Student Affairs Committee - Terms of Reference

1. Constitution

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) is a sub-committee of the University of Derby Governing Council and as such, its actions are open to scrutiny and approval by the full Council. The delegation of functions does not absolve the Governing Council from accountability for the conduct and decisions of its committees. The Governing Council remains responsible for the proper conduct of the University for undertaking its duties under the instruments and articles of government and for complying with the other legislation to which it is subject. The Terms of Reference of the Committee may be varied at any time by the Governing Council.

2. Objectives

2.1. Relations with the University: The SAC will encourage a positive two-way working relationship between the University and the Union of Students through ongoing dialogue and interactions to contribute to a thriving student experience, ambitious learning environment and alignment to institutional success measures.

2.1.1 Student Experience: The dialogue and interactions will provide an opportunity for issues around the student experience to be raised by SAC Committee members for the University and the Union of Students to explore and debate, and to maintain effective reciprocal communication channels between the student community, Governing Council and the University’s deliberative structures.

2.2. Student Voice: The SAC will enable the student voice to be heard and facilitate the exchange of feedback and responses within the University's structures and operations. This is through alerting and referring issues to the Governing Council and members of the University Executive, and by ensuring that mechanisms are in place to close the loop. 

2.3. Statutory and other reporting obligations: The SAC will advise the University’s Governing Council on the Union of Students’ statutory obligations, specifically to ensure the Union complies with the Union Constitution and Code of Practice in accordance with provisions outlined in the 1994 Education Act, provide a forum in which the Partnership Agreement is reviewed regularly and provide other formal reports as required by its constitution and articles of association.

3. Composition

Membership of the Student Affairs Committee will be extended to the following members:

3.1. Members:

By invitation, attendees

4. Quorum

 A quorum shall be no fewer than one-third of members, of which at least one member shall be an Independent Governor.

5. Conduct and regularity of meetings:

5.1. Agenda items may be proposed by all members to the Co-Chairs of the SAC not less than three weeks before the date of the meeting. The SAC is expected to meet four times per year. Members and attendees may attend in person or by video link subject to prior approval of the Co-Chairs.

5.2. The SAC will be co-chaired by a nominated Independent Governor and President of the Union of Students.

5.3. Minutes will be taken and circulated to members. Minutes will be provided to the Governing Council.

5.4. Guests may be invited to attend and speak at the invitation of the Co-Chairs.

5.5. Additional attendees may be invited to participate in the meeting as appropriate and based on the relevance of agenda items.

5.6. Officer Trustees Elect may attend the final SAC meeting of the academic year as observers.

5.7. These terms of reference will be reviewed annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

6. Duties

Relations with the University, the Student Experience

6.1. To receive and discuss regular reports on the services of the Union of Students available to their membership.

6.2. To receive, discuss and seek assurance and feedback relating to reports on issues and concerns relating to the wider student experience.

6.3. To receive, monitor and discuss student feedback and data on the student experience.

6.4. To receive and discuss relevant external-facing documents and recommend, when appropriate, to the Governing Council.

6.5. To participate in tasks and finish groups or further research to inform or resolve emerging issues.

Student Voice

6.6. To receive and discuss reports and issues raised by the Union of Students relating to student priorities on a responsive, rolling agenda.

6.7. To receive, discuss, and provide feedback to the Governing Council on progress, insights, live data and future plans on relevant academic and non-academic issues.

6.8. To invite student representatives to attend and represent their portfolio or geographic interests.

6.9. To advise the Governing Council on the implications for the student experience of university strategies and plans for estates, facilities, and residences.

6.10. To consult student representatives on emerging issues and developments at the institution.

Statutory and other reporting obligations

6.11. To receive and consider high-level reports at appropriate times relating to the constitution, strategy, operations and finances of the Union of Students.

6.12. To receive the Union of Students’ annual block grant submission and make recommendations to VCE for consideration, prior to final approval by Governing Council.

6.13. To review formally the Partnership Agreement every two years, with any proposed changes taken to the Governing Council.

6.14. To offer feedback and updates to the Governing Council on the Student Charter through the Committee’s annual review.

6.15. Make available a summary of the discussions and advice of this committee to Governing Council members, via the standing agenda item presented by the Co-Chairs.