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Taking good governance in higher education forward

Students with book

Good governance is critical to the effective operation of Scotland’s higher education institutions and to their ability to make a full contribution to Scotland’s success. Good governance at the institutional level is underpinned by sector-wide principles and standards, which are set out in the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance. A new edition of the Code was released in October 2017.

Safeguarding good governance in higher education is the responsibility of the Chairs of institutions’ governing bodies, who together form the Committee of Scottish Chairs. Every higher education institution in Scotland has a governing body — usually known as the ‘Court’ or ‘Board’ — which includes independent members, members drawn from the institutions’ staff and students, the Principal and, in some universities, the Rector. The governing body is the ultimate authority within a higher education institution and it has a key role in providing oversight of the institution’s management.

Higher education institutions are autonomous and the sector is diverse. All our institutions have slightly different governance arrangements, but all work to a set of core principles that exist to promote the highest standards of leadership and oversight. The CSC recognises that good governance is always evolving and is committed to monitoring best practice and to regular reviews of the Code of Governance.

On this website, you will find the Code and details of how the CSC created and recently updated it.