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The University is governed by a number of bodies, instruments and processes. The interactions between them are not always easy to follow but the system of governance that has evolved at Cambridge provides a high degree of rigour and transparency. It also draws – and tests – opinions from a wide range of people, reflecting and serving its constituent parts.

Why is governance necessary? Like other higher education institutions the University is entrusted with public funds. It is also an exempt charity, subject to regulation by the Office for Students; and it has a duty as a corporate body to manage its finances, estate and people in an open, transparent and legally compliant manner.

The University prides itself on being a self-governing community of scholars and having governance arrangements consistent with its mission and core values. The University's system of governance is both rules- and principles-based. It is an accountable system that is transparent to members of the Regent House (its governing body), and to other stakeholders (including students, the funding bodies, research funders, benefactors, regulatory bodies, and local, national and international authorities and governments) both within and beyond the University.​​​​​


 Governance who's who

Key governance bodies

The University is a self-governing community of scholars but what does this mean? Details on the main bodies involved in governance.

Key individuals and officers

What does being a senior officer of one of the world's best academic institutions actually involve? The top jobs examined.


 Instruments and processes

University decision-making: a step-by-step guide

Notices, reports, Discussions, Graces, ballots: everything you need to know about the University's decision-making cycle.

Instruments of governance: legislation and reporting

SSO&O - An introduction to the University's legislative instruments and reporting mechanisms.