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constitutional and governance advice in higher education

Higher education building

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are unique organisations with complex structures and subject to wide ranging regulation. In common with all organisations, effectiveness governance at HEIs plays an important role in supporting and ensuring effective operational performance. Ensuring compliance with constitutional, governance and regulatory requirements is also key to managing risk in this area.

Our experienced team of education lawyers, with its excellent reputation for providing practical, commercial and innovative advice and adding value whenever we can, advises on all aspects of constitutional and governance issues.

What we offer

We advise on the full range of issues HEIs are likely to face including:

  • The Office for Students (OfS) and charity regulatory frameworks and registration with the OfS
  • All constitutional matters, including governance structures, Charters, Statutes, Ordinances and Articles of Association and constitutional change
  • Reportable events
  • Relations with students’ unions
  • Senior pay
  • Fundraising, gifting, legacies and endowment
  • Borrowing and investment
  • Charity and company law
  • Counter-fraud
  • Crisis management and reputational challenges
  • Schemes of delegation
  • The rights and duties of Council and Board members
  • Training for Council and Board members.

Why choose Browne Jacobson higher education lawyers?

We provide specialist legal advice on constitutional and governance issues affecting the higher education sector. For more information, please contact Dominic Swift.

recent experience

  • Reviewing the approach of a university to ensuring compliance with consumer protection law including a review of its Student Protection Plan and its arrangements for ensuring that current and future students were well informed about their choices and the arrangements in place to ensure continuity of programmes of study.

  • Advising a Russell Group university on the duties and responsibilities of Members of Council across the full regulatory regime including in their roles as charity trustees.

  • Advising a university on its obligations in relation to reporting reportable events to the OfS following updated guidance.

  • Advising a university on the incorporation of a trading subsidiary to manage its intellectual property portfolio and implement its wide-reaching technology transfer initiatives.

focus on...

Legal updates

What is a higher education course for the purposes of access to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s (OIA) complaints process?

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s (OIA) has recently published a reminder of its remit in relation to dealing with complaints, which is a timely reminder as the new academic year begins.

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Protecting University IP and safely utilising building capacity during COVID-19

As Universities look to utilise their labs and bring staff and students back to campus, whilst potentially continuing with at home study and research, what are the key IP issues to consider and associated health and safety aspects?

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Legal updates

The mental health of higher education staff – duty of care in uncertain times

As we embrace mental health awareness week from 18 May 2020, it is timely to reflect on some of the steps that HEIs can take to discharge their duty of care in uncertain times.

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Higher Education procurement and contracting during COVID-19

What can and should universities do to set up contracts for September when there is uncertainty about how education will be delivered, or when staff have been furloughed or otherwise engaged?

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