Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6408

Friday 11 December 2015

Vol cxlvi No 13

pp. 224–285

Annual Report of the Council for the academical year 2014–15

Annual Report

The Council begs leave to report to the University as follows:

The Chancellor

Lord Sainsbury of Turville has visited the University frequently over the year, including visits to Colleges and academic departments. He presided at the Guild of Benefactors Ceremony and the Honorary Degrees Congregation. He opened the West Cambridge Data Centre and a new wing of the Veterinary School. Lord Sainsbury attended a briefing and tour of the University Technical College (one of whose sponsors is Cambridge University Health Partners, Ltd) and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. He attended anniversary celebrations for the Cambridge Association for Women in Science and Engineering (AWiSE) and Wolfson College, as well as visits to Homerton College, the Herchel Smith Building for Brain and Mind Sciences, and the Engineering Department. Lord Sainsbury also attended the 5th Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium (‘Imaging the Nervous System’) and the Babbage Symposium, organized by the Institute for Manufacturing.

The Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRS, addressed the University on 1 October 2014 on The Responsibility of Freedom, noting the sacrifice of the Cambridge students and staff who died in the First World War, and their legacy on which today’s University is built. He drew attention to the responsibility the University has to the local region, the country, Europe, and the world, and emphasized the contribution that it makes to economic growth and wellbeing. In a keynote speech given in Vienna in March 2015 at the Global Universities and their Regional Impact conference marking the University of Vienna’s 650th Anniversary, he underlined the need for constructive debate about the UK’s contribution to, and membership of, the European Union. The Vice-Chancellor has also undertaken many national and overseas engagements on the University’s behalf, travelling to several European countries, India, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the United States.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors

After consultation with the General Board, and on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee for the appointment and reappointment of Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Council appointed Professor Duncan Maskell, W, as Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for three years from 1 August 2015; Professor Eilís Ferran, CTH, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Institutional and International Relations) for three years from 1 October 2015; and Professor Christopher Abell, CHR, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor Nigel Slater, F, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Regional Affairs) for three years from 1 January 2016.

The Council is grateful to Dr Jennifer Barnes, MUR, Professor Lynn Gladden, T, Professor Jeremy Sanders, SE, Professor Steve Young, EM, and Professor Graham Virgo, DOW, for their service as Pro-Vice-Chancellor through the academical year.

The Council particularly notes the outstanding contribution of Professor Young during his tenure as Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for planning and resources.

The Council and its committees

(i) The Council: responsibilities and operation

The Council is defined by Statute A as the principal executive and policy-making body of the University, having general responsibility for the administration of the University, for the planning of its work, and for the management of its resources. It is declared to have power to take such action as is necessary for it to discharge these responsibilities. It also performs such other executive and administrative duties as may be delegated to it by the Regent House or assigned to it by Statute, Special Ordinance, or Ordinance.

The Council’s Statement of Primary Responsibilities (annexed to this Report) is reviewed annually together with its Standing Orders, the Code of Practice for members of the Council, and the Statement of Corporate Governance.

The Council continues to discharge its responsibilities through ordinary regular meetings (eleven each year) and, as necessary, special meetings (of which there were none in 2014–15); scrutiny of business through the Business Committee, the Advisory Committee on Benefactions, External, and Legal Affairs (ACBELA), and other committees, notably the Finance Committee and the Audit Committee; and through receipt and approval of routine business by circulation. Business is monitored and managed through the regular consideration of work plans. The Council has continued to hold two strategic meetings each year, one in September and one in the spring. As of February 2015, papers for Council meetings are primarily distributed online rather than in hard copy; most material considered by the Council (except where reserved or otherwise restricted for reasons such as commercial confidentiality) is available to members and staff of the University on the Council’s website at

(ii) Council membership

In the Michaelmas Term 2014, the Regent House approved the appointment of Ms Sara Weller as an external member of the Council in class (e).1 In December 2014, the Council agreed to appoint Mr John Shakeshaft as Deputy Chair of the Council with effect from 1 January 2015.

Following the biennial election of half of the elected membership, the Council welcomed new members elected with effect from 1 January 2015. There were also bye-elections in classes (a) and (c). The membership until 31 December 2014 and from 1 January 2015 is attached as Annex A.

(iii) Routine reporting to the Council

During 2014–15, the Council received a progress report on the North West Cambridge Project at every meeting. Cambridge University Press and the Local Examinations Syndicate (Cambridge Assessment) report annually to the Council; the respective Chief Executive Officers and the Chairs of the Syndicates attend to present their reports and to answer questions. The Director of External Affairs and Communications and the Executive Director of University Development and Alumni Relations also report annually or more regularly as necessary on the work of their offices.

(iv) Review of the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

In March 2014, the Council published a Report putting forward proposals to revise the governance and management arrangements for sport. The proposals had been made on the recommendation of a review committee established by the Council, after consultation within the University, and were amended to take into account comments made at a Discussion in April. Following a ballot in the Michaelmas Term 2014, the proposals, as amended, were approved.2 The revised structure came into effect from the beginning of the Lent Term 2015 and the University Sports Committee met for the first time in April 2015.

(v) Statement of investment responsibility

In May 2015, the Council endorsed the terms of reference and membership of a working group established by the Advisory Committee on Benefactions and External and Legal Affairs to review the University’s statement of investment responsibility.3 The statement, which was adopted in 2008, guides the work of the Investment Board and the University’s Investment Office in the management of the CUEF. The review will consider whether any amendments should be made in light of developments in the understanding of the integration of environmental, social, and governance aspects (including but not limited to fossil fuel investments) in investment decisions.

(vi) Management and governance of scientific research using animals

In the Michaelmas Term 2014, the General Board published the report of an expert panel appointed to review the arrangements governing scientific research using animals.4 Whilst the panel commended elements of good practice, it also identified measures to improve the management and governance of the University’s animal research facilities. The Council and the General Board published a Report in April 2015 which supported the recommendations of the panel and proposed that a new Health, Safety, and Regulated Facilities Division be established within the Unified Administrative Service (UAS).5 The recommendations of the Report were approved by Grace 1 of 10 June 2015.

(vii) Human resources and remuneration of the Investment Office

The Council agreed at a meeting in April 2015 to recommend to the Regent House that the Investment Office staff should form a new class of University employees, with their own remuneration scales and structures, to enable the recruitment and retention of investment professionals of the calibre required to secure long-term investment returns. The revised structure, which was approved by Grace 3 of 10 June 2015, will be guided by University policies and procedures and under the oversight of a remuneration committee reporting to the Council’s Remuneration Committee.

(viii) External finance for certain building projects, including North West Cambridge and the non-operational estate

The Council agreed, at a meeting in May 2015 to recommend to the Regent House, on the advice of the Finance Committee, that the Council be given authority to arrange external finance of up to £300m for income-generating projects for two years from 18 May 2015, the date of the Report. This authority was approved by Grace 2 of 24 June 2015. This is 'in-principle' authorization: no proposal for borrowing will be made without a detailed appraisal by the Finance Committee and the Council of the funding options for the University and the purposes for which the borrowing would be applied.

(ix) Council Committee for the Supervision of the Student Unions (CCSSU)

The CCSSU is the body which fulfils the responsibilities on governing bodies of universities under Section 22 of the Education Act 1994. The CCSSU notified the Council at its meeting on 16 February 2015 that the Graduate Union (GU) had been removed from the Charity Commission’s register of charities. The Charity Commission has authority, under s. 34 of the Charities Act 2011, to remove from the register a charity which has ceased to exist or does not operate. The GU had failed to file its annual return for 2012–13 and had not provided a substantive response to the Charity Commission; the Charity Commission had therefore assumed that the GU had ceased to operate. The GU has since been re-registered and has submitted its accounts for 2012–13 and 2013–14 to the Charity Commission.

Governance and constitutional matters

(i) Review of student disciplinary procedures

A review committee of the Council and the General Board was established in Lent Term 2014 to review the University’s student disciplinary processes, with a particular focus on the management of cases which invoked both the disciplinary and complaints procedures. A first Report was published in June 2015 and approved by Grace 6 of 15 July 2015.

(ii) Septemviri

In April 2014, the General Board and the Council agreed to commission a limited review on the operation of the Septemviri following the receipt of a letter from Professor Sir John Baker, who chaired the Septemviri in a recent case. The recommendations of a Joint Report,6 proposing amendments to the process for appeal under the Schedule to Statute C in the case of non-confirmation of appointment, were approved by Grace 2 of 10 June 2015.

(iii) Approval of amending Statutes

Amendments to the student membership of the Council and the General Board, as set out in Statutes A IV and A V, were approved by Her Majesty in Council on 11 February 2015. The period of office of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor was revised, amending Statute C X, to enable a person to hold office for a total period of eight years in exceptional circumstances, on the same date.7 Amendments to remove from Statute A I references to the method of voting in elections of the Senate were approved on 10 June 2015.8

Accountability and Audit

(i) Audit Committee membership

The Audit Committee consists of nine members, the majority of whom are external. The Committee is chaired by Mark Lewisohn, an external member of Council (in class (a)). There are two members of Council (in class (b)), four external members (in class (c)) and two co-opted members (in class (d)). The Chairs of the Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment Audit Committees, senior University officers (including the Registrary, the Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and the Director of Finance), the University’s Internal Auditors, and, where relevant to agenda items, the external auditors also attend meetings.

There have been four changes to Audit Committee membership during 2014–15. Mark Lewisohn took over as Chair in January 2015 at the end of Mr John Shakeshaft’s tenure. Mr Lewisohn’s former membership of class (b) left a vacancy which was filled from January 2015 by Dr Ruth Charles. Ms Caroline Stockmann, who was a member of the Committee in class (c), resigned from the Committee in February 2015. She has been replaced by Ms Catherine Spitzer, Chief Operating Officer at Bidwells Property Consultancy, who joined in May 2015. Mr John Dix, who was also a member of the Committee in class (c), resigned in November 2014. He was replaced in July 2015 by Mr John Aston, who has a financial background in the life sciences industry. The Council is grateful to all current and former members who give their time and expertise in support of the Audit Committee’s work and, in particular, to Mr Shakeshaft for his work as Chair.

In anticipation of the departure of Professor Sarah Worthington, Mr Nick Temple, Chair-elect of the CUP Audit Committee, attended the May meeting and workshop. He was also involved in the external audit project sub-group (see paragraph (v)).

(ii) Policy against bribery and corruption

The Committee receives an annual review of the University’s policy against bribery and corruption. There were no reports of bribery and only one case of financial fraud which was under the threshold that required reporting to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press each had one case of fraud, again under the threshold requiring reporting to the regulator.

Almost 2,000 members of staff have undertaken the online Bribery and Corruption training module.

(iii) Risk, emergency, and continuity management

Risk management is a standing item on the Audit Committee’s agenda. The University’s Strategic Risk Register is updated and reviewed by the Risk Steering Committee which meets twice a year and is chaired by the Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor. The Council receives and discusses the Strategic Risk Register at its December meeting.

An online repository for local emergency action plans has been launched and departments have been required to complete plans; the completion rate now stands at over 90%. All departments classed as high risk (e.g. they contain high value assets, house essential information, contain animal facilities, or host material subject to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act or other crime prevention legislation) have submitted plans.

In collaboration with University Information Services (UIS), the University’s Silver Team is now equipped with essential IT facilities to assist the Team in an emergency. 

The Silver Team was convened on 19 July 2015 in light of the major incident affecting IT services caused by storm damage the previous night. Services were functioning normally by midday as a result of the actions taken by UIS. A test exercise for the Silver Team will be carried out later in Michaelmas Term 2015.

(iv) Refreshed internal audit function

Deloitte LLP was reappointed for three years with effect from 1 August 2014 to provide the University’s internal audit function. There is a new approach which includes: an increased focus on priority risk areas as aligned with the University’s Key Risk Register; a broader insight with specialist and senior input; and greater self-assurance by Schools and departments/institutions. The self-assurance has taken the form of a survey developed to reflect key risk areas and data analytics to give assurance on departments/institutions’ compliance with key processes in high risk areas.

The revised approach also includes a stronger engagement with Schools and departments/institutions and the internal auditors have attended School Council meetings to discuss internal audit matters.

For the first time in 2014–15, the Committee implemented a programme of presentations by senior staff as an additional source of assurance. This has proved useful and a full cycle of presentations to cover the University’s key risks that currently carry a ‘red’ or ‘orange’ status is being arranged for 2015–16.

(v) Reappointment of external auditors

At its January 2015 meeting the Committee agreed that the external auditors PwC provided a high quality of service and were good value for money. The Committee therefore recommended to the Council that a Grace be published for the reappointment of PwC as the external auditors for the 2014–15 financial year.

Market testing of the external auditors is required to be carried out every seven years, and appointment/reappointment of external auditors is due in the 2015–16 financial year. The Committee established a sub-group, chaired by Ms Legrand, to undertake a market testing exercise. The Sub-group reviewed feedback reports on PwC’s performance from Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press, Mr Picking, Mr Temple (Chair-elect of the CUP Audit Committee), and the Director of Finance. The Sub-group also reviewed various Value for Money benchmarking papers for external audit provision in the HE sector. On the basis of that exercise, positive feedback on PwC’s performance, and the benefit of continuity (for CUP in particular), the Sub-group recommended, in principle, that there should not be a full re-tender at this stage, and that PwC should be reappointed for a further three years subject to performance in the 2015 audit exercise and interview, to ensure that the University would continue to receive a high quality service and value for money. HEFCE has confirmed that it is content with this approach.

(vi) Assurance on the Colleges’ use of HEFCE funds transferred by the University to the Colleges for educational purposes.

As part of the overall process of seeking assurance on the Colleges’ use of HEFCE funds, an annual meeting is held with representatives from the Colleges. This year’s meeting provided assurance that Colleges’ expenditure on education as set out in the audited accounts was an appropriate application of the funds transferred. Further work will be undertaken, through the University and Colleges Joint Committee, to identify further opportunities for greater collaboration between the University and the Colleges to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.

(vii) Audit Committee workshops and presentations

As in previous years, the Committee held two workshops; in 2014–15, these were on: (a) CUP and Cambridge Assessment’s respective operating environments, strategies, and risk management; and (b) the University’s estates strategy.

University resources

(i) Financial position

The Council oversees planning and resource allocation matters through the Planning and Resources Committee (PRC), a joint Committee of the Council and the General Board. A significant proportion of the PRC’s work each year is the preparation of the University budget and five-year financial forecasts, which are reported in detail in the Report on the Financial Position of the University (the Budget Report). Although the forecasts for the coming four years show a small Chest surplus planned in most years, this remains well below the level needed for long-term sustainability; accordingly the University’s finances remain, as reported last year, finely balanced. Indeed, the projection for 2015–16 is for a small deficit on the Chest.

The planning outlook continues to be dominated by significant financial risks. On the income side, there is uncertainty concerning future levels of government funding for teaching and research, whilst pressures on major items of expenditure including pay, pensions, energy costs, and construction costs are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The PRC has issued guidance for the next Planning Round which again allows for a prudent 1% increase in allocations to institutions.

The Council reported in its last Annual Report that attention had been given to ensuring that Chest-derived reserves held by Schools were being deployed to support teaching and research, as opposed to continuing to accumulate. The accounts for 2013–14 showed that, in aggregate, such reserves had reduced slightly. Understanding the reasons why Schools hold reserves, and striking a more appropriate balance between accumulating reserves and using them to make strategic investments in academic activity, remains a priority for the Planning Round.

(ii) The Capital Plan

The PRC is also responsible for managing the University’s capital planning, and for making allocations from the Capital Fund. The need for substantial investment in buildings remains, with major academic developments planned at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the New Museums site, the Old Addenbrooke’s site, and at West Cambridge – the last now including both the re-provision of the Department of Physics and the phased relocation of the Department of Engineering.

The ten-year (to 2020–21) cumulative cost of projects currently in the Green Zone (which have the highest level of approval that the PRC is able to give before authorization is given to proceed) is £723m, of which £300m is projected to be met from the Capital Fund with the remainder being met from external sources. A further £150m has been allocated from Chest reserves to meet the costs of renewing the University’s biofacilities. Substantial projects in the Amber Zone, to which no allocation has yet been approved, include those for Engineering and Physics. The Capital Fund must also be managed in such a way that the University is able to respond to opportunities which arise, e.g. through philanthropy or government initiatives. Accordingly, the PRC will continue to scrutinize closely the academic and business case for new buildings, and will continue to review all projects currently in the Green Zone to ensure that opportunities for securing external funding have been fully explored. Since the Council’s last Annual Report, a further £17.6m has been secured from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) for a building at Union Road to house research in the Chemistry of Health.

(iii) The cost of an undergraduate education at Cambridge

Through the PRC, the cost of providing an undergraduate education at Cambridge, using a model for understanding the University’s costs, is reviewed annually by a working group which includes student representation. The analysis is subsequently published.9 Work to improve the understanding of College costs in the model has made good progress during the year.

(iv) Sustainability metrics

To assist in longer term strategic planning, a set of sustainability metrics has been developed covering the full range of the University’s operations. These will allow the Council to track performance over time and make comparisons with peer institutions where comparable data are available. The metrics are consistent with the proposals for a new annual sustainability assurance report (ASSUR) to HEFCE and are being further developed in that context.

Government policy and the national environment

(i) Political engagement

There has been an ongoing engagement over the past year with political parties on all sides, particularly in the run-up to the General Election on 7 May 2015. The University has taken an engaged but apolitical approach to discussions, in particular, about undergraduate tuition fee levels; immigration; and EU funding for Higher Education. It will continue to be important for the University to protect its own position as well as providing leadership within the sector in influencing government policy.

(ii) National funding and financial considerations

On 4 June 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £4.5bn of new measures to bring down public debt in the current financial year. These include £3bn in departmental savings of which £450m is attributable to the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS). On 21 July 2015, BIS notified HEFCE of a reduction of £150m to the teaching grant by comparison with the total previously allocated. The government’s 2015–16 financial years overlap with both the 2014–15 and 2015–16 academic years and allocations to institutions for both academic years are affected.

There remains considerable uncertainty around mechanisms for the distribution of funding, including for research and capital infrastructure. The University has, in discussions with government, defended the Haldane Principle by which decisions about the allocation of research funding are made through peer review within the academic community rather than by politicians. The Council will consider with interest the outcome of the review of the role of the Research Councils which BIS has asked Sir Paul Nurse to undertake.

(iii) Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015

There has been active University engagement, in the course of the year, in the debate around the new statutory obligations on Universities under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The statutory recognition given to academic freedom in the Education Reform Act 1988 was particularly noted. Relevant higher education bodies became subject to the new Prevent duty on 18 September 2015. The Secretary of State issued a delegation letter to the HEFCE confirming it to be the body with responsibility for assessing compliance with the Prevent duty with effect from 21 August 2015. The Council will have formal responsibility under the Guidance for ensuring compliance.

(iv) City Deal

The Council, in its 2013–14 Annual Report, reported on the success of Cambridge’s bid for support under the City Deal Scheme. City Deals are agreements between government and a city which give the city powers in respect of: decisions which affect their local area; the growth of local businesses; the creation of economic growth; and the expenditure of public monies.

The University’s involvement in the City Deal Executive Board gives it, perhaps for the first time, a formal voice in the planning of transport, housing, and the skills landscape of Greater Cambridge, to the mutual benefit of the University and the local economy and community.

(v) Agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA)

The Council, at its meeting on 13 July 2015, approved, for its part, the University’s agreement with OFFA. This comprised: a state sector target of 62–64% with an aspiration to be at the top of this range by 2019–20; a POLAR310 quintile 1 and 2 target of 10–13% with again an aspiration towards the top end of the range by 2019–20; a non-continuation target of 2.1%. These targets are considered to be challenging but realistic.

(vi) The Committee of University Chairs’ (CUC) Code of Governance

As anticipated in the Council’s Annual Report 2013–14, the CUC issued a revised Higher Education Code of Governance in December 2014 which was provided to members of the Council.

Teaching and research

Teaching and research are the responsibility of the General Board and of the Schools, Faculties, and Departments. The General Board report annually to the Council. Their report for 2014–15, annexed to this report, comments in further detail.

(i) Education

Amongst the developments described more fully in the General Board’s Annual Report, attention is drawn to the development of a procedure for dealing with questions of a student’s fitness to study (a Joint Report which was approved by Grace 1 of 15 July 2015), and to the General Board’s review on the future arrangements for the Centre for Applied Research and Educational Technologies (CARET) (a Report on which was approved by Grace 5 on 15 July 2015). The General Board have, with the Board of Examinations, begun a wide-ranging review of all aspects of the University’s examination procedures; a first progress report will be made in 2015–16.

(ii) External consultations

The General Board have responded to two HEFCE consultations on future approaches to quality assessment, which are likely to lead to significantly different national quality assurance arrangements which the University will need to accommodate.

The Competition and Markets Authority has issued advice for HEIs and undergraduate students to help them understand their obligations (and rights) under consumer protection law. Whilst that advice is based on existing legislation, a new Consumer Rights Act is expected to be passed later in 2015. The implications, particularly in relation to information made available to prospective students, are being addressed with the Colleges.

(iii) Research

The Council noted the generally positive outcome of REF 2014 and that all of the 32 submissions made by the University, including 2,088 FTE staff, were assessed to have a grade point average (GPA) above the national average. Performance in some areas was stronger than in others. Cambridge achieved a significant improvement in terms of the percentage of the submissions that were judged to be 'world leading' (4*) and 'internationally excellent' (3*) to 87% on an FTE-weighted basis and, therefore, performed strongly overall, most notably when results were weighted to take into account the very high percentage of eligible staff returned.

The Council noted the General Board’s proposals for a detailed review of the results with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in order to determine strategy, both at a local level and institutionally, for the next REF. Discipline-specific Advisory Boards with UK and international membership will be established to provide advice on the research and overall academic environment of the discipline concerned.

The Council is also pleased to note that research income has continued to grow to in excess of £395m in a very competitive environment for research funding both within the UK and internationally. The University has enjoyed sustained success in winning new grants and awards with high profile award successes across the Schools.

(iv) International engagement

Through a co-ordinated system between the International Strategy Office, the Schools, and other central offices, the University’s international engagement delivered significant achievements.

The University played a leading role in the negotiations in Brussels which led to the reversal of a proposed cut of €220m in the budget of the European Research Council, which would have resulted in 130 fewer ERC awards over the next seven years. The Vice-Chancellor gave widely reported speeches on the role and responsibilities of universities in Europe’s revival, and the defining characteristics of a successful 21st century university.

The University is the lead partner in nine UKIERI (UK-India Education and Research Initiative) thematic partnerships. In addition, a Cambridge-Chennai bid was awarded £2.2m for a joint centre on anti-microbial resistant tuberculosis. A conference in Delhi convened by Cambridge on Nehru and Today’s India received extensive coverage on Indian television. The University and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology signed an agreement to establish five co-funded early career fellowships between Cambridge and Indian partners, and continued discussions on a UK-India initiative in crop science.

Intervention with two US foundations which were preparing to discontinue or reduce funding for University programmes resulted in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation confirming funding of US$2m, on a 1:2 matched basis, towards an endowment for the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH). The Carnegie Corporation promised an additional US$1m of funding for the Cambridge-Africa Programme, which was further strengthened by £4m generously awarded by the Alborada Trust.

University employment

(i) Pay and reward

(a) Pay and grading scheme for non-clinical staff

Work continues to introduce the remaining provisions contained within the Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on amendments to the pay and grading scheme for non-clinical staff. A number of reward exercises have been conducted under the University’s current contribution schemes. The Final Market Supplement review group will consider converting remaining market supplements into Advanced Contribution Supplements or Market Pay with effect from 1 January 2016 in accordance with the Joint Report.

(b) 2015–16 pay award

UCEA made a full and final offer for 2015–16 at the fourth and final New JNCHES negotiating meeting on 12 May 2015. Following the conclusion of the formal dispute resolution procedure set out in the New JNCHES agreement, UCEA advised that implementation of the pay settlement may proceed. The settlement provides for a 1% increase to the spine points on the University of Cambridge single salary spine, except for spine points 9 to 20 where larger increases apply; the increases were approved by Grace 5 of 11 November 2015.

(c) Living Wage

Employees on spine point 16 (the lowest point currently used on grade 1) continue to receive a rate of pay in line with the Living Wage, which increased in November 2014.11

(d) Change to Single Salary Spine

The lowest contribution points of grades 1, 5, and 6 were converted to service points with effect from 1 January 2015, following agreement at a Special Joint Negotiating Committee of the University and Assistants Joint Board.

(e) Employee benefits: Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

The Council, in its 2013–14 Annual Report, indicated that the future of the USS was likely to be a topic of considerable debate during the current reporting year. USS and UUK announced a consultation exercise with employers in July 2014 to which the Pensions Working Group of the Finance Committee agreed a response. Recognizing the importance of the topic to the University as a whole and to individual members of staff, the Council agreed that the proposed changes should be the subject of a Topic of Concern at a Discussion on 28 October 2014, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor.

Between March and May 2015 the University consulted with affected employees on proposals for the reform of USS including the closure of the final salary section, the provision of future benefits on a career revalued benefits basis, and the introduction of a defined contribution section for earnings above a salary threshold. In August 2015, the USS reported on the outcome of the consultation and formally announced changes to the benefits which will take effect from 1 April 2016.

(ii) Recruitment

(a) Immigration

During March 2015 the UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) Higher Education Assurance Team visited the University to conduct an audit of its Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor Licence. Following a comprehensive review of the files of employees and temporary employment service workers across the full range of staff groups, the UKVI confirmed that the University has sufficient processes, procedures, and checking mechanisms in place to satisfy them that the University is meeting its sponsor duties appropriately.

(b) Web Recruitment System

The fourth phase of the Web Recruitment System’s development was released in February 2015. New features included the ability for departments/institutions to generate offer of employment letters automatically using the system and to submit new appointment requests and supporting documentation electronically to HR. Between its launch in November 2013 and June 2015, the Web Recruitment System was used for 3,034 vacancies by 142 departments/institutions and received 73,626 job applications.

(iii) Equality initiatives

An Insights on Gender event was held in July 2015. There was a wide range of speakers from within the University and beyond, and there were reports about a variety of University initiatives including the new REAL (Research for Equitable Access and Learning) Centre and successful outcomes from positive action measures such as the Returning Carers’ Scheme.

The Council reported last year on the successful publication and launch of The Meaning of Success: Insights from Women at Cambridge. A follow-up summit was held in partnership with the 30% Club,12 with a view to forming a leadership group and acting as a catalyst for change in the sector. Since the Summit, over 20 universities have joined the 30% Club’s National Higher Education Initiative focusing on gender representation and the student experience.

Athena SWAN for Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, and Law was introduced in April 2015, with first submissions due from November 2015. The Senior Gender Equality Network (SGEN) Champions have been working with the Gender Equality Champions, SWAN leads, and the equality and diversity team to support departments/institutions in planning and compiling their submissions. 87% of Cambridge’s STEMM staff now work in departments/institutions which hold Athena SWAN awards and the remaining STEMM departments aim to submit by the end of 2015, taking participation to 100%.

The Equal Pay Review 2014 noted that the gender pay gap had fallen by 1.8% (from 21.9% to 20.1%) since the last Equal Pay Review in 2012. Over the last six years, the University’s gender pay gap has fallen slowly by an average of 0.65% per year. While welcoming this improvement, it is recognized that there remains more to be done.

The Vice-Chancellor hosted the Annual Race Lecture for Black History Month, delivered by Bonnie Greer OBE and entitled Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater: Remembering the benefits of multi-cultural Britain.

(iv) Personal and Professional Development

(a) Academic practice

The section led the University’s successful external review to retain recognition by the European Commission of the University’s ‘HR Excellence in Research’ in supporting the career development of research staff. PPD continued to extend the support which it provides for postdoctoral researchers’ personal and professional development, both directly and through collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Careers Service, and the Postdocs of Cambridge senior society. In particular, PPD extended its opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to develop capabilities in leadership and collaboration and in teaching.

Places available on the externally accredited Teaching Associates’ Programme (for early-career researchers) were extended by 20% and will be extended by a further 20% for 2015–16, to accommodate growing demand. The section also played a leading part in developing initiatives steered by the Joint Teaching and Learning Committee. These initiatives include a successful annual event for directors of teaching and initial development of University web pages for teaching staff.

(b) Learning and development

Following its launch last year, the Aspiring Leaders Programme was successfully delivered to the second cohort of participants. The Leadership Essentials programme has been rolled out. A short programme on Managing Successful Change has been developed. A new online course, Leadership Essentials: Management Responsibilities, was launched and a course on Leadership Essentials: Giving Feedback will be launched in Michaelmas Term 2015.

The following leadership programmes have continued to be delivered: Senior Leaders Succession Programme; Leadership Programme for Heads of Institution; Leadership Masterclass series; Level 3 and 5 programmes in Leadership and Management; and the Administrator Development Programme.

To respond to the need for developing the skills of senior generalist administrators a new Strategic Development Programme was piloted during 2014–15.

A project supporting technician training and apprenticeships has also been delivered this year.

(c) Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA)

OPdA was established in 2013 under the Directorship of Professor Chris Abell to improve the experience and provide better support to postdoctoral researchers and enable the University to develop a more proactive approach in engaging with this large and important group of employees. A number of schemes have been launched, generating over 130 (estimated) additional opportunities for postdoc affiliation. Opportunities will be pursued to increase this number in future years.

The OPdA has been considering different approaches to mentoring, in Departments and Faculties, and in Colleges.

The OPdA worked with CUDAR to ensure that postdocs are provided with a similar package of benefits after their departure as alumni currently enjoy. Work has been progressed on a leavers’ destination data policy and there is active engagement with industry to explore issues around postdoctoral employment.

The Council, at its meeting on 13 July 2015, received proposals for the establishment of a postdoctoral academy and agreed that there should be further consultation and discussion with a view to bringing back a formal proposal to the Regent House in the course of the 2015–16 academical year.

Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press

(i) Governance

A review group has been established, under the chairmanship of Dr Anthony Freeling, President of Hughes Hall, to define an overarching long-term corporate and governance strategy for Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment respectively, taking into account their existing market position. It is intended that the group will report by the end of the calendar year.

(ii) Cambridge Assessment (CA)

The Council annually receives a report from Cambridge Assessment. The Chair of the Local Examinations Syndicate and the Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment attended the Council’s meeting on 15 June 2015.

They reported on a strong performance in 2013–14: an 8% growth in income to £342m; a surplus of £54m; and £16m transferred to the University. There have been significant achievements in all of the businesses but particularly in Cambridge English, which has grown by nearly 20%. The international business has expanded; over 70% of income now comes from international markets. The UK market remains challenging.

In order to maintain position and performance, CA is investing as follows: in systems’ infrastructure; in expanding the portfolio of digital initiatives; in a more extensive and better resourced international network of offices; and in rationalizing and improving office accommodation in Cambridge.

CA has a number of important partnerships both within the University and more widely. The most significant external partnership is with the British Council which supports the distribution of CIE’s (Cambridge International Examinations) qualifications worldwide.

The development of new office accommodation on the Triangle site is underway with an anticipated occupation date in late 2017 / early 2018. This development will accommodate all Cambridge-based staff in a single location and provided sufficient space to absorb planned growth.

CA anticipates that income will maintain its current growth rate and that the surplus will grow significantly after a dip in 2015–16 as infrastructural investment peaks. 30% of the annual operating surplus is transferred to the University and applied for capital purposes. The transfer to the University over the next five years is estimated at £130m. There will be continued investment in research, technology, product development, infrastructure, and staff.

(iii) Cambridge University Press (CUP)

The Council annually receives a report from Cambridge University Press. The Chair of the Press Syndicate and the Chief Executive of CUP attended the Council’s meeting on 15 June 2015.

They reported that CUP’s sales had increased more rapidly than the majority of its competitors. Taking out the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange, the total growth across the three areas of activity was 5% (to c. £269m) with education sales having risen by 13%. The underlying operating surplus for the year to 30 April 2015 was c. £6.7m. As with CA, 30% of CUP’s annual operating surplus is transferred to the University. Digital and blended products and services now account for c. 30% of revenues with blended products and services (i.e. those bundling together both physical and online formats) showing the fastest growth. There has been further work and progress in the course of the year in improving back office processes, systems, and controls.

Digital and personalized learning services are starting significantly to change the way in which education is accessed and delivered both in schools and in higher education. These developments provide new opportunities for integrated publishing and assessment solutions, particularly in the international market.

There has been significant recent digital development and innovation across all areas of CUP’s activities and frequently in partnership with the University. On the academic side, this includes interaction with individual academics and research groups and with the University Library on matters relating to scholarly communications and open access. There has been engagement with Cambridge Assessment and various academic departments on the development of English Language Teaching (ELT) and educational resources.

However, there continues to be rapid and radical change in the publishing market and CUP operates within a challenging and highly competitive environment. The strength of sterling against most of the major currencies in which CUP operated adversely affected its results, particularly in ELT activities.

In responding to these challenges and in order to provide a platform for future growth, a radical efficiency programme was commenced. This involved: a staffing restructure; streamlining commissioning and production processes; changes to supply chain and manufacturing arrangements; and improving procurement processes. This resulted in exceptional in-year costs but was a foundation for future recurrent savings and a resulting growth in surplus. There would be an increase in the margin from planned sales growth in line with historic performance and driven by investment in digital products and sales and a focus on key markets.

West and North West Cambridge Estates Syndicate

(i) North West Cambridge Development

The Council considers that the North West Cambridge Development is of strategic importance for the University both in the short term and for its long-term future and sustainability. It is vital in ensuring that the University can maintain its global research profile through the provision of affordable and suitable accommodation for newly arrived University and College staff (primarily postdoctoral researchers); extensive academic and commercial research floor space; accommodation for postgraduate students; and local centre facilities to support the new community. The development will also provide housing and social facilities for the City more generally.

The Council received a briefing at each of its meetings in the past year. Those briefings have focused on infrastructure and building works; procuring lot contracts; negotiation of commercial arrangements for market housing; the supermarket; the hotel; and the provision of local centre facilities including the primary school and the community centre.

A project of the size and complexity of the North West Cambridge Development inevitably presents significant challenges in its delivery. The Council has been informed particularly of problems with the site-wide infrastructure works contract and recent inflationary pressures within the construction market. Concerted effort has been applied and continues to mitigate the impact of these challenges for the Phase 1 works. Phase 1 will meet the strategic aims set for the project by the University. The Council, at its meeting on 13 July 2015, accepted the Finance Committee’s recommendation that the Audit Committee be asked to commission an investigation into the governance and management structures for the project. A first report13 examining the causes of the problems was published in the Michaelmas Term 2015; a second report with recommendations for the oversight of large-scale developments will be brought back to the Council during early Lent Term 2016.

The first building, which opened on site in September, is the Primary School, the first University Training School at primary level in the country.14 The School welcomed over 100 local children who took up places in reception, year 1, and year 2. The opening of the School makes a positive contribution to the social and intellectual value of the project, as well as firmly establishing the relationship with the University through the Faculty of Education.

(ii) West Cambridge Development

The West Cambridge Development will enable the establishment of a world-class, well connected research and development environment focused on the physical sciences and technology. Again, it is instrumental in maintaining global competitiveness by continuing to attract and retain the world’s best academics and researchers, and supporting entrepreneurship and collaboration with industry.

The masterplanning and intensification proposals for the West Cambridge site are underway, and a new planning application will be submitted in the autumn. Subject to transport testing, the new proposals will allow for over 190,000 sq.m. of additional academic development and 155,000 sq.m. of commercial research development.

The proposed development will include:

new academic faculty and research facilities, and buildings for commercial research organizations and research institutes;

expansion of the existing Sports Centre;

additional nursery provision;

additional amenities for site users;

an energy strategy to support sustainable energy across the site;

new and improved open spaces including a linear park and sustainable urban drainage systems;

extensive sustainable transport measures, including new and improved pedestrian and cycle connections, additional bus routes, implementation of a site-wide travel plan, and co-ordination with the City Deal proposals;

vehicular access principally from Madingley Road, and new multi-storey car parks.

This masterplan will also enable the redevelopment of the Cavendish Laboratory and integration of the Department of Engineering onto the West Cambridge site.

Development and Alumni Relations (CUDAR)

(i) Performance

(a) Fundraising

New funds raised for the University by the end of the financial year 2014–15 totalled £68.7m.15 There were thirteen gifts over £1m including three gifts over £5m settled and another two confirmed to be settled in early 2015–16. Compared with the previous five years, 2014–15 was the strongest for £1m+ gifts in terms of amount and number raised. The Council is greatly appreciative of all of those who make gifts in support of the University’s mission and activities.

The results, at the end of the first full year during which there has been dedicated front-line fundraising support in the Schools and Non-School Institutions, demonstrate the value of the embedded model in forging partnerships between the development and the academic communities. Particular value has been derived through the mutual agreement of fundraising objectives; the establishment of a pipeline of active solicitations; and an uplift in the funds raised.

(b) Alumni engagement

An online best practice resource for University staff working with volunteers has been created and a detailed tracking process of Collegiate Cambridge volunteer opportunities is under way. Agreement has been secured for a central University online application point for all volunteering opportunities.

Global Cambridge: India was attended by 225 alumni and guests. Academics and thinkers from Cambridge and India discussed their work to identify solutions in three areas of global concern: health, education, and society. Global Cambridge: Germany was attended by 260 alumni and guests and focused on the UK’s future in the European Union.

2014–15 is the first year at which the Alumni Relations team had a presence at each degree ceremony, to welcome our 10,000 graduates each year.

(c) Communications

The theme and visual identity for the new campaign was developed with an external agency, in collaboration with representatives from the Collegiate University. It was approved by the Campaign Advisory Group and Campaign Board in June 2015. The agreed theme was rolled out at the public launch in October 2015 supported by a wide-ranging internal and external campaign communications plan.

In terms of internal communications, CUDAR pages were launched on the UAS area of the University website in May 2015 to facilitate sharing of key information.

The annual Report to Donors to Collegiate Cambridge was published in June.

(ii) Campaign

The overall fundraising goal for the new campaign is £2bn for the Collegiate University. Throughout 2014–15, CUDAR was engaged in planning for the public launch of the Campaign in Cambridge on 16–18 October 2015.

The Campaign Board has grown to ten members through the year; the Board will continue to meet termly for the duration of the Campaign. The Academic Fundraising Priorities Working Group has continued to meet to consider the case for support framework and, in consultation with the Heads of Schools and Non-School Institutions, to agree identified needs. The Campaign Advisory Group has met regularly to agree and review key components of the campaign plan and will continue to play a vital role throughout the life of the Campaign.

(iii) Organizational capability and systems

Recruitment has continued across all functional teams including to key senior roles in accordance with the agreed business plan. A Director of Principal Gifts and a Chief of Staff took up post during Michaelmas Term 2014 and a Director of Development for Cambridge University Health Partners started in June 2015. A Director of Development for University–College Relations has been appointed and will take up post in the Michaelmas Term. Sixteen front-line fundraisers were in post by 31 July 2015.

Following a formal procurement process, a new fundraising and alumni relations database has been contracted. The new system is scheduled to go live in autumn 2016 and will facilitate a more collaborative environment through which CUDAR, Cambridge in America, and the Colleges can operate.

(iv) College collaboration

There has continued to be closer collaboration between the Colleges and CUDAR, both formally through the Joint Committee on Development and via informal interaction, across all development and alumni relations functions. The second round of shared prospect meetings is nearing completion (with increased focus on joint fundraising strategy) supported by the shared interim information system, now used widely by all fundraising staff. The first annual joint advancement conference was held in February 2015. Joint collegiate campaign working groups have been formed and work initiated. There have been campaign planning meetings with every Head of House, Bursar, and Development Director.

23 November 2015

L. K. Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Alice Hutchings

Shirley Pearce

Ross Anderson

Fiona Karet

Michael Proctor

Richard Anthony

Stuart Laing

Cornelius Roemer

Jeremy Caddick

Mark Lewisohn

John Shakeshaft

R. Charles

Priscilla Mensah

Susan Smith

Anne Davis

Susan Oosthuizen

Sara Weller

Nicholas Holmes

Rachael Padman

I. H. White


Annex A: Council membership 2014–15

The Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor

To 31 December 2014

To 31 December 2016

To 31 December 2018

Elected as Heads of Colleges

Prof. Francis Patrick Kelly, CHR

Prof. Dame Jean Thomas, CTH

Prof. Ian Hugh White, JE

Prof. Anthony David Yates, R (to 30 September 2015)

Mr Stuart Laing, CC

Prof. Susan Smith, G

Elected as Professors or Readers

Prof. Nicholas John Gay, CHR

Prof. Andrew Hopper, TH

Prof. Anne Davis, K

Prof. Fiona Eve Karet, DAR

Prof. Ross Anderson, CHU

Dr Susan Oosthuizen, W

Elected as members of the Regent House

Dr Nick Bampos, TH

Dr Stephen John Cowley, SE

Dr Susan Marian Oosthuizen, W

Vacancy (from 1 October 2014)

The Reverend Jeremy Lloyd Caddick, EM

Dr David Arthur Good, K

Dr Rebecca Julie Lingwood, HO (to 7 September 2015)

Dr Margaret Glendenning (from 8 September 2015)

Dr Rachael Padman, N

Dr Richard Anthony, ED

Dr Ruth Charles, N

Dr Nicholas Holmes, T

Dr Alice Hutchings (from 3 March 2015)

External members

Mr Mark Lewisohn, CHR

Mr John Shakeshaft, T

Dame Mavis McDonald

Ms Sara Weller (from 1 January 2015)

Prof. Dame Shirley Pearce

Mr Mark Lewisohn, CHR

Mr John Shakeshaft, T

Student members (to 30 June 2015)

Student members (from 1 July 2015)

Dr Evianne van Gijn, CLH

Ms Helen Hoogewerf-McComb, N

Mr Richard Jones, JN

Ms Priscilla Mensah, G

Mr Cornelius Roemer, T


Secretary: The Registrary

Annex B: Statement of Primary Responsibilities

The Council has adopted this Statement of Primary Responsibilities.

The principal responsibilities of the Council are defined by University Statute A IV 1 which reads:

(a)The Council shall be the principal executive and policy-making body of the University. The Council shall have general responsibility for the administration of the University, for the planning of its work, and for the management of its resources; it shall have power to take such action as is necessary for it to discharge these responsibilities. It shall also perform such other executive and administrative duties as may be delegated to it by the Regent House or assigned to it by Statute or Ordinance.

(b) The Council shall have the right of reporting to the University. It shall advise the Regent House on matters of general concern to the University.

(c) The Council shall make an Annual Report to the University, and shall initiate and submit a Grace for the approval of the Report by the Regent House.

(d) The Council shall have the power of submitting Graces to the Regent House and to the Senate. The procedure for the submission of Graces shall be prescribed by Special Ordinance.

(e) The Council shall oversee the work of all those institutions in the University which are placed under its supervision, and shall ensure that the University officers assigned to those institutions are satisfactorily performing the duties and fulfilling the conditions of tenure of their offices.

Pursuant to these responsibilities the Council:

through its Finance Committee, its Audit Committee, and the Planning and Resources Committee, ensures the University’s accountability for the proper use of public funds;

supervises the financial position of the University through its statutory Finance Committee;

arranges audit through its statutory Audit Committee;

conducts legal business and ethical scrutiny, especially in respect of the acceptance of benefactions and investment responsibility, through its Advisory Committee on Benefactions and External and Legal Affairs;

discharges its responsibilities in relation to the University as an employer through the Human Resources Committee (HRC), a joint Committee with the General Board;

develops University policy on the advice of the General Board and that of specialist advisory bodies;

conducts planning and resource allocation through the Planning and Resources Committee (PRC) and the Resource Management Committee (RMC), both joint Committees with the General Board;

deals with business about buildings and the University estate with the advice of the Buildings Committee (a joint Committee which reports through the PRC), and on the advice of the Finance Committee;

informs and advises the Regent House through Reports, Notices, and Graces, and through considering remarks made at Discussions;

conducts the University’s relations with Government, HEFCE, other national bodies, and local and regional bodies;

supports and advises the Vice-Chancellor and, either through him or her or directly, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors;

supervises University institutions placed under its supervision, particularly through receiving reports, and also through the PRC and the HRC;

through the Finance Committee exercises financial and some other supervision of Cambridge University Press, the Local Examinations Syndicate (Cambridge Assessment), University-owned companies, and some free-standing bodies such as the Cambridge scholarship trusts;

pursuant to Act of Parliament, discharges responsibilities for the University Student Unions through its Council Committee for the Supervision of the Student Unions;

makes (or recommends) senior appointments (including the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Registrary and, through its Standing Appointments Committee established by Ordinance, Directors and other senior staff in the Unified Administrative Service);

monitors risk management, emergency management, and value for money surveillance;

monitors the implementation of major projects, through special groups and the Information Services Committee, and the Syndicate for the West and North West Cambridge Estates;

through the work of the Information Services Committee, monitors the provision of IT infrastructure and support;

keeps University governance and similar matters under review;

makes a statutory annual report to the University;

monitors its own performance and effectiveness.

The Council has published the following statement (Statutes and Ordinances, 2015, p. 114):

Notice by the Council

Statement of intention

In carrying out their functions as the principal executive and policy-making body of the University the Council will consult the Regent House on questions of policy which in the Council’s judgement are likely to prove controversial. They will do this by submitting a Grace to the Regent House for the approval of a provisional decision or statement of intention; where appropriate, such a Grace will allow for the expression of a preference between alternative options. The Council will give consideration to remarks made at any Discussion of such matters and to the outcome of any vote on them.