The Council is the university’s governing body with the legal and financial responsibility to ensure the university operates effectively and sustainably in the long-term. The structure of the Council is in line with guidance on good university governance produced by the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) and with other higher education institutions in the UK.
Like other universities, King’s College London is a charity and our Council members which include staff, students and appointed independent members, serve as its Trustees. They have a legal fiduciary duty and must ensure that the university's affairs are conducted in an effective, prudent and financially viable and sustainable manner.
We review our governance every five years. Our next regular review of governance of King’s will begin in the academic year 2023-24 and we look forward to engaging our students and staff in that process.
Find out more about the function of the council.
Membership and procedures
King’s is extremely proud of the diversity and calibre of our staff, students, and independent Council members, who are working to ensure that King’s continues to be a great place to study and work. They give up their time voluntarily and are unpaid to serve on Council and its standing committees.
Our Council, like almost all UK universities, has a majority of appointed independent members, including some King’s alumni. Independent council members are chosen for their knowledge and expertise, and to ensure the university is run as effectively and efficiently as possible, as our staff and students would expect. Alongside appointed independent members our Council includes elected staff and student representation.
All appointments to the Council and sub-committees are made through a Governance and Nominations Committee as required by the CUC Higher Education Code of Governance.
More information about the role of Council, the responsibilities of members and the criteria for membership (pdf 58KB).
Robust policies to deliver transparency
The Council’s work is supported by a number of committees and sub-committees. Our newest committee, the Staff and Culture Strategy Committee (SCSC) reflects our commitment in Strategy 2026 to continue to build a thriving staff community. The SCSC will provide oversight for people and culture at King’s and advise Council on progress and highlight areas that require further attention.
There are robust governance and procedures in place to ensure transparent and independent decision-making processes across the entire governance structure. This includes clear separation between Council meetings and our investment management decisions which are made by a separate committee and taken on independent professional advice. Decisions regarding remuneration are taken by the Remuneration Committee - a sub-committee of College Council. The Remuneration Committee reports directly into Council, and its membership does not include the Principal or any other member of the Senior Management Team.
Members of the Council and members of its standing committees and subcommittees adhere to the Council Conflict of Interest Policy, which ensures that all members of Council disclose their interests every year and any conflicts are immediately declared if related matters are due to be discussed in a Council meeting or on an upcoming committee agenda. This is consistent with good practice in the higher education sector.