Heriot-Watt University is overseen and governed by a number of key personnel, Boards and Committees.
The University is established by Royal Charter that is approved by Her Majesty the Queen. The Royal Charter has several stipulations, including to establish the Court, the Senate and the posts of senior officers of the University: Principal, Vice-Principal and Secretary.
The other governing document is the Statutes which prescribes in greater detail the governance requirements.
In summary, there are three principal elements to the governance of the University: the Court, the Principal & Vice-Chancellor, and the Senate.
The Court is the governing body of the University, which is ultimately responsible for oversight of the affairs of the University, and, among other responsibilities, sets and approves the University's strategic direction, vision and mission. The Court abides by the principles of the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance, which stipulate that in discharging its responsibilities the Court shall:
ensure the Institution's long-term sustainability;
conduct its affairs according to specified ethical standards;
have due regard to the interests of its stakeholders and the wider public;
determine the Institution's future direction and set the Institutional values;
ensure the protection of the academic freedom of relevant staff in compliance with relevant legislation and its own governing instruments;
ensure that it observes good practise in regard to equality and diversity;
foster a suitable environment whereby knowledge may be advanced and the potential of learners fulfilled; and
take all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the Institution.
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