The founding document presented to the College by HM The Queen when it acquired its present status as a higher education institution in 1990

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Charter of Goldsmiths College

First approved with effect from 1 January 1990. Amended by resolution of the Privy Council on 2 May 2007, with effect from 1 September 2007, and on 11 May 2010 and in June 2010, with effect from 1 September 2010.

ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith:


WHEREAS an Humble Petition has been presented unto Us by Our most dearly beloved Daughter the Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, Dame Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order, the Chancellor of Our University of London, Our right trusty and well beloved Brian Hilton, Lord Flowers, Vice-Chancellor of Our University of London and the Delegacy of Our University of London Goldsmiths' College, praying that We should constitute and found a University College within the area of Greater London for the advancement of knowledge, the diffusion and extension of the Arts, Sciences and learning, the study of Education and the provision of liberal, professional, scientific and continuing education, and grant a Charter of Incorporation to Goldsmiths' College of Our University of London with such provisions in that behalf as shall seem to Us right and suitable:

AND WHEREAS We have taken the said Petition into Our Royal Consideration and are minded to accede thereto:

NOW THEREFORE KNOW YE that We by virtue of Our Prerogative Royal and of Our especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion have willed and ordained and by these Presents do for Us, Our Heirs and Successors will and ordain as follows:

  1. There shall be and there is hereby constituted and founded within Greater London a University College by the name and style of "Goldsmiths' College", hereinafter referred to as "the College".
  2. The Members of the Council of the College, Academic Staff and Academic Related Staff employed by the College, Students of the College, all Students who have obtained the award of a Degree, Diploma or Certificate while enrolled at the College or at the University of London Goldsmiths' College, the Honorary Fellows of the College, and of the University of London Goldsmiths' College and such persons not employed by the College as may become members of its committees, or pursuant to this Our Charter and the Statutes otherwise become Members of the College, are hereby constituted and from henceforth ever shall be one body politic and corporate, with perpetual succession and a Common Seal, by the name and style of "Goldsmiths' College".
  3. The objects of the College shall be to advance knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching, study, public service and research, and to make available to the public the results of such research.
  4. The College, subject to this Our Charter and the Statutes and to the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of Our University of London (hereinafter referred to as "the University"), shall in furtherance of the foregoing objects but not otherwise have the following powers:
    1. To provide instruction in such branches of learning as the College may determine, to prepare Students for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions of the University of London or of the College, to make provision for the advancement, dissemination and preservation of knowledge, and for research, design, development, testing and advisory services, and such other academic activities as are consonant with the objects of the College as stated above;
    2. to award and confer Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates and to make other academic awards to persons who shall have pursued a course of study approved by the College and shall have passed the examinations or other tests prescribed by the College;
    3. to revoke such Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other academic awards in case of irregularity;
    4. to prescribe the conditions under which persons shall be admitted to the College and to any particular course of study therein;
    5. to draw up and to provide schemes of study, instruction and examination and to conduct examinations;
    6. to establish and abolish posts, make and terminate appointments, and to remunerate the holders thereof;
    7. to institute fellowships, scholarships, bursaries, prizes and other aids to study and research;
    8. to confer Honorary Fellowships, Honorary Degrees of the College or of the University, and other academic distinctions;
    9. to revoke Honorary Fellowships, Honorary Degrees and other academic distinctions of the College in such cases as may be appropriate;
    10. subject to the approval of the University, to affiliate with or incorporate any other charitable institution whose purposes are not repugnant to this Our Charter; to co-operate with any other institution or organisation on like terms;
    11. to acquire, own, maintain, manage, develop, adapt and dispose of real and personal property;
    12. to make investments as prescribed in the Statutes, to give guarantees and to act as trustees;
    13. to determine, levy, demand and receive fees, subscriptions and deposits;
    14. to acquire from the University the property and liabilities hitherto entrusted to, vested in or incurred by the University by or in connection with the performance by the University of its functions in relation to the University of London Goldsmiths' College;
    15. to solicit, receive and administer grants, subscriptions, donations, endowments, legacies, gifts and loans of any property whatsoever real or personal, whether subject to any special trust or not;
    16. to obtain through Our College of Arms a grant of Armorial Bearing which shall be duly recorded in the College;
    17. to do all such lawful acts, including the promotion of a Bill or Bills in Parliament, whether incidental to the powers aforesaid or not, as may be requisite in order to further the objects of the College.
  5. We reserve unto Ourself, Our Heirs and Successors, acting through the Lord President of Our Privy Council, to be the Visitor of the College or, on representation of the Council of the College, to appoint by Order in Council a Visitor of the College for such period as We, Our Heirs and Successors shall see fit and his or her decision on matters within his or her jurisdiction shall be final.
    1. There shall be a Council of the College (hereinafter referred to as "the Council") which shall be the governing body of the College, shall have general control over and responsibility for the conduct of its affairs, and shall have custody and use of the Common Seal of the College.
    2. The Council shall take account of comments or representations on the affairs of the College made to it by the Academic Board of the College.
    3. The Council shall have such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by the Statutes.
  6. There shall be an Academic Board of the College (hereinafter referred to as "the Academic Board") which, subject to the powers of the Council as provided in this Our Charter and the Statutes and to the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University, shall be responsible for the academic work of the College in teaching, examining and research.
  7. There shall be a Warden of the College who shall be the principal academic, administrative and executive officer of the College.
  8. There shall be a senior administrative officer of the College who shall be known as Registrar and Secretary*.
  9. The first Warden and the first Registrar and Secretary shall be the persons named in the First Schedule to this Our Charter.
  10. There shall be a Students' Union of the College for the benefit of the Students of the College and to further the educational purposes of the College and the interests of students as students. The Constitution of the Students' Union shall be subject to the approval of the Council.
  11. No Member of Staff of the College shall be dismissed, nor lose any advantage or privilege attaching to his or her employment by the College, on grounds which conflict with the freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions.
  12. No discrimination on account of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, faith, belief or age, or any other factor in respect of which discrimination shall be prohibited by law, shall be shown against any person in determining whether such person shall be admitted as a Member of the College, or appointed to its Staff, or shall hold any advantage or privilege thereof.
  13. Subject to the provisions of this Our Charter, Statutes may prescribe or regulate as the case may be:
    1. The status, appointment, period of and removal from office of the Warden and of other members of the Staff of the College;
    2. the Constitution, powers and business of the Council and the Academic Board, the appointment, period of and removal from office of the members of those bodies, and other matters relative to those bodies;
    3. such other provisions or matters as the Council may deem fit with respect to or for the governance of the College, its Members and constituent parts, or otherwise for the effective attainment, execution or promotion of the objects of this Our Charter.
  14. The Statutes set out in the Second Schedule to this Our Charter shall be the first Statutes of the College, and shall remain in force until revoked, amended or added to in manner hereinafter prescribed.
  15. The Council may by Special Resolution revoke, amend or add to any of the provisions of this Our Charter, provided that no revocation, amendment or addition which affects academic policy shall be made until the Academic Board has been consulted, and such revocation, amendment or addition shall when allowed by Us, Our Heirs or Successors in Council become effectual so that this Our Charter shall henceforward continue and operate as so revoked, amended or added to. This provision shall apply to this Our Charter as revoked, amended or added to in manner aforesaid.
  16. A "Special Resolution" shall mean a resolution passed by a majority of not fewer than two-thirds of those present and voting, being also a number of members of the Council more than half of the maximum number of such members permitted by the Statutes, at two successive meetings of the Council, both of which shall be
    convened by twenty-eight days' written notice and the second of which shall be held not less than one month nor more than six months after the date of the first.
  17. The Council may revoke, amend or add to any of the Statutes provided that no such revocation, amendment or addition shall be repugnant to the provisions of this Our Charter or the Statutes of the University or shall take effect until the same shall have been approved by the Lords of Our Most Honourable Privy Council, of which approval a Certificate under the hand of the Clerk of Our said Privy Council shall be conclusive evidence.
  18. The Ordinances of the College shall be made by the Council, which may add to, amend or repeal the Ordinances from time to time in force.
  19. The College shall not make any dividend, gift, division or bonus in money unto or between any of its Members except by way of prize, reward or special grant.
  20. Our Royal Will and Pleasure is that this Our Charter shall ever be construed benevolently and in every case most favourably to the College and to the promotion of the objects of this Our Charter.
  21. This Our Charter shall take effect on the 1st day of January 1990.

* Until 31 August 2007 the Charter provided for a senior administrative Officer known as Secretary and Registrar. This title is retained in the First Schedule to the Statutes.

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