View of Colchester Campus lake
The University Council is our executive governing body, responsible for the management and administration of our revenue and property.

The Council is entrusted with the proper conduct of University business in support of the objectives defined by the terms of reference laid down by the University Charter and Statutes:

  • strategic planning
  • financial affairs, including the annual budget
  • estates management
  • staffing matters
  • health and safety issues
  • oversight of the Students' Union

There are 25 members of Council (.pdf), the majority of whom are External.

Council's responsibilities are set out in Ordinance 10, Statement of Primary Responsibilities (.pdf)

Meetings of Council

Council normally meets five times a year, usually at our Colchester Campus. The dates and times of meetings of Council and its sub-committees can be found in the University diary of the academic year.

Council Effectiveness Review

In July 2015, Council approved the report and recommendations following the latest Council Effectiveness Review 2014-15 (.pdf).

Joining Council

We are seeking to appoint new External members to our University Council to oversee our work, help us realise the exciting goals we have set for the future and live out our values. The experience, skills and enthusiasm of Council members help to shape our direction and development. It is our willingness to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom that has resulted in us being recognised by Times Higher Education as University of the Year.  These are also the attributes we are looking for from our Council members.

To maintain our competitive edge during a period of unprecedented change for the higher education sector, we are seeking to enhance further the expertise and diversity of our University Council, our principal governing body. We are seeking outstanding individuals with the requisite intellectual capacity, commercial acumen and strategic leadership insight to support us in shaping our transformational agenda. 

This is an exciting opportunity to make a significant contribution to the future direction of the University in a rapidly changing global environment. We are home to the curious, the brave and the bold. If you share our passion and have the skills and experience we seek, we would be keen to hear from you.

Council roles and responsibilities

In addition to being members of the University's Council, members also carry the responsibilities of Trustees of the University as an exempt charity. Whether External or internal, all members of Council have equal standing, with a majority of the Council's members being from outside the University. The External members contribute a wide range of experience from the public and private sectors. Internal members help relate Council’s oversight and control over the University and its affairs to the experience of working in the University.

As a member of our Council you would be expected to contribute the equivalent of approximately 12 days per year. This will include attendance at four Council meetings, two half days and one Council away day per year as well as contributing through membership of one or more sub-committee of Council.

The role description for members of Council provides further information about the role and its responsibilities:

Interested in joining Council?

The University has engaged the services of Odgers Berndtson, to whom applications should be sent by the closing date of 5pm Friday 1 March 2019.

In order to apply, please submit a short covering letter explaining why this appointment interests you and what you would bring to the role together with your curriculum vitae (CV) with education and professional qualifications, full employment history and details of any Non-Executive experience, including any specific executive or non-executive experience relevant to the responsibilities of this role.

Please provide your preferred contact details, which will be used with discretion. Please also include names and contact details of two referees in a separate document. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.

The preferred method of application is online at

If you are unable to apply online please email your application to

Any postal applications should be sent direct to: Natalie Pettifer at Odgers Berndtson, 20 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XD

All candidates are also requested to complete an online Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form which will be found at the end of the application process. If you require a hard copy form please request one from Natalie Pettifer at the above address. This will assist the University in monitoring selection decisions to assess whether equality of opportunity is being achieved.  Any information collated from the Equal Opportunity Monitoring Forms will not be used as part of the selection process and will be treated as strictly confidential. All shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a Register of Interest form and a Fit and Proper Declaration.

Closing date: 5pm Friday 1 March 2019

Following a shortlist meeting of the Selection Committee, successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview at the University’s Colchester Campus on Friday 22 March 2019.



Get in touch
Bryn Morris Registrar and Secretary
Council membership enquires and nominations
Telephone: 01206 873000