Committee of University Chairs

The Committee of University Chairs (CUC) represents Chairs of UK University Governing Bodies and develops and promotes governance standards for higher education in the UK.

It provides an opportunity for Chairs of Governing Bodies to share advice, experience and expertise on all matters concerning university governance.

Northumbria - Chris Sayers

Chris Sayers, Chair of CUC

Statement of Purpose

CUC is the representative body for the Chairs of UK universities. It seeks to provide a peer-support network for Chairs in leading both their governing bodies and more broadly. It seeks to promote high standards in university governance and to collaborate with others to that end.

Governance means effective stewardship of the university to secure its future, safeguarding the university’s mission and the public services it provides, securing the proper and effective use of public funds and accounting to stakeholders and society for institutional performance.


Support network

CUC aims to:

  • support Chairs to enable them (and governing bodies) to fulfil their governance responsibilities at the highest level
  • act as a peer-to-peer resource for Chairs
  • help collaboration between Chairs where possible and desirable
  • ensure that Chairs are kept abreast of developments affecting higher education and to facilitate discussions between Chairs on key issues for higher education institutions.


Raising standards

CUC aims to:

  • support the HE sector in developing the highest standards of governance appropriate within a sector comprised of autonomous and independent institutions, and to collaborate with other bodies to that end
  • research aspects of good governance relevant to higher education
  • gather and disseminate information on governance activity.



CUC will:

  • liaise with other bodies on issues arising from the core concerns of governing bodies
  • engage with other bodies to advance the interests of UK higher education as a whole in collaboration with Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors
  • represent Chairs of UK universities, regardless of their mission or origins.


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.

List of current member institutions


Membership benefits

CUC members benefit from a wealth of information on national and international HE governance issues and policy, regular networking and career development opportunities and a forum to share concerns with colleagues in a secure environment.


How we operate

The members of CUC are the chairs of 133 UK universities.

CUC is managed by an elected executive committee, which is supported by an executive secretary based at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

CUC Executive Committee

CUC holds regular working group meetings on specific issues, and two general meetings each year.


Links to other groups

CUC has regular contact with the other main bodies involved in UK Higher Education, including:

CUC also has representatives on the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA), which helps set higher education salaries, a representative on the UCEA Working Party on Health and Safety and the Clinical Academic Salaries Group, and a member on the Board for the Independent Adjudicator.

Representatives of all these bodies, together with others such as the National Centre for University and Business and the General Medical Council, are regularly invited to address meetings of the CUC.



CUC began life as a meeting of chairs of university governing bodies in 1986, which became known as the Committee of Chairmen of University Councils (CCUC).

In 1993, CCUC merged with the Standing Committee of New University Chairmen to form the Committee of Chairmen of University Councils and Boards (CCUCaB). In 1996, the group became the Committee of University Chairmen (CUC), which was more recently changed to the Committee of University Chairs.