Charter of Incorporation
EDWARD VII, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith.
TO ALL TO WHOM these presents shall come, GREETING:
WHEREAS Petitions have been presented to Us by University College Bristol in the said City and by others praying Us to erect a University within the said City for the promotion of Arts Sciences and Learning and of the objects for which the said College was established and to grant a Charter with such appropriate provisions therein in that behalf as shall seem to Us meet and fit.
And whereas the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol also presented a Petition to the same end.
And whereas We have taken the said Petitions into Our Royal consideration and are minded to accede thereto.
Now therefore Know Ye that We by Virtue of Our Royal Prerogative in that behalf and all other powers enabling Us so to do of Our special grace certain knowledge and mere motion by these Presents do for Us Our Heirs and Successors grant will direct and ordain as follows:
1. University of Bristol
There shall be from henceforth for ever in Our said City of Bristol a University by the name and style of “The University of Bristol” by which name the Chancellor and other Members of the University for the time being are hereby constituted one body politic and corporate with perpetual succession and a Common Seal and with full power by and in such name to sue and be sued and without any further licence to take by gift or otherwise purchase and hold grant demise or otherwise dispose of real or personal estate and with other powers by this Our Charter prescribed.
We Our Heirs and Successors Kings and Queens of the Kingdom aforesaid shall be and remain the Visitor and Visitors of the University of Bristol through the President of Our Council for the time being and in exercise of the Visitorial Authority We and Our Heirs and Successors shall have the right from time to time and in such manner as We or They shall think fit to direct an inspection of the University its buildings laboratories libraries and general equipment and also of the teaching examinations research and other work done by the University.
The University shall have the powers following:
(1) To grant and confer Degrees and other academic distinctions, including Degrees and other academic distinctions awarded jointly with other institutions, to and on persons who shall have pursued an approved course of study in or under the auspices of the University and shall have passed the examinations in or approved by the University under conditions laid down in its Statutes or Ordinances provided that degrees representing proficiency in technical subjects shall not be conferred without proper security for testing the scientific or general knowledge underlying technical attainments.
(2) To admit Graduates of other Universities to Degrees of equal or similar rank in the University.
(3) To confer Degrees of the University on any persons who hold office in the University as Professors Readers Lecturers or otherwise or who shall have carried on independent research therein.
(4) To grant Diplomas Certificates or other distinctions to persons who have pursued a course of study approved by the University under conditions laid down by the University.
(5) To confer Honorary Degrees or other distinctions on approved persons PROVIDED THAT all Degrees and other distinctions shall be conferred and held subject to any provisions which are or may be made in reference thereto by the Statutes Ordinances or Regulations of the University.
(6) On good cause shown to deprive persons of any Degrees Diplomas Certificates or Distinctions granted to or conferred upon them.
(7) To provide for instruction in such branches of learning as the University may think fit and also to make provision for research and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
(8) To examine and inspect schools and other educational institutions and grant Certificates of proficiency and to provide such lectures and instruction for persons not members of the University as the University may determine.
(9) To accept the examinations and periods of study passed by Students of the University at other Universities or places of learning as equivalent to such examinations and periods of study in the University as the University may determine and to withdraw such acceptance at any time.
(10) To affiliate other institutions or to admit the members thereof to any of its privileges and to accept attendance at courses of study in such institutions in place of such part of the attendance at courses of study in the University and upon such terms and conditions and subject to such regulations as may from time to time be determined by the University or to recognise any members of the teaching staff of any College or institution whether affiliated to the University or not as teachers of the University.
(11) To co-operate by means of Joint Boards or otherwise with other Universities and Authorities for the regulation and conduct of Matriculation and other Examinations for the examination and inspection of schools and other academic institutions and for the extension of University teaching and influence in academic matters and for such other purposes as the University may from time to time determine.
(12) To enter into any agreement with any other institution for the incorporation of that institution in the University and for taking over its property and liabilities and for any other purpose not repugnant to this Our Charter.
(13) If necessary to promote a Bill or Bills in Parliament to confirm or carry out any such agreement as above referred to.
(14) To institute Professorships Readerships Lectureships Teacherships and any other offices required by the University and to appoint to such offices.
(15) To institute and award Fellowships Scholarships Exhibitions Bursaries and Prizes.
(16) To provide Halls for the residence of Students.
(17) To make provision for Research and to furnish Scientific Advice for public purposes and for these objects to enter into such arrangements with other institutions or with public bodies as may be thought desirable.
(18) To do all such other acts and things whether incidental to the powers aforesaid or not as may be requisite in order to further the objects of the University as a Teaching and Examining Body and to cultivate and promote Arts Science and Learning.
The Authorities of the University shall be the Chancellor Pro-Chancellors Vice-Chancellor Pro-Vice-Chancellors the Court the Council the Senate and the Convocation.
The Chancellor of the University shall be the President of the Court and Convocation and shall hold office for such period as shall be determined by Statute. The Chancellor shall be elected by the Court of the University on the nomination of the Council.
There shall be a Pro-Chancellor or Pro-Chancellors of the University who or any one of whom may subject to the Statutes of the University in the absence of the Chancellor or pending a vacancy in the office of Chancellor exercise the functions of the Chancellor except the conferring of Degrees or the appointment of members of the Court and may preside at meetings of the Court.
There shall be a Vice-Chancellor of the University who shall be the principal Academic Officer of the University and ex officio Chairman of the Senate and who shall in the absence of the Chancellor confer degrees.
There shall be a Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellors of the University who or any one of whom may subject to the Statutes of the University act for the Vice-Chancellor pending a vacancy in that office or during the absence or inability of the Vice-Chancellor or at the request of the Vice-Chancellor and may when so acting confer Degrees.
9. Treasurer and Other Officers
There shall be a Treasurer and other proper officers of the University.
10. The Council
Powers of Council
There shall be a Council which shall be the Governing Body of the University and have power to direct the use of the University Seal and subject to the Statutes of the University shall have the government and control of the finances of the University and of the affairs and property of the University. The Council shall submit a report to each annual meeting of the Court, including a report of changes to the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances.
Membership of council
Statutes of the University shall regulate the election and continuance in office of the Members of the Council the filling of vacancies among the Members and all other matters relative to the Council which it may be thought are proper to be so regulated.
The Council may make Statutes and amend add to or repeal the Statutes for the time being but no such Statute and no such amendment addition or repeal shall be valid or operative until allowed by the Privy Council.
Ordinances may be made by the Council for the regulation of all matters not required by this Our Charter to be dealt with by Statute.
11. The Court
Constitution of the court
There shall be a Court which shall advise the Council on any matter relating to the University. The Council shall be required to report to the Court and to take into consideration any views expressed by the Court. The constitution of the Court shall be defined by Statute.
Except as herein provided and subject to the Statutes of the University the Court may determine all matters relating to the appointment and election of Members of the Court and their respective periods or terms of office and all other matters relating to the constitution of the Court.
Statutes of the University shall regulate the election and continuation in office of the Members of the Court the filling of vacancies among the Members and all other matters relative to the Court which it may be thought are proper to be so regulated.
Provided that Statutes for which this section provides shall be made or amended by the Council only with the consent of the Court, except that, if the Court at two consecutive annual meetings withholds its consent to an identical proposal by the Council to make or amend such a Statute, the Council may at its next meeting make or amend the Statute accordingly notwithstanding that the Court shall have withheld its consent.
12. The Senate
Powers of senate
There shall be a Senate which shall subject to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University and the control and approval of the Council have the regulation and control of the Curriculum and Education afforded by the University and such other powers as may be conferred upon it by Statute or Ordinance.
Statutes of the University shall define the powers of the Senate.
13. The Faculties
There shall be such Faculties as may from time to time be constituted by the University.
Board and Deans of Faculty
There shall be a Board and a Dean of each Faculty with such powers respectively as may be prescribed by Statute or Ordinance.
Constitution of convocation
There shall be a Convocation of the University which shall consist of the Chancellor the Pro-Chancellors the Vice-Chancellor the Pro-Vice-Chancellors the Members of the Senate such other Members of the staff and such other officers of the University as may be determined by Statute or Ordinance, the Graduates of the University and such other former students of the University as may be determined by Statute or Ordinance.
The Chancellor if present shall preside at its meetings.
Ordinances may prescribe the conditions of registration and fix a fee if it shall be considered necessary.
Provided that Statutes concerning the Convocation for which this section or section 15 below provides shall be made or amended by the Council only with the consent of the Court, except that, if the Court at two consecutive annual meetings withholds its consent to an identical proposal by the Council to make or amend such a Statute, the Council may at its next meeting make or amend the Statute accordingly notwithstanding that the Court shall have withheld its consent.
15. Union of students
A Union of Students of the University may be constituted by Statute or Ordinance.
Representation of convocation and union
The Convocation and the Union of Students shall have such and so many representatives on the Court and on such conditions as may be provided by the Statutes of the University. Ordinances of the University may subject to the provisions of this Charter and of the Statutes prescribe and regulate the constitution functions privileges and all other matters relating to the Convocation and to the Union of Students.
Initiative in making statutes
The Council shall have power to make Statutes.
Powers of statutes
All Statutes which are not repugnant to the provisions of this Charter or the Laws of the Realm shall be operative and have effect when allowed by the Privy Council and not before. Such allowance shall be conclusive evidence of the Statutes so allowed being authorised by the provisions of this Charter.
The Statutes of the University may direct that any of the matters by these Presents authorised or directed to be prescribed governed or regulated by Statutes of the University shall be prescribed governed or regulated by Ordinances of the University.
Initiative in making ordinances
Ordinances shall be made by the Council of the University. Provided that in matters referring to Courses of Study Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates, other academic awards or distinctions affiliation of Colleges and recognition of teachers Ordinances shall be made by the Council only with the consent of the Senate.
Amendment etc., of ordinances
Ordinances may add to amend alter or repeal Ordinances from time to time in force.
18. Examiners and Examinations
All Examinations held by the University shall be conducted in such manner as the Statutes and Ordinances shall prescribe provided that at least one external and independent Examiner shall be appointed for each subject or group of subjects forming part of the course of studies required for University Degrees but this proviso shall not apply to Examinations for admission or entrance to the University.
19. General Provisions
Regulation of proceedings
The Council the Senate and the Faculties respectively may from time to time make regulations for governing subject to these Presents and the Statutes and Ordinances of the University the proceedings of those bodies respectively. The power to make regulations shall include the power to add to amend alter or repeal any theretofore made.
All posts and offices in the University, membership of any of its constituent bodies and all courses of study and academic awards in the University shall be open to any person, irrespective of gender, race, religion, belief, sexual orientation, disability or age, subject to such conditions and regulations as may properly be prescribed or provided for by the University.
21. Bar to Dividends
The University shall not make any dividend gift division or bonus in money unto or between any of its members except by the way of prize reward or special grant.
22. Power to hold Real Property
In addition to the buildings lands and premises of the University used and occupied for the immediate purposes thereof the University shall have power to hold lands tenements and hereditaments.
23. “Special Resolutions”
The Council may at any time alter amend or add to these Presents and their Provisions by a Special Resolution in that behalf and such alteration amendment or addition shall when allowed by Us Our Heirs or Successors by and with the advice of Our Privy Council become effectual so that these Presents shall thenceforward continue and operate as though they had been originally granted and made as so altered amended or added to as aforesaid. This Article of these Presents shall apply to this Charter as altered amended or added to in manner aforesaid. A “Special Resolution” means a Resolution passed at one meeting of the Council and confirmed at a subsequent meeting held not less than one calendar month nor more than three calendar months after the former provided that the Resolution be passed at each meeting by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the members of the Council present and voting.
In this Our Charter the “Statutes” mean the Statutes set forth in the Schedule hereto or any Statutes altering adding to or repealing the same or any of them which may hereafter be made and may be allowed by the Privy Council.
“Ordinances” means Acts of the Council made as provided for in this our Charter.
Our Royal Will and Pleasure is that these Presents shall ever be construed benevolently and in every case most favourably to the University of Bristol and the promotion of the objects of this Our Charter.
Last revised 7 May 2005