Roles and Responsibilities
The Education Act 1994 places responsibilities on the University's governing body in respect of student unions. There are two University student unions, with which the University Council maintains a working relationship, and for which it provides financial and other support:
- Cambridge University Students Union (CUSU), for all students (http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk)
- Cambridge University Graduate Union, for all graduate students (http://www.gradunion.cam.ac.uk)
The formal aspects of these relationships are managed and overseen on behalf of the Council by its Committee for the Supervision of the Student Unions. (Please note that separate arrangements exist within individual Colleges between the governing body and its JCR/MCR.)
Various regulations are set out in the University's Statutes and Ordinances governing the University's relationship to, and the conduct of, both unions. These are published at:
- http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2016/chapter02-section17.html (CUSU)
- http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2016/chapter02-section18.html (The Graduate Union)
Code of Practice
As required by the Education Act 1994, the Council has issued a 'Code of Practice in Respect of Student Unions Issued under Section 22 of the Education Act 1994'. This is published in the University's Statutes and Ordinances.
- Code of Practice in Respect of Student Unions: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2016/chapter02-section18.html#heading2-14
- Section 22 of the Education Act 1994: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/30/section/22
Opting Out of Union Membership
Information on opting out of union membership is contained in Regulation 10 (entitled 'Resignation') of the regulations for both unions in the Statutes and Ordinances, and in paragraph 3(c) of the 'Code of Practice in Respect of Student Unions Issued under Section 22 of the Education Act 1994'.
The form to be used to exercise this right is here:
Student Unions and Charity Law
All student unions are affected by the law relating to charities, and their expenditure and activities must conform to the requirements of charity law, in essence by being non-political and broadly educational.
Freedom of Speech
As required by the Education Act (No 2) Act 1986, the Council also has issued a 'Code of Practice on Meetings and Public Gatherings on University Premises', which contains information on various issues including the organization of meetings and freedom of speech. This is published in the University's Statutes and Ordinances:
This Code of Practice is cross-referenced in the 'Code of Practice in Respect of Student Unions Issued under Section 22 of the Education Act 1994'. Further information on organizing meetings and public gatherings is published on the website of the Proctors' Office:
Last updated: October 2016