The University of Southampton is a corporation formed by Royal Charter and holds charitable status.

University governance

University governance

The key bodies in the University governance structure are the Council (the University's governing body) and the Senate (the principal academic body).

Royal Charter

The University’s objects, powers and framework of governance are published each year and set out in the Royal Charter and its supporting statutes and ordinances. These can be found in the University Calendar.

Governance of the University

Two main bodies are involved in the governance of the University:

The day-to-day management of the University is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor.


The University’s governing body is the Council, which meets six times a year. It approves the strategic plans of the University and is ultimately responsible for its finances, buildings and staff.

It approves all major development and receives regular reports from the Vice-Chancellor and the Executive Management Team, and is responsible for ensuring that audited financial statements are produced for each financial year.

The Council is made up of:

More information about Council can be found here.


The Senate is the ultimate academic authority within the University. Its formal powers are set out in Ordinance 2.12.5.

The membership of Senate includes the Pro Vice-Chancellor, the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Deans and Associate Deans, elected representatives of the academic staff, senior members of the Professional Services, together with representatives drawn from a number of the services, and student representatives.

The Senate normally meets three times a year. More information about Senate can be found here.

University Senate

University Senate

Academic authority to the University.

Council members

Council members

Stewardship of the University.