Nomination of candidates for the ACU Council 2023-2026

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The ACU Council is comprised of up to 23 members, nominated by executive heads of full member institutions to represent its diverse membership across the Commonwealth.

As the ACU is a UK-registered charity, Council members also act as its Trustees and are collectively responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the ACU.

We are seeking nominations for executive heads in our member universities who are not only committed and passionate about higher education, but also:

  • aligned with the ACU’s strategic priorities.
  • able, with support from the Executive, to represent and speak on behalf of the ACU, in an external facing capacity, particularly within the constituency that they represent, and/or on specific areas of expertise.
  • willing to connect and involve the ACU in conversations and opportunities on a national, regional, and global level.

There are currently 6 vacancies on Council in the following constituencies. Nominations are invited as follows, with consideration given to the ACU’s desire to reflect the diversity of its membership, and the Commonwealth, through its Council:

Constituency I

(Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom)

One vacancy to represent the following:

  • United Kingdom

Constituency II 

(Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) 

 Two vacancies, one to represent each of the following:

  • India
  • Pakistan

Constituency III 

(East Africa: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda; Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe; West Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone)

Three vacancies, one to represent each of the following:

  • East Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • West Africa


As a UK registered Charity, Council members (Trustees) must be able to confirm that they are not disqualified by law from acting as charity trustees.  Full details of the reasons for disqualification can be found here.  If you think that any of these may apply, please contact for further guidance.

Nominees for Council must be an executive head of a full member institution at the time of appointment, with at least one year's remaining service. An appointed member who retires as executive head with no more than one year of his/her term on Council left to run shall be entitled to remain as a member of Council until the end of that term.

A member whose institution fails to maintain its subscription to the ACU, or who is removed from office as executive head, shall no longer be a member of Council or an Officer of Council.

Council members must be able to represent a wider constituency than just their own institution and must be able to participate fully in both face-to-face and electronic meetings.

Nomination and appointment process

Nominations will be accepted from executive heads of ACU full member institutions only. Individuals may self-nominate or nominate other executive heads of member institutions in their Constituency.

Nominees must also seek/receive one or more supporting nomination(s) in order to be considered eligible to progress in the process. You can download the nomination form here.

Nominations must be accompanied by a short supporting personal statement (max 300 words) from the candidate, outlining the contribution they feel they could make to the work of the Council.

If there are more nominations/expressions of interest than vacancies in a Constituency, executive heads in ACU member institutions will be invited to vote for their preferred candidate.

Candidates, and those nominating, should bear in mind the above requirements and refer to the Role and functions of Council and the Role description for members of Council.


In order to ensure continuity, and to maintain an oversight of strategic decisions and priorities agreed, the tenure of membership of Council is three years, with the facility to be re-appointed, with the agreement of Council, for a second three-year term.

Therefore, we invite nominations of members who are able to remain on Council for a period of three years in the first instance.

Time commitment

The ACU Council meets twice per year (in late July and late November/early December).  One meeting is normally conducted face-to-face and the other virtually.

Council members that are appointed to sit on the Executive Committee of Council (three meetings per year) or the Audit and Risk Committee (two meetings per year) are required to attend these meetings.

Council members are also encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting, normally held virtually in early December.

As Trustees, and in line with good governance practices, Council members must participate in a Trustee training session, which includes with the ACU’s auditors, investment managers and safeguarding advisor, on an annual basis.

Meeting dates are circulated well in advance and meeting materials are available for members to access via the BoardEffect platform.

Nominations close at 23:00 (BST) on Tuesday 21 March 2023. Please complete, sign, and return the nomination form (and accompanying personal statement if self-nominating) to the ACU’s Governance Manager, via, by this deadline.

Download the nomination form