Our members are vice-chancellors or principals of UK universities. To become one of our members, leaders and their institutions must show they meet a set of values and standards.
To become a member, institutions must prove to our board that they meet the following criteria:
Have a primary purpose of teaching, scholarship and research
- A minimum five-year track record of delivering teaching, scholarship and research in the UK.
- Evidence of an institution-wide culture of scholarship-informed teaching and the advancement of a subject by research and scholarship (being commitment to, and practice in, the acquisition and synthesis of knowledge and understanding).
- Support academic freedom for all staff and students.
- Normally a minimum of 80% of full-time equivalent students enrolled in higher education provision across the whole institution.
Be financially accountable and independent
- Publish full accounts annually and make them publicly available on the internet, consistent with the Higher Education Statement of Recommended Accounting Practice (SORP), which evidence clarity and transparency of share ownership, including any changes.
- Have an independent governing body with authority over the strategic direction, educational ethos and financial management of the institution.
- Comply with the Nolan seven principles of public life: selflessness; integrity; objectivity; accountability; openness; honesty; and leadership.
Be accountable to students and the wider public
- Adhere to all the regulatory frameworks and accountability requirements for public finance that apply to higher education institutions at any given time.
- Follow quality assurance systems, including national systems and professional bodies.
- Engage with national systems within the UK that support and protect the interests of students, such as the National Student Survey (NSS) and Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
- Adhere to (by law or voluntarily) the publication and scrutiny of data and information such as through the Higher Education Statistics Agency and Freedom of Information Acts.