UCEA’s membership criteria requires Board approval of the annual review process, with UCEA reviewing the membership criteria of the four members of the Company so that any changes and any resulting implications for UCEA membership criteria can be considered. The four Members of the company are the CUC, GuildHE, Universities Scotland and Universities UK.
‘Full’ UCEA Membership criteria
UCEA was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (number 02914327) on 30 March 1994. The UCEA Memorandum and Articles of Association state that:
The objects for which the Company is established are:-
(1) to promote and carry on as a non-profit making body the activities of an employers’ association for subscribing universities and other higher education institutions in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“Institutions”) and any of their representative bodies or associations by the provision of a framework within which representatives of Institutions can discuss salaries, conditions of service, employee relations and all matters connected with the employment of staff and employees and including (without limitation) the negotiation of salaries, terms of conditions of service and employment-related matters on behalf of any Institutions;
(2) to act as a consultant and adviser to subscribing Institutions and other bodies and persons on employment matters.
The document goes on to state:-
(i) throughout this Memorandum the word “body” includes any association, institution or aggregate of persons, whether incorporate or unincorporated, whether financed by public or private funds (or a combination of both) and whether of a voluntary nature or otherwise;
(ii) in this Memorandum the expression “subscribing universities and other higher education institutions” means universities and other higher education institutions which:-
(i) are for the time being paid up subscribers to any Member of the Company for the purposes of benefiting from the services provided by the Company; or
(ii) are as at the date of the incorporation of the Company, members of the Polytechnics and Colleges Employers’ Forum; or
(iii) may be approved from time to time by the Board in its absolute discretion (either or an individual or a collective basis) as being appropriate institutions for this purpose
The four Members of the company are the CUC, GuildHE, Universities Scotland and Universities UK. Board membership comprises Vice-Chancellors, Principals and University Council Chairs nominated by the four Members.
The Memorandum was last revised in December 2013 and copies of the full document are available on request.
UCEA’s full subscribing members are, by reference to the memorandum and Articles, all UK HE providers eligible for full membership of the four Members of the company: UUK, US, GuildHE and CUC.
The membership criteria for UUK and GuildHE remain very relevant given the definition within the Memorandum of the phrase “subscribing universities and other higher education institutions”.
As the membership of the UCEA Board includes University Chairs nominated by CUC it is also important to note the CUC’s own membership criteria:
CUC membership is open to the lay chairs of the governing bodies of all institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have full university status regardless of their legal form.
CUC has no membership barriers to private or for-profit institutions provided the ‘full university status’ requirement is met. Chairs can be remunerated but they must be independent and not linked to profits or shares of the institution or organisation.
Only full members of UCEA are represented on the UCEA Board. It is important to note that the membership has for some time encompassed HE institutions both in receipt of public funding and otherwise, the latter including the not-for-profit University of Buckingham, Regent’s University, the University of Law and the American International University at Richmond.
The full list of UCEA’s current members is available and kept updated on the UCEA website.
‘Associate’ UCEA membership criteria
At its meeting in June 2013, the UCEA Board agreed to create a new category of associate member. Associate membership of UCEA mirrors the benefits and services of full membership with one exception – associate members are not represented through nominations to the UCEA Board. The Board supported this extension of UCEA’s membership with the caveat that this should not impact on UCEA’s resources or require the provision of specific new services.
The criteria for UCEA associate membership was agreed in 2013 as follows:
In all cases, the UCEA Board will determine applications from prospective subscribing organisations at its absolute discretion. In determining such applications for membership (or renewal of membership) the Board will have regard to the following considerations:-
(a) Whether the application been made on behalf of the organisation, rather than on an individual basis.
(b) The jurisdiction(s) in which the applicant is incorporated and, if relevant, where it delivers teaching, scholarship and research; and, in particular, whether the institution has HE operations in the UK.
(c) Whether the applicant demonstrates a primary purpose of teaching, scholarship and research, as demonstrated by:-
(i) a record of delivering teaching and scholarship/research; and
(iii) support for the principle of academic freedom for all staff and students.
(d) Whether the applicant is engaged in the delivery of support or advisory services, research, or is aligned in some other relevant way (as determined from time to time), to the support or development of higher education.
(e) Financial accountability and independence, which may be demonstrated by:-
(i) full accounts published annually and made publicly available;
(ii) an independent governing body with authority over the strategic direction, educational ethos and financial management of the institution; and
(iii) adherence to the Nolan seven principles of public life, namely: selflessness; integrity; objectivity; accountability; openness; honesty; and leadership.
(f) Demonstrable commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity.
(g) Accountability to students and the wider public, which may be demonstrated by:-
(i) adherence to all relevant regulatory frameworks and accountability requirements for public;
(ii) adherence to relevant quality assurance systems, including national systems and professional bodies;
(iii) engagement with relevant national bodies that support and protect the interests of students; and
(iv) adherence (by law or voluntarily) to the publication and scrutiny of data and information (such as through the Higher Education Statistics Agency and Freedom of Information Acts).
(h) Whether the applicant is in good standing.