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University of London Academic Council

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 UoL/AC
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: University of London Academic Council
Date(s): 1839-1999
Level of description: Subfonds of the University of London
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Extent: 578 volumes, 764 bundles, 368 boxes
Name of creator(s): University of London | Academic Council
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Academic Council was created by the Statutes of 13 February 1900 to provide advice on the 'Internal' side of the University's activities. The Council was composed of 16 Senators representing Faculties (2 each), plus the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Convocation, together with other Senators sufficient to make the number up to 20.

The Academic Council had an advisory role only, on such matters as: the assignment of funds for the erection or extension of buildings or equipment in the University or Schools of the University; the appointment of Professors, Assistant Professors, Readers or Lecturers of the University and generally upon any matter relating to the Internal Students.

The Academic Council's role was revised by the Hilton Young reforms (named after Hilton Young, who produced the Hilton Young Report 1926), embodied in the Statutes of 23 July 1928. These reforms allocated executive functions to the Council in the following areas previously exercised by the Senate:

The constitution and personnel of Faculties, Boards of Studies and the regulation and co-ordination of their work.
The admission or retention of public educational institutions as Schools.
The establishment or abolition of posts of Professors, Readers and Lecturers of the University and the duties, tenure, remuneration and conditions of service, retirement and superannuation which shall apply to persons appointed to such posts.
The recognition of teachers.
The establishment of degrees, diplomas and certificates of proficiency for Internal Students
The regulation of courses of study for Internal Students.
The recognition of courses of study for Associate Students.
The regulation, conduct and superintendence of examinations for Internal Students and the appointment of Examiners for such examinations.
The conditions under which the Higher School Examination of the University may be accepted in whole or in part, as equivalent of the Intermediate Examination for internal Students.
Such other matters as the Senate may prescribe.

The Academic Council lost its role in giving advice on the assignment of funds for building and equipment. This role was taken over by the Court in 1928. The 1928 reforms also enlarged the Academic Council to include: 2 ex officio members (Vice-Chancellor and Principal- these were already in the AC from 1900 as in para 1), 17 Senators representing the Faculties and 9 other Senators.

With the exception of an amendment of 1951 on account of the creation of G.C.E. examinations, the Statutes concerning the Academic Council remained unchanged until the 'Saunders reforms' (named after the chairman of the Committee on Academic Organisation Sir Owen Saunders) of 1966. Under these changes the Faculty Boards were abolished (replaced by Academic Advisory Boards), the membership of the Boards of Studies was extended to include all tenured Teachers in Schools and the programme of School-sponsored degrees was extended.

The Statutes of 17 December 1980 brought about further changes to the Academic Council. The composition has been enlarged to consist of the Vice-Chancellor, the Principal, the forty members of the Senate elected by the teachers, the ten members of the Senate to be co-opted from the Recognised Teachers, and other persons exceeding nine in number annually appointed to the Senate.

From the session 1984/85 the Council for External Students was retitled, 'the Committee for External Students' of the Academic Council, while the Council for Extra -Mural Studies became the 'Committee for Extra Mural Studies. The University Entrance Requirements Committee became a committee directly constituted by the Senate. These new committees reported to the Academic Council.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection, 1900-1987, consists of records created by the Academic Council (AC 1) and faculties, boards, committees and other bodies of the Academic Council. These are:
Academic Registrar (AC 2),
Standing Sub-Committees (AC3),
Joint Standing Committee of the Academic Collegiate Councils (AC 4),
Faculties (AC 5),
Faculty Boards (AC 6),
Academic Advisory Boards (AC 7),
Boards of Studies (AC 8),
Special Advisory Boards (AC 9),
Special Advisory Committees (AC 10),
Overseas Colleges in Special Relationship (AC 11),
Teachers Section (AC 12),
Scholarships (AC 13),
Central Research Fund (AC 14),
Published texts of Lectures (AC 15).

There are also 143 uncatalogued boxes (Ref. AC) containing material dating from 1846-1999. This includes minutes, academic registrar correspondence, Academic Advisory Board papers, Board of Studies papers, scholarships papers, financial papers, memorial lectures, Joint Committee of Academic Council and Institute of Education papers, Joint Committee of Academic Council and Collegiate Council on Latin American Studies papers, Academic Working Parties papers, Subject Area Review Committees/Committee of Academic Organisation papers, Committee on Organisation and Administration of the Schools of the University papers, Sub-Committees papers, Correspondence/Reports on Specific Issues, Deans Committee for Review of the Arts papers, General Medical Council and General Dental Council papers and Examinations papers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Files are arranged according to the structure of the Academic Council and its various sub-committees at the time the file was created. When committees have changed their organisation or structure it has been reflected in the catalogue as far as is possible. However this has not been practical for the Standing Committee on Pre-Registration (AC 8/52/3). This was originally a body of the Board of Postgraduate Medical Studies but became a body of the Academic Council Standing Sub-Committee in Medicine (AC 3/1) in 1979. The catalogue does not reflect this and all minutes for the Standing Committee on Pre-Registration are to be found at AC 8/52/3.

Conditions governing access:

Open except for records exempt under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. Access to the records for the purposes of private study and personal research is possible within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Catalogue: Archive of the University of London, London 1988.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
1999-08-31 Simon McKeon, 2000-03-01 Joseph Gelfer, 2006-08-23 Michael Broadway

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