Governance & Management

Academic Governance & Management

Academic Council

The UCO’s Academic Council is the ultimate academic authority of the UCO (subject to the Board of Directors) and is responsible for promoting, regulating and directing the academic work of the UCO, including teaching and research. It oversees the UCO’s academic management and all aspects of quality and standards associated with the UCO.

The Academic Council is chaired by the Principal. Its membership is representative of the whole UCO, and includes elected student representatives and elected staff representatives.

Two members of the Academic Council are external; they are not employed by the UCO and their membership provides an external higher education perspective that is valuable for a small specialist institution.

The Academic Council is the forum in which the strategic academic development of the UCO is debated, critically reviewed and proposed to the Board for approval.

Sub-Committees of the Academic Council

In order to carry out its work in a timely and effective manner, the Academic Council delegates specific areas of activity to several key functional sub-committees. Major developments are normally submitted to the Academic Council via one of these committees:

Sub-Committee Remit Overview
The Quality Assurance Committee (QAC)
Overseeing the implementation and development of the UCO’s systems for setting, maintaining and monitoring academic standards and its quality assurance systems and procedures for all taught provision on behalf of the Academic Council.
It also monitors, on behalf of the Senior Management Team, the effectiveness and the extent to which the UCO meets its institutional quality assurance obligations.
The Education Enhancement and Strategy Committee (EESC)
Reports to the Academic Council on initiatives for enhancing pedagogy at the UCO through defining and monitoring educational strategy.
The EESC directs educational activity based on external scanning and internal action planning, to promote innovation and enhancement in teaching, learning and assessment.
Academic policy guidance and regulations are developed by the EESC and are sent to the QAC for consideration before being recommended to Academic Council.
The Research and Scholarship Strategy Committee (RSSC)
Reports to Academic Council and focuses on research and scholarship activity and development across the UCO.
The RSSC is responsible for the implementation of the Research and Scholarship Strategy. Embedded within this, the RSSC develops and considers the implementation of new areas of research, as well as enhancing scholarship amongst staff and students, and monitoring the research elements of the Professional Doctorate.
The Widening Participation and Admissions Strategy Group (WPASG)
Overseeing the development and implementation of the UCO’s strategy for admissions and widening participation on behalf of the Academic Council.
The Group also considers the relevant sections of the QAA Quality Code and advises on the UCO’s alignment with the Code.
Boards of Examiners
The Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses have two levels of formal decision-making on student progression and awards: Boards of Examiners and Portfolio Assessment Boards. There is a Pre-Board of Examiners Meeting to consider Special Circumstances and to ensure that the recommendations on student progression and awards made to the Board of Examiners are consistent and appropriate. The Board of Examiners is accountable to the Academic Council.
Honorary Degrees, Academic Awards and Titles Committee (HDAATC)
Accountable to the Academic Council for recommending proposals of persons worthy of the conferment of an appropriate University of Bedfordshire honorary degree to Academic Council for agreement, prior to approval by the University of Bedfordshire, and recommending proposals of persons worthy of the conferment of a University College of Osteopathy honorary academic award and/or title to Academic Council for approval.

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