Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bristol University Court 2015 meeting

I attended the 2015 meeting of Bristol University court yesterday.

Like many redbrick universities, Bristol has three governing bodies: Senate, which is the main academic governing body, Council which used to be the main administrative one but,  as part of a series of organisational changes forced on Universities by various Higher Education quangos under successive govermnents in the name of good governance, has increasingly been the supreme governing body; and University Court, a very large body which meets once or twice a year, and used in theory to be the most powerful authority in the University but at increasingly surrendered that role to University Council.

One of the things we learned yesterday is that University Council is probably going to change it's name to the "Bristol University Board of Trustees"  as that name is considered easier for people to understand.

The meeting opened with three breakout sessions on different aspects of the University plan for the future. Other things debated included the possible impact on British Universities if the UK leaves the European union (the Vice Chancellor and other academics have a very high opinion of the EU's programmes to support Higher Education) and whether the University should disinvest from companies involved in extracting fossil fuels (a motion to that effect was narrowly defeated).

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