A number of the key responsibilities of the governing body's are introduced in this section. Each area of responsibility has its own webpage, which includes further information, a link to a briefing note and sources of additional information about the topic. The governor responsibilties discussed are:
- Academic governance and quality: explores the differences between 'academic' and 'corporate' goverance, noting the two parts of an institution's system of governance need to work successfullly in tandem if governance is be fully effective.
- Compliance and regulation: discusses the complex operating environment faced by higher education institutions and the various and often demanding requrements placed on institutions.
- Commercial operations: explores some of the typical commercial operations run by institutions or by third party providers on their behalf.
- International students and developments: examines some of the issues around international student recruitment, research partnerships and overseas campuses, and associated institutioal strategies and current trends.
- Risk management: in an increasingly uncertain and less stable operating environment, institutions are increasingly mindful of the opportunities and risks. Governing bodies need to ensure the key risks have been identified and are effectively managed.
- Students: students are one of the main reasons why institutions exist. For many institutions students are the single largest source of income and vital to the institution's survival and sustainability. As a consequence, the quality of the student experience and the ability to attract students to the institution, especailly now many students are paying higher tuition fees, is of high importance.
- Strategic plan: an important aspect of the governing body's work is to make sure the institution has a clear strategic direction.
- Monitoring performance: once the governing body has agreed the institution's strategic plan, it is the responsibility of the executive to manage its successful implementation. By having in place a system of key performance indicators, the governing body is able to monitor the implementation of the strategic plan, allowing it to judge whether the planned outcomes to the plan are being achieved.