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Report of the Council on Hughes Hall and on the criteria for recognition as a collegiate institution in the University

The COUNCIL beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. This Report proposes the recognition of Hughes Hall (at present a company limited by guarantee and an Approved Foundation in the University) as a full College in the University, and recommends the steps which the University will need to take to achieve this. It also sets out an assessment of criteria for recognition as a College, Approved Foundation, or Approved Society.

2. The Council have received from the authorities of Hughes Hall a request that the possibility of this change of status should be explored. The Council set up a Committee of members of the Council to consider the matter, comprising Dr G. A. Reid as chairman, Professor W. A. Brown (also secretary of the Colleges Committee and chairman of the Board of Graduate Studies), Dr R. J. Barnes (also Senior Tutor, Emmanuel College), and Ms D. Lowther (also Bursar, Girton College) with the Administrative Secretary as secretary. The Committee received extensive constitutional, educational, and financial information from the college, which were discussed in detail with officers of the college.

3. After initial consideration, the Committee concluded that the principal matters which required further consideration were concerned with finance and resources. To assist in that regard the Council added Dr J. R. F. Fairbrother, Senior Bursar of Trinity College and a member of the Colleges Fund Committee, and the Director of the Finance Division to the membership of the Committee. They also invited the Committee to examine the principles underlying the various forms of recognition (Approved Society, Approved Foundation, and College) available to institutions admitting members to the University. Those principles were discussed in the final report of the Committee to the Council, and have been accepted by the Council. The sections of the Committee's report dealing with them are reproduced in the Annex to this Report (p. 220). In respect of Hughes Hall the conclusion which follows is that as Hughes Hall has been found otherwise to be suitable as a College (educationally and constitutionally) and as it has already passed the hurdle of access to the Colleges' Fund, by achieving its present status as an Approved Foundation, it should, in principle, and subject to the grant of a charter, and University consent, be possible for it to move, if it wishes, as it does, to the status of a full chartered College. The Committee has confirmed that it recommends that the Council should in due course assent to an application for College status. The Council accept this conclusion and therefore now propose that Hughes Hall should be recognized as a College.

4. The resource position of the college is challenging: the college has worked hard and commendably to develop its site, and in doing so has engaged to the full its limited endowment, and has partly financed the recent new building through a bank loan. As a result, although the college is financially viable on a year-to-year basis, it does not at present have the level of endowment resource to enable it to develop its academic activities to the same extent as other Colleges. The Council, on the advice of their Committee, believe however that that ought not to impede or delay recognition. As a beneficiary of the Colleges Fund and with continuing prudent financial management, the college's endowment position will improve. Hughes Hall has expressed strongly the view that it will be assisted in securing for itself further resources by the grant of College status. The Council see no purpose to be gained by inhibiting that process in any way. Moreover they are satisfied that the educational, disciplinary, and other arrangements in the college are satisfactory, and that the draft Charter and Statutes are in satisfactory form. They therefore propose that Hughes Hall should be granted recognition as a College.

5. If the recommendations proposed in this Report are approved it will be necessary to provide for the inclusion of Hughes Hall in Schedule A of the Statutes (Cycle for the nomination of Proctors); the Council will consult the Colleges and will recommend a revised Schedule A in due course.

6. The draft Charter and Statutes may be inspected at the reception office at the Old Schools during ordinary office hours.

7. Regulations for Hughes Hall, which does not wish to change its educational provision from its present nature as a college for Graduate Students, other postgraduate students, and 'mature' and affiliated undergraduate students, will still be needed and are proposed in this Report. They are comparable to the regulations applying to some other Colleges.

8. The Council therefore recommend:

I. That, subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council and with effect from the date of the approval of the draft Charter and Statutes for Hughes Hall, the Statutes of the University be amended as set out below and that these amendments be submitted under the Common Seal of the University to Her Majesty in Council for approval:

Statute G

OBLIGATIONS OF COLLEGES

Chapter IV

membership of a college

By adding a new section 5 as follows:

5. The University may, in accordance with Statute xxx of the Statutes of Hughes Hall, make Ordinances prescribing conditions subject to which the College may admit and present for degrees candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Theology for Ministry.

Statute K

COMMENCEMENT, INTERPRETATION, INVALID PROCEEDINGS

Section 3.

By adding 'Hughes Hall' in paragraph (a) after 'St Edmund's College'.

II. That, with effect from the date on which the Charter and Statutes of the College come into force, the regulations for Hughes Hall (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 938) be rescinded and be replaced by new regulations for Hughes Hall as a College in Chapter XIV of the Ordinances, as follows:

Hughes Hall

1. Hughes Hall shall be empowered to present for matriculation, to enter as a candidate for any examination leading to the degree of B.A., Mus.B., B.Ed., and B.Th., and to present as a candidate for the degree, a student who (a) has attained the age of twenty-one years or (b) is entitled to be, or has been, approved as an Affiliated Student.

2. Except as provided in Regulation 1 and except in so far as the Council upon application from Hughes Hall shall have waived, in respect of a particular student, one or more of the following restrictions, Hughes Hall shall not:

(a)

present for matriculation any student who does not hold the status of Bachelor of Arts or of Master of Arts in the University;
(b)enter a student as a candidate for any examination leading to the B.A. Degree or the B.Ed. Degree (otherwise than for a Tripos Examination as a candidate not for honours), or for the Mus.B. Examination, or for an examination leading to the B.Th. Degree;
(c)present a candidate for the degree of B.A., Mus.B., B.Ed., or B.Th.

 

12 December 2005ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorBOB DOWLINGDAVID SIMON
 R. J. ANDERSOND. LOWTHERVERONICA SUTHERLAND
 Z. BARANSKID. W. B. MACDONALDLIBA TAUB
 NIGEL BROWNJAMES MATHESONBEN WHEELER
 WILLIAM BROWNMARTIN REESJOAN M. WHITEHEAD
 MIKE CLARKG. A. REID 

ANNEX

Extracts from the second report of the University Council's Committee; (chairman, Dr G. A. Reid) July 2005

The forms of recognition

3. The Committee, afforced by the addition to their membership, have sought to address the question of principles, which seems to them fundamental. To that end they have reviewed the terms of Statute H and the history of the matter of recognition.

4. Statute H is reproduced in the Appendix to this report.* Recognition as an Approved Foundation is granted by the University under Statute H, I, and recognition as an Approved Society under Statute H, IV. Recognition as a College is by inclusion within Statute K, 3(a), which lists the Colleges and which provides that in any Statute or Ordinance the term College shall include Approved Foundations so far as is provided in the Statute relating thereto.

5. The differences between those forms of recognition may be summarized as follows:

(a) Approved Societies

An Approved Society is recognized by Grace, and its status may be withdrawn in the same way. Conditions of recognition may be imposed by Ordinance and may be varied by Grace from time to time.

An Approved Society must be a 'society which is maintained within the Precincts of the University for the advancement of education, learning, and research'. There is no requirement as to the legal form that an Approved Society may adopt, but an Approved Society may not vary its instrument of government without the consent of the University, unless the Council have announced that the proposed variation does not affect the University or prejudice its interests.

There is no requirement that an Approved Society shall admit students, but no Approved Society that proposes to admit or does admit students shall receive or continue to enjoy recognition unless it makes suitable provision for their education and discipline.

By Statute H, IV, 3

Any provision of Statutes or Ordinance concerning Fellowship of a College, some office in a College, membership of a College, matriculation, residence, admission to and presentation for degrees, discipline, teaching or instruction on behalf of a College, and the obligations of Colleges in respect of Fellowships, shall be applicable as if the term College included any Approved Society.

The principal exclusions that apply by comparison with a College are that (i) an Approved Society is not liable to pay University contribution on its income; (ii) an Approved Society may not receive a payment from the Colleges Fund; (iii) an Approved Society is under no obligation to the University under Statute G, III in relation to its annual financial statements; and (iv) an Approved Society does not have the right or obligation to nominate persons as Proctors.

(b) Approved Foundations

An Approved Foundation is recognized by Grace, but its status may only be withdrawn by unanimous decision of a court, comprising the Chancellor (or deputy) and two assessors, on reference of the matter to the court by the Council. Conditions of recognition may be imposed by Ordinance on the initial grant of recognition, but may only be varied thereafter by Grace with the consent of the Approved Foundation.

An Approved Foundation must be an 'institution which is maintained within the precincts of the University for the advancement of education, learning, and research'. It must be incorporated or subsist under a trust instrument. An Approved Foundation may not vary its instrument of government without the consent of the University, unless the Council have announced that the proposed variation does not affect the University or prejudice its interests.

As with an Approved Society, there is no requirement that an Approved Foundation shall admit students, but an Approved Foundation that proposes to admit or does admit students must have suitable provision for their education and discipline (Statute H, I, 1(c)).

By Statute H, I, 3

Any provision in any Statute or Ordinance affecting all Colleges shall (unless this interpretation is excluded expressly or by necessary implication, and subject to the exceptions hereinafter mentioned) be applicable as if the term College included any Approved Foundation. This rule shall not apply in interpreting any of the provisions of Statute D, VI; and, if the University with the consent of the institution so determines, neither shall it apply in interpreting any of the provisions of Statute G, I.

The principal exclusions that apply by comparison with a College are that (i) an Approved Foundation is not liable to pay University contribution on its income for the first ten years after its recognition (Statute G, II, 14); and (ii) an Approved Foundation does not have the right or obligation to nominate persons as Proctors. (Formerly, under the old system, the head of an Approved Foundation was not eligible to be Vice-Chancellor).

(c) Colleges

A College is recognized by amendment of Statute K, 3(a). Its status may only be withdrawn by a further amendment to remove the College from that Statute. Such an amendment will not be effective without the consent of the College (section 7(1) of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923). No modern instance is known.

By custom Colleges are corporations created and governed by a Royal Charter and Statutes and in practice the Council would require an intention to obtain such a grant as a precondition of recommending to the University the grant of College status, and would make the statutory change conditional on the achievement of such a grant.

Statute G, IV provides that:

2. The University may, in accordance with Statute E, I, 1 of the Statutes of Wolfson College, make Ordinances prescribing conditions subject to which the College may admit and present for degrees candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Theology for Ministry.

3. The University may, in accordance with Statute F, I, 1 of the Statutes of St Edmund's College, make Ordinances prescribing conditions subject to which the College may admit and present for degrees candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Theology for Ministry.

4. The University may, in accordance with Statute 39 of the Statutes of Lucy Cavendish College, make Ordinances prescribing conditions subject to which the College may admit and present for degrees candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Theology for Ministry.

Those sections illustrate the preferable way in which the University can impose conditions on a College, namely that, in agreeing to recommend the grant of College status, the Council can require that the Statutes of the College provide for the University to impose conditions, and a corresponding provision can be made in the University Statutes.

(It is possible for the Council to require a provision in the Statutes of the College alone imposing the condition, but it is then necessary to be sure that the amendment of that Statute would affect the University and thus require the consent of the University.)

6. The Committee note that the intention of the creation, in 1964, of the status of Approved Society was to enable greater flexibility in the grant of recognition. In reality that greater flexibility is in the power to withdraw, rather than to grant, recognition. The only main constitutional difference in the scope of Statutes H, I and H, IV is that an unincorporated association could in principle become an Approved Society, but could not be an Approved Foundation - a difference that is unlikely to be of any real practical effect.

Principles: the Committee's conclusions

7. The Committee take it as axiomatic that the initial grant of recognition to an institution is a large step that requires the identification of a clear benefit to the University and that entails no obligation on the University to justify its decision to the institution itself. That applies both to the decision of the University in relation to the Grace for recognition, and the decision of the Council whether to sign a report recommending recognition.

8. The Committee further believe that that principle is modified in the case of a recognized institution that seeks a higher level of recognition. For such an institution is a recognized part of the University and the Council should be able and willing to justify to the institution a decision against recommending a higher level of recognition.

9. The decision whether to recommend the grant of a higher level of recognition should be judged against the practical consequences that flow from that change. In the Committee's view the key differences are as follows:

10. The principal risk to the University in any grant of recognition is reputational. A recognized institution (including a College) that managed its affairs improperly or in an incompetent fashion and in a scandalous way would bring disrepute on the University. So would a recognized institution (including a College) that became unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

11. In practice the larger of those risks, and the one over which the Council have better control in recommending the grant of recognition, is probably the latter. Both risks can be minimized by the careful scrutiny of each application for recognition by the Council.

12. The Committee believe that, after initial recognition, the largest step in terms of the enhancement of status is from Approved Society to Approved Foundation, rather than from Approved Foundation to College. Financial viability should be regarded as essential for that step, for so long as the Colleges Fund lacks the resources to bring the poorer Colleges up to a satisfactory level of endowment there would need to be an exceptional case for bringing in a new under-funded beneficiary. An Approved Foundation, however, is already a beneficiary of the Colleges Fund and the commitment of the Fund is not altered by the grant of College status.

Tests for recognition

13. The Committee recommend that the following considerations be addressed in the assessment of all future applications for recognition. Where appropriate, comments are made after each consideration.

(a) Recognition as an Approved Society

(i) What is the benefit to the University?

(ii) What is the legal nature of the institution? Is it a charity? Is its instrument of government in satisfactory form? How is the institution governed?

(iii) What are the mission and principal policies of the institution?

(iv) Is the institution maintained for the advancement of education, learning and research, and what has it achieved in the advancement of those purposes?

(v) What is the history and reputation of the institution?

(vi) Who are the members of the institution, and what is their status in it?

(vii) What is the employment structure and employment practices of the institution?

(viii) Where is the institution situated? Is it within the Precincts of the University?

It is a statutory requirement that an Approved Society (or an Approved Foundation) shall be maintained within the Precincts of the University. But the definition of the Precincts may be modified by Grace and that might be considered in appropriate cases.

(ix) What premises does the institution occupy? Are they reasonably fit and do they contain sufficient facilities for the purpose of the institution?

If the institution admits students

(x) How does the application relate to the University's policy on student numbers?

(xi) What provision is made for the education of students? To what extent is the institution self-sufficient in that respect of that provision?

The test to be applied is whether the educational provision for students is broadly of a nature made in the Colleges generally for students of the kinds admitted by the institution. A similar test applies in respect of the other considerations relating to students.

(xii) What provision is made for the discipline of students?

(xiii) What provision is made for the welfare and pastoral care of students?

(xiv) What provision is made for the residential accommodation of students?

(xv) What student facilities (both educational and social) are available in the institution?

(xvi) Do the arrangements within the institution comply with the legal requirements relating to student unions?

(xvii) Is the institution able to comply with University and inter-Collegiate standards in relation to the admission of students and the terms on which they are admitted?

Finance

(xviii) What is the financial position of the institution, as evidenced by its financial statements and by disclosure of all other relevant aspects of its financial position?

(xix) What is its business plan? Does it show a satisfactory forecast?

(xx) What financial provision is there to ensure that the institution has the resources to provide support for its students, staff and corporate identity as may reasonably be expected of a recognised institution in the University?

Conditions

(xxi) What conditions should be imposed in relation to the admission of students and to the presentation of candidates for degrees?

(xxii) What conditions should be imposed on the size of the institution, or the sizes of defined sections of the institution?

(xxiii) What other conditions should be imposed?

(b) Recognition as an Approved Foundation

If already an Approved Society

(i) Has the institution functioned satisfactorily as an Approved Society?

(ii) Is any change proposed in the legal nature of the institution or of its instrument of government? Are the proposed changes acceptable?

(iii) How the financial resources of the institution relate to the minimum endowment for a College of its size and composition as defined by the Colleges Fund Committee? Are they sufficient judged against the model?

The Committee regard this as an essential requirement. The Colleges Fund Committee have developed a model for the minimum endowment that a College needs to support for its students, staff and corporate identity through its charitable funds. That model depends on the size and composition of the College, and will no doubt be developed over time. The model endowment should be measured on the basis of the stated intentions of the institution as to its size and composition at the time of application, and should use the model as it stands at that time.

(iv) Is the institution sufficiently in the nature of a College to be granted that status in due course? Is there any other impediment to the grant of College status in due course? (See the comment to b(iii)).

The Committee believe that it is essential the Council should leave open the possibility of a negative decision on that basis. For example the Council may feel that a College should admit students, or that a College that admits students should do so in a sufficiently wide range of subjects. The Committee themselves express no views on those matters, which they think are best left for decision as and when they arise. The point is that an institution that cannot be seen as a potential College might become an Approved Society, but should not be granted recognition as an Approved Foundation.

If not already an Approved Society

(v) All of the considerations for recognition as an Approved Society referred to under (a) above and in addition (iii) and (iv) immediately above.

Conditions

(vi) What conditions should be imposed?

Any conditions must be carefully framed to protect the interests of the University, having in mind that they cannot be subsequently changed without the consent of the Approved Foundation.

(c) Recognition as a College

If already an Approved Foundation

(i) Has the institution functioned satisfactorily as a recognized institution?

(ii) Does the institution propose to petition for the grant of a Royal Charter and Statutes? Are the draft Charter and Statutes in an acceptable form?

If already an Approved Society

(iii) Has the institution functioned satisfactorily as an Approved Society?

(iv) Do the financial resources of the institution include at least the minimum endowment for a College of its size and composition as defined by the Colleges Fund Committee?

(v) Does the institution propose to petition for the grant of a Royal Charter and Statutes? Are the draft Charter and Statutes in an acceptable form?

If not already a recognized institution

(vi) All of the considerations for recognition as an Approved Society referred to under (a) above and in addition (iv) and (v) immediately above.

Conditions

(vii) What conditions, if any, should be imposed? Can they be imposed in a lawful and effective way?

Particular care is required in ensuring that any conditions are both effective and in an appropriate form. In deciding that conditions should be imposed on a College, the Council should be satisfied that there is a sufficient University interest requiring protection. For, generally speaking, it is in the nature of Colleges, as permanent institutions in the University, that they should be subject only to general constraints imposed by statute.

* Footnote: not reproduced in this extract


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Cambridge University Reporter 14 December 2005
Copyright © 2005 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.