The University of Kent is a self-governing autonomous institution established by Royal Charter in 1965. The Charter sets out its overall constitution and is supplemented by Statutes and Ordinances that provide more detail as to how the University operates in practice.
Birds-eye view of Canterbury campus

Birds-eye view of Canterbury campus 

Building a strong university

The University has in place robust mechanisms for ensuring accountability of its processes and decisions and for the management of risks.

This section of the University website provides links to Policies and Procedures and the records of the key governing bodies of the University including the Councilthe Senate, and the Court

Constitution and Management

Charter, Statutes and Ordinances

The University of Kent at Canterbury received its Royal Charter in 1965. The University’s Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations form the University’s constitutional framework.  

  • The Charter sets out the University’s fundamental objectives. 
  • The Statutes provide information on the appointments of the Chair, Deputy Chair of the Council, the Vice-Chancellor and the Chancellor and make provision for the appointment of Deputy Vice-Chancellors and the Secretary of the Council.
  • The Ordinances define, amongst other things: the Divisions and their constituent schools and the membership of Divisional Committees. 

The Council, the Senate and the Court

  • the Council and its sub committees have overall responsibility for the governance of the institution.
  • the Senate, which has responsibility for the academic work of the University.
  • the Court which includes representatives from many sections of the local and national community as well as the University’s principal officers.


The University has six Academic Divisions (Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Human and Social Sciences; Arts & Humanities; Natural Sciences; Study of Law, Society and Social Justice; Kent Business School) each headed by a Director of Division. 

Learn more about Kent six Academic Divisions.

Principal Officers and Management

The Vice-Chancellor is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is assisted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s), the Secretary of the Council and other administrative officers and their staff in the day-to-day management of the University.

Learn more about the University Principal Officers.   

Magna Charta Universitatum

 The University of Kent is a founding signatory of the Magna Charta Universitatum. Signed in 1988, the Charta is a commitment to institutional autonomy for universities, the link between teaching and research, academic freedom and the internationalism of higher learning. The Charta has an associated Observatory that gathers information and forms opinion from signatory institutions to promote fundamental university values.  

Charity information

The University of Kent was established by Royal Charter in 1965. It is an exempt charity subject to the provisions of the Charities Act 2011 (HMRC reference number XN5452). 

The Office for Students is the principal regulator for all higher education institutions (HEIs) in England which are exempt charities. All HEIs with exempt charity status are required to publish the following information on their websites: 

The University of Kent is an exempt charity in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. The Order in Council came into operation on 1 October 1965.

The University’s legal name and correspondence address is:

The University of Kent
The Registry
United Kingdom

Queries about the above should be sent to the Director of Governance and Assurance (Sinéad Critchley) at the above address.

Contact us

To contact us about anything Governance matters please email

Last updated