Division of the General Counsel, Governance and Compliance

Governance Review

Governance at the University of Sussex

As part of our commitment to good practice, the University of Sussex has commissioned an external consultancy to undertake an independent review of its governance arrangements.

The review consultation period will be open from March until the end of May, and we strongly encourage you to have your say by completing the online survey when it opens, and/or attending an online discussion group.

This page will be kept up to date with all the latest information on the review.


The governance arrangements at universities identify responsibilities and accountabilities. The governance framework at the University of Sussex is set by the University’s Charter, Statutes and Regulations. 

Council is the governing body of the University. Its role is:

  • To determine the strategic objectives for the University and to monitor performance against these objectives and against appropriate external benchmarks;
  • To discharge its responsibilities in relation to general legal and other external requirements;
  • To meet general requirements deriving from the Charter and Statutes, other than those matters delegated to committees or to individuals;
  • To monitor institutional effectiveness;
  • To monitor its own effectiveness. 

Senate reports to Council and is the body responsible for academic standards and the direction and regulation of academic matters of the University. Its role is:

  • To direct and regulate teaching and examination;
  • To promote research;
  • To authorise the award or annulment of degrees;
  • To regulate admissions and the discipline of students;
  • To discuss and declare an opinion on any matter whatsoever relating to the University and ‘do such other acts as the Council may authorise’.

More information on the governance framework at the University of Sussex is available on The Court and The Governance Documents.

Review Timeline

February 2021

Introductory Meeting with Steering Group

Information Request


March – May 2021

Surveys sent to Council, Senate and University Leadership Team

Desk review


Observations of Council, Senate and committee meetings

Discussion groups with Senate, staff and students


June – July 2021

Analysis of findings and development of recommendations

Presentation to the Steering Group


September 2021 onwards

Findings and recommendations to be presented to Council and Senate by Steering Group, and shared with the University community in the normal way.

Implementation of recommendations

Review Consultation

The review consultation period will be open from 8th March until 28th May.

Online discussion group sessions for members of Senate, staff and students will be held in March and April via Microsoft Teams. Once confimed, dates will be added to this page, with details of how to sign up.

Share your comments

Halpin invites comments on governance matters from all corners of the University. If you are unable to attend an online discussion group or you would prefer to send comments regarding the governance arrangements at Sussex to the Halpin Review team via email, please do so via sussexreview@halpinpartnership.com or use the comment box below.

Please note, all comments are confidential to the Halpin Review team. We will record the names of interviewees and focus group attendees for the purposes of scheduling, but any comments included in our final report will be anonymised.