Governance at QMU
The Court is the governing body of Queen Margaret University, established by the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007 which came into force on 1 April 2007.
The University is a company limited by guarantee (Company Number SC007335) and a charity (Scottish Charity No. SC002750) registered with the Office for Scottish Charities (OSCR). Court members are consequently Directors and also Charitable Trustees.
The Court is responsible for carrying out the objectives of the University, ensuring the financial sustainability of the University and approving the strategic plan.
The Court is supported by a number of committees including the Finance & Estates Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, Nominations Committee and Senior Management Remuneration Committee. The Health and Safety Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee also report to Court.
The Court delegates responsibility to the Senate for the academic work of the University and the conferring of degrees and other awards. Operational management is delegated to the University’s senior management team under the leadership of the Principal and Vice Chancellor.
An important aspect of the Court’s work is establishing and monitoring systems of control and accountability, including financial control, and reviewing the performance of the University. The Court approves the mission and strategic vision of the University, its long-term business plans, key performance indicators (KPIs) and annual budgets, and ensures that these meet the needs of stakeholders.
The Court also appoints the Principal of the University and has in place arrangements for monitoring his performance.
Appointment of Lay Court Members
CONTRIBUTE TO OUR SUCCESS
The University Court, which is the University’s governing body, regularly seeks to appoint to its independent (Lay) membership.
The next recruitment round is expected to take place in 2023.
Further information about the role of Court members and the application process can be found in the Supplementary Information document.
Appointment of the Chair of the University Court
Pamela Woodburn took up the role of Chair of the University Court on 1 April 2021, having been elected to the role by an electorate made up of the University’s students, staff and Court members, and following a competitive application and interview process.
Pamela has worked in senior leadership roles in both strategic and operational roles in non-executive and executive positions. During her varied career, she has held high ranking positions in a number of sectors including in economic development, housing and international development, as well as in both further and higher education.
With significant governance experience gained over the last 20 years, Pamela was a member of the Court of Edinburgh Napier University – five years of which she served as Vice Chair.
Outside education, Pamela has chaired the board of a major housing organisation and has worked to support social enterprise and charitable organisations. Earlier in her career she was Senior Director of the government agency, Scottish Enterprise, and held a number of strategic and operational roles.
Aligning with Queen Margaret University’s specialisms, throughout her career Pamela has supported Scottish companies in key industries such as tourism, food and drink, creative industries and financial services. She has also developed programmes for Business Gateway and has a passion for nutrition, health and wellbeing, as well as supporting entrepreneurship.
Public Announcement of Election Outcome
For information on our Court members, see our Court web page
The Court is comprised of:
- between 11 and 15 lay members who bring with them skills and experience of value to the University;
- the Principal and Deputy Principal;
- three staff members, two of whom are elected by staff, one who is appointed by Senate;
- two members nominated by trade unions recognised by the University (from 1 October 2019); and
- two members nominated by the University’s Students’ Union.
Members hold office for a fixed term, normally 3 years (but members may serve a second 3-year term), and they exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the University as a whole rather than as a representative of any constituency. They agree to abide by the University Court’s Code of Conduct and must complete a Register of Interests form annually.
Court members commit to conducting themselves in accordance with the Nine Principles of Public Life in Scotland: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership, Public Service, and Respect.
The Court meets at least five times a year and the business of each meeting is recorded in the Court Minutes.
Agendas and Minutes can be viewed on the Court Meetings webpage.
Skills Matrix of QMU Lay Court Members
Reports on Governance
Internal review of University implementation of the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance
Court Effectiveness Review
Report produced by the University's Court Effectiveness Review Working Group - 2022
Report produced by the University's Court Effectiveness Review Working Group
A Report to the Court Effectiveness Review Working Group from the External Adviser
Court Members Handbook
This Handbook is a guide for members of the Queen Margaret University Court which provides members with an overview of the key aspects of the University and the University Court relevant to their role as a member of the University Court.
Appendix 1 - QMU Strategic Plan
Appendix 2i - QMU Order of Council, 2ii 2015 Amendment and 2iii 2019 Amendment
Appendix 3 - Current Senior Leadership Team
Appendix 4 - Terms of Reference and Composition of Court Standing Committees
Appendix 5 - Terms of Reference and Composition of Senate and Senate Standing Committees
Appendix 6 - Financial Memorandum between QMU and SFC
Appendix 7i - Ministerial Letter of Guidance
Appendix 7ii - Ministerial Letter of Guidance on Outcome Agreement
Appendix 8 - The Nine Principles of Conduct in Public Life in Scotland
Appendix 9 - The Code of Conduct for Court of QMU
Appendix 10 - Guidance for Charity Trustees - OSCR
Appendix 11 - Court Standing Orders - October 2019
Appendix 12 - QMU Court Delegated Authorisation Schedule
Appendix 13 - Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance
Appendix 14 - CUC HE Code of Governance 2018
Appendix 15 - QMU Articles of Association
Appendix 16 - UK Corporate Governance Code - 2018
Appendix 17 - QMU Risk Management Policy
Appendix 18 - Role Descriptions of Members of Queen Margaret University Court
Appendix 19 - Standard Appointment Letter for Lay Members of Court
Appendix 20 - QMU Court Statement of Primary Responsibilities
Appendix 21.1 - Final Report Externally Facilitated Court Effectiveness Review: Part 1 and Part 2 / 21.2 Court Effectiveness Report 2019
Appendix 22 - Higher Education Governance Scotland Act 2016