For previous versions of the Charter, please see here
IV. The Chancellor
V. The Pro-Chancellor
VI. Deputy Pro-Chancellors
VII. The Vice-Chancellor
VIII. Deputy Vice-Chancellors
X. The Court
XI. The Council
XII. The Senate
XIII. Regulations as to procedure
XIV. Members of the University
XV. Equality and Diversity
The University of Leeds received its Charter as an independent institution from Edward VII in 1904.
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 by Charter of Her Late Majesty Queen Victoria, dated 20th April, 1880, the Victoria University was founded and constituted having its seat in the City of Manchester.
And whereas the Owens College, Manchester, was thereby constituted a college in the University and provision was made that other colleges might from time to time be admitted as colleges in the University in the manner and subject to the conditions therein prescribed.
And whereas the University College, Liverpool, was by resolution of the Court of the University admitted as a college of the University on the 5th November, 1884, and the Yorkshire College, Leeds, was by resolution of the said Court admitted as a college in the University on the 3rd November, 1887, but no other college has been so admitted.
And whereas the said University College, Liverpool, has presented to Us in Our Council a humble petition under the Common Seal of that college praying us to erect a university within the City of Liverpool.
And whereas the Owens College, Manchester, has presented to Us in Our Council a humble petition under the Common Seal of that college praying that a new or supplemental Charter may be granted so as to constitute and continue the Victoria University as a university in Manchester without association with any college except the Owens College.
And whereas the Yorkshire College, Leeds, has presented to Us in Our Council a humble petition under the Common Seal of that college, praying Us to erect a university having its seat in Leeds.
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 and all other powers in that behalf enabling us 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:
There shall be from henceforth for ever in Our said City of Leeds a university of the name and style of ‘The University of Leeds’, which shall be and continue one body politic and corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and with full power and capacity, subject to the restrictions herein set forth, without any further licence to all persons and corporations to assure and to the University to take, by gift or otherwise purchase and hold and also to grant demise or otherwise dispose of real and personal property.
The University shall have the powers following:
1. To grant and confer degrees and other academic distinctions to and on persons who shall have pursued an approved course of study in the University and shall have passed the examinations of 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. Editorial note
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, or on any persons who, at the date of this Our Charter, are Associates of the Yorkshire College.
4. To grant diplomas, licentiateships, 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 may be made in reference thereto by the Statutes, Ordinances, or Regulations of the University.
6. 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.
7. To examine and inspect schools and other educational institutions, to grant diplomas and other certificates, and to provide such lectures and instruction for persons not members of the University as the University may determine.
8. 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. Provided that in no case shall the University confer a degree in medicine or surgery upon any person who has not attended in the University during two years at least courses of study recognised for such degree, or for one of the other degrees in the University.
9. To affiliate other colleges or institutions or branches or departments thereof, or to admit the members thereof to any of the privileges of the University, and to accept attendance at courses of study in such colleges or institutions in place 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.
10. To co-operate by means of joint boards or otherwise, with other universities and authorities for the conduct of matriculation examinations, for the examination and inspection of schools and other academic institutions and for such other purposes as the University may from time to time determine.
11. To enter into any agreement with the Yorkshire College for the incorporation of that college in the University, and for taking over its property and liabilities, and, if necessary, to promote a Bill in Parliament to confirm or carry out any such agreement.
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. To enter into any agreement with the Victoria University of Manchester or with the University of Liverpool for the division or apportionment of any of the moneys, endowments, or property of the Victoria University, with due regard to the local origin of any particular foundation, to the wishes of the donors, and other special circumstances, and for reference to an arbitrator in case of difference.
14. To institute professorships, readerships, lectureships and any other offices required by the University and to appoint to such offices. Also to institute and award fellowships, scholarships and exhibitions and prizes.
15. To license halls for the residence of students.
16. To revoke degrees, diplomas, licentiateships and certificates and other academic awards following cases of cheating, plagiarism, fabricated or fraudulent coursework and other forms of academic fraud.
17. Jointly with other higher education institutions having the power to grant such qualifications, to grant degrees and other qualifications to persons who shall have pursued a course of study and shall have passed the examinations under conditions laid down in the Statutes or Ordinances of the University or other regulations and in the relevant prescribed programme approved by the Senate.
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.
We, Our Heirs and Successors, Kings and Queens of the Kingdom and Dominions aforesaid, shall be and remain the Visitor and Visitors of the University through the Lord President of our Council for the time being, and in the 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, and general equipment, and also of the examination, teaching, and other work done by the University.
There shall be a Chancellor who, except as otherwise provided in this Our Charter, shall confer degrees and shall discharge such other responsibilities, and hold office for such period, as may be from time to time determined by the Council. The Chancellor may be removed from office for good cause by the Visitor at the instance of the Court on the recommendation of the Council. Our right trusty and entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor, George Frederick Samuel, Marquess of Ripon, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, Doctor of Laws, shall be the first Chancellor of the University.
His successors from time to time shall be elected by the Court on the nomination of the Council of the University.
There shall be a Pro-Chancellor who, in the absence of the Chancellor, or pending a vacancy in the office of Chancellor, or during the Chancellor’s inability to act, shall exercise all the functions of the Chancellor, except the conferring of degrees. The Pro-Chancellor shall carry out such other responsibilities as may be determined from time to time by the Council, but may not hold office both as Chair of Court and Chair of Council.
Our trusty and well-beloved Arthur Greenhow Lupton, chairman of the Council of the Yorkshire College, shall be the first Pro-Chancellor of the University, and shall hold his office for one year. Subsequent appointments to the said office shall be made by the Council for such periods not exceeding three years at a time as may be agreed by the Council.
The Council may designate up to two members of the Council, not being students of the University or members of Faculty, as deputy pro-chancellors. Such deputy pro-chancellors shall carry out such duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be assigned to them by the Council.
There shall be a Vice-Chancellor, who shall be the chief executive and principal academic officer of the University; she or he shall discharge such duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be determined by the Council. The Vice-Chancellor shall be ex officio chair of the Senate. In the absence of the Chancellor the Vice-Chancellor shall confer degrees, except as otherwise provided in this Our Charter.
Our trusty and well-beloved Nathan Bodington, Principal of the Yorkshire College, Doctor of Letters, shall be the first Vice-Chancellor of the University, and shall hold such office for such term or terms and subject to such conditions as may from time to time be determined by the Council.
His successors from time to time shall be appointed by the Council on the recommendation of a committee of the Council which includes within its membership nominees of the Senate, and shall hold such office for such term or terms and subject to such conditions as may from time to time be determined by the Council.
The Council may appoint Deputy Vice-Chancellors. Any such appointments shall be made on the recommendation of a committee of the Council that includes within its membership nominees of the Senate.
Subject to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor may act as or on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor on such basis as the Vice-Chancellor may from time to time determine, and shall hold office for such term or terms and subject to such conditions as may from time to time be determined by the Council.
The Council may appoint Pro-Vice-Chancellors. Any such appointments shall be made on the recommendation of a committee of the Council which includes within its membership nominees of the Senate. Subject to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, pro-vice-chancellors shall discharge such duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be assigned to them by the Vice-Chancellor or the Council, and shall hold office for such term or terms as may be determined by the Council.
There shall be a Court which shall have the following powers:
1. To ask questions about, and to express an opinion on, any matter whatsoever relating to the University; and to convey such opinions to the Council and other University authorities.
2. To appoint the Chancellor and the Chair of Court (if not Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor).
3. To co-opt members to serve on the Court in accordance with provisions set out in the Statutes and Ordinances.
4. To award honorary degrees of the University
5. To establish such committees as it considers necessary to advise it on the discharge of its powers.
The Council shall be the governing body of the University and shall direct the form, custody and use of the common seal, and shall have power to regulate and determine all matters concerning the University, and generally shall exercise all the powers and discretions of the University, except as otherwise provided by this Our Charter or by the Statutes.
The Council shall have power by Statute to increase or diminish the number of its members, by increasing or diminishing the number to be nominated or appointed by the persons or bodies possessing the right of nomination or appointment, or by adding representatives of other bodies, or in any other manner.
The Statutes set forth in the schedule hereto annexed shall be the Statutes of the University under this Our Charter. The Council may amend, add to, or repeal the Statutes for the time being in force [including those set forth in the schedule hereto], but no such amendment, addition, or repeal shall be valid or operative until allowed by Us or by a committee of Our 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.
Provided 1. that it shall not be lawful for the Council, by any Statute or otherwise, to apply any religious, racial or political test in considering any person for a professorship, teaching post, for the holding of any office or membership of the University, or for admission as a student, or to enable that person to graduate thereat, or to enjoy or exercise any privilege thereof.
Provided 2. that any Statute or Ordinance made by the Council be not repugnant to the laws of this Realm or to the general object of this Our Charter.
Provided 3. that Ordinances relating to degrees, studies and examinations shall not be adopted without report from the Senate.
Provided 4. that no change shall be made in any Statute or Ordinance altering the status, powers, or constitution of the Court or the Senate until such body shall have had an opportunity of pronouncing an opinion upon the proposed change.
Degrees in absentia shall be conferred by a resolution of the Council or in such manner as the Council may from time to time determine.
The acts of the Council shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among its members.
The constitution of the Senate shall be determined by Ordinance.
The Senate shall, subject to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, and subject also to review by the Council, have the control and general regulation of the instruction and education within the University and shall have power to discuss and pronounce an opinion on any matter whatsoever relating to the University and such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by Statute or Ordinance.
The Court, the Council and the Senate may from time to time make regulations for governing their respective proceedings, subject to this Our Charter and to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University.
Subject to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University any power exercisable by the Court, the Council and the Senate of the University and any duty imposed by this Our Charter or by the Statutes of the University may be delegated by the Court, the Council and the Senate to any Committee or individual and so long as the delegation remains in force the power shall be exercisable wholly or in part by the Committee or individual and not by the delegating body; provided that any such delegation shall be revocable at any time by the delegating body but such revocation shall not affect the validity of anything done by the Committee or individual by virtue of the delegation.
The members of the University shall be the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the members of the University Court, the members of the University Council, all employees of the University, members of the Faculties, the wardens or other chief officers of halls of residence licensed by the University, fellows, graduates and diplomates; postgraduate students and undergraduate students of the University and such other classes of students as the Council may from time to time determine; emeritus professors and life fellows and other persons as the Council, on the recommendation of the Senate, may from time to time determine.
The postgraduates of the University shall be such persons as are admitted to postgraduate courses in the University.
The undergraduates of the University shall be such persons attending lectures or receiving instruction in the University as shall have matriculated under the Statutes.
Membership of the University may be waived at the request of a person made for reasons considered by the Council, on the recommendation of the Senate, to be sufficient, and upon the person concerned entering into such undertakings and guarantees as may be required to the effect that the person concerned will continue to observe the Charter, Statutes and regulations of the University as though that person had continued to be a member thereof.
As the Governing Body of an institution that is proud to be a multi-cultural community, the Council shall take steps to ensure: that all individuals are treated fairly, with dignity and respect; that the opportunities it provides are open to all; and that the University provides a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for staff, students and visitors.
The University may from time to time found and endow fellowships, scholarships, exhibitions, and other prizes for which funds or property may, by bequest, donation, grant, or otherwise be provided, and may make regulations respecting the same and the tenure thereof, but, except as aforesaid, and except by way of prize, reward, special grant, or remuneration for services rendered or to be rendered, in the past, present, or future respectively, the University shall not make any gift division or bonus in money unto or between any of its members. Whilst no member of the Council may be remunerated for serving on the Council, members of the Council may be remunerated for other services rendered or to be rendered to the University, in the past, present or future.
The University may demand and receive such fees as the Council may from time to time appoint.
The Council may from time to time alter, amend, or add to these presents by a special resolution in that behalf, and such alteration, amendment or addition shall, when allowed by Us, our Heirs, or Successors, or by any committee of Our Most Honourable Privy Council, or otherwise as We or They shall think fit, 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. This article shall apply to this Charter as altered, amended, or added to in any manner aforesaid.
A special resolution is a resolution passed at one meeting of the Council and confirmed at a subsequent meeting, held not less than one month, nor more than three months after the former, provided that the resolution be passed at each meeting by not less than three-fourths of the members of the Council present and voting thereon.
In this Our Charter ‘Statutes’ means the Statutes set forth in the schedule hereto and any Statutes altering, amending, adding to, or repealing the same or any of them which may hereafter be made and may be allowed by Us in Council, or by a committee of Our Council.
‘Ordinances’ means acts of the Council under the powers conferred by this Our Charter to which Our further sanction is not hereby or by Statute required.
‘Regulations’, except when otherwise required by the context, means Regulations made pursuant to this Our Charter or the Statutes.
Our Royal Will and pleasure is that this Our Charter shall always be construed and adjudged in the most favourable and beneficial sense for the best advantage of the University, and the promotion of the objects of this Our Charter as well in all our Courts as elsewhere notwithstanding any non-recital, mis-recital, uncertainty or imperfection herein.Back to the top
The University's degree-awarding powers as set out in this Chapter of the Charter may not be altered without the consent of the Office for Students.
Last updated 24 November 2015 (HJP)