place to safeguard public funds and funds from other sources, and to safeguard the assets of the University and prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.
The principal business of the Council is to settle the annual budget, the Strategic Plan and other plans, to take major strategic decisions, to receive and decide upon reports from its committees and operations such as Oxford University Press and to propose amendments to Statutes and Regulations.
For the remit, composition, functions and powers and other related matters, see Statute VI and Council Regulations 13 of 2002. For Council's responsibilities within the context of the University's governance arrangements, see the Statement of Primary Responsibilities of Council.
Council's Standing Orders
Council manages its business through its Standing Orders. These are updated annually by Council in Michaelmas Term. The latest version is available here:
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- About Governance and Planning at the University of Oxford
- Statute VI: Council
- Regulations: Council
- Committees of Council
- Council Vacancy - Humanities and Social Sciences
- Council Vacancy - MPLS and Medical Sciences
Contact the Council Secretariat
Head of Governance Secretariat