Registrar's Office

University Governance


Queen's University can trace its roots back to 1845 when it was established as one of three Queen's Colleges in Ireland. It is the second oldest university in Ireland, and the ninth oldest in the United Kingdom. Queen's became a university in its own right under the terms of the Irish Universities Act 1908 following the signing of a Royal Charter by King Edward VII in the same year.

The University is an autonomous body which has the status of a charitable institution. It receives much of its funding from the Department for Employment and Learning . The Department, which is advised by the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council , takes overall responsibility for policies relating to higher education in Northern Ireland.

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The University Charter
It is the Charter which underpins everything that the University does. It provides a foundation for all of its activities, academic or otherwise, and establishes a framework within which these activities should be undertaken and managed. The Charter was last revised in February 2015 on approval by the Privy Council.

The Charter is supported by a range of Statutes and Regulations which give affect to its provisions. The Statutes and Regulations were last updated in February 2015 following approval by the Privy Council and Senate, the University's governing body.

Click here to view the Charter and Statutes and Supporting Regulations.

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The governing body of the University is Senate which is responsible for the ongoing strategic direction of the University, the management and administration of its revenue and property and the general conduct of its affairs. Senate is chaired by the Chancellor as the head and chief officer of the University or, in his absence, a Pro-Chancellor, and adheres to the Guide for Members of Higher Education Governing Bodies in the UK(HEFCE, 2009) as its primary code of practice.




Members of Senate are drawn from the academic staff and student body of the University and includes a number of appointed lay members. It normally meets four times a year, and receives reports from a range of committees including: Planning and Finance Committee, Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee. Other major committees include the Health and Safety Management Group and the Investment Committee.

Click here for access to the University's Directory of Committees.

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Academic Council

The primary academic body of the University is Academic Council, which is responsible for the control of internal academic affairs and arrangements for teaching and research. It is also responsible for the regulation and superintendence of the education and discipline of students enrolled at the University. It is chaired by the President and Vice-Chancellor, who is the chief academic and administrative officer of the University, and consists of the Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of Schools and Institutes, student representatives and members of academic staff, elected by Schools.

Academic Council is also supported by a range of subordinate reporting structures including: Education Committee, Research Committee, Academic Board, Central Student Appeals Committee.

Further information on Academic Council and academic reporting structures is available in the University's Quality Handbook.

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Convocation is a statutory body made up of graduates and senior staff of the University. Convocation has the right to discuss and pronounce an opinion on any matter relating to the University and to be consulted in the making of Statutes and the appointment of the Chancellor. It convenes on an annual basis and has an associated Standing Committee which meets to carry on regular business.

Minutes of meetings held by Convocation are reproduced in the University's Alumni Magazine.

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