Universities Scotland has welcomed the updated Scottish Code of Good HE Governance following a scheduled review undertaken on behalf of the Committee of Scottish Chairs in consultation with stakeholders.
The review fulfils the commitment of the Committee of Scottish Chairs to achieve continual enhancement of good governance, together with transparency, inclusion and accountability. This is operationalised for higher education with a requirement, written into the Code, that it should be reviewed at regular intervals.
This review and update is the third iteration of the Code with the last version of the Code published in 2017. The review concluded that agreed that the Code remained fit for purpose and only required minor revision in light of legislative changes and the development of good practice since the previous edition. The 2023 Code is therefore an enhancement of the previous code. It incorporates guidance and good practice sourced from:
- Scottish Ministers’ 2021 revised Model Code of Conduct;
- Statutory Guidance on Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018;
- Legal requirements in the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 (the 2016 Act), which came fully into force on 30 December 2020; and
- The Code also takes into account feedback from a range of stakeholders, including the governing bodies of Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions, the trade unions, the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government.
The 2023 edition, once fully adopted, entirely replaces the 2017 Code.
Colin Hunter, Chair of the Board of Governors at Robert Gordon University and chairs the Committee of Scottish Chairs, the body responsible for the Code said:
“Good governance is critical to the success of our Scottish University sector. It is part of the Chairs’ job, as custodians of good governance in higher education to review the framework and mechanisms that underpin that good governance on a regular basis. That process, with input from a wide range of stakeholders, has just concluded, and as Chair of the Committee of Scottish Chairs, I am pleased to commend this updated and revised version of the Scottish Code.”
The Code was consulted on fully with the governing bodies of Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions, the trade unions, the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government all contributing.
Universities Scotland’s members are autonomous institutions with differing governance arrangements reflecting their history, mission and place. With the Code, our members have a set of core principles that exist to promote the highest standards of leadership and oversight resulting in good governance that delivers for the institution, its students, staff and community.
The updated Code is available on the Scottish Code of Good HE Governance website: http://www.scottishuniversitygovernance.ac.uk/2023code/