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Senate Minutes 8 November 2023

Minutes of the meeting of the Cardiff University Senate held on Wednesday 8 November 2023 at 14.15, in the Hadyn Ellis Lecture Theatre.


Professor Wendy Larner


Dr Hesam Kamalipour


Angie Flores Acuña


Dr Tahl Kaminer


Professor Rudolf Allemann


Professor Andrew Kerr


Professor Stuart Allen


Professor Urfan Khaliq


Professor Rachel Ashworth


Professor Eshwar Mahenthiralingam


Dr Thomas Beach


Alex Meers


Professor Roger Behrend


Claire Morgan


Professor Anthony Bennett


Professor Gerard O’Grady


Dr Emma Blain


Dr James Osborne


Professor Kate Brain


Deio Owen


Professor Gill Bristow


Joanne Pagett


Dr Andreas Buerki


Micaela Panes


Professor Christine Bundy


Dr Juan Pereiro Viterbo


Dr Cindy Carter


Professor John Pickett


Professor David Clarke


Dr Jenny Pike


Lauren Cockayne


Abyd Quinn-Aziz


Susan Cousins


Dr Caroline Rae


Professor Dave Cowan


Michael Reade


Professor Vicki Cummings


Kate Richards


Professor Juliet Davis


Professor Stephen Riley


Professor Lina Dencik


Dominic Roche


Dr David Doddington


Noah Russell


Dr Luzia Dominguez


Professor Katherine Shelton


Dr Derek Dunne


Dr Andy Skyrme


Professor Dominic Dwyer


Professor Peter Smowton


Professor Edwin Egede


Zbig Sobiesierski


Fflur Evans


Helen Spittle


Professor Dylan Foster Evans


Georgia Spry


Helen Evans


Tracey Stanley


Graham Getheridge


Professor Patrick Sutton


Professor Julian Gould-Williams


Dr Catherine Teehan


Professor Mark Gumbleton


Grace Thomas


Professor Thomas Hall


Dr Jonathan Thompson


Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning


Professor Damian Walford Davies


Emma Heady


Matt Walsh


Professor Adam Hedgecoe


Dr Catherine Walsh


Dr Monika Hennemann


Lisa Watkins


Dr Jonathan Hewitt


Professor Ian Weeks


Madison Hutchinson


Professor Roger Whitaker


Professor Aseem Inam


Professor David Whitaker


Professor Nicola Innes


Professor John Wild


Dr Nicholas Jones


Professor Martin Willis


Professor Dafydd Jones


Professor Jianzhong Wu


In Attendance

Dr Martin Chorley, Katy Dale (minutes), Hannah Darnley, Dr Rob Davies, Anita Edson, Rhodri Evans (Acting Secretary), Kate Gilliver [from Minute 1042], Professor Claire Gorrara, Dr Rob Gossedge, Professor Kerry Hood, Rashi Jain, Julie-Anne Johnston, Sue Midha, Professor Wyn Morgan, TJ Rawlinson, Claire Sanders, Dr Henrietta Standley, Professor Amanda Tonks, Professor Jason Tucker, Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen [until Minute 1043], Darren Xiberras

1031 Welcome and introductions


1031.1 the Chair welcomed all to the meeting, especially those members attending their first meeting;

1031.2 the Chair also welcomed Professor Wyn Morgan of Halpin, who was observing the meeting as part of the Bicameral Review, and Julie-Anne Johnston, the Governor Apprentice on Council.

1032  Apologies for absence


1032.1 that apologies received would be recorded in the Minutes.

1033 Declaration of interests

The Chair reminded members of their requirement to disclose any direct or indirect interests which could influence their judgement. Disclosure of interests should be made before an item was discussed and the individual concerned should either withdraw from the meeting or not take part in the discussion, as appropriate for that part of the agenda.


1033.1 that no member disclosed any interests.

1034 Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2023 (paper 22/858) were confirmed as a true and accurate record and were approved to be signed by the Chair.

1035 Matters arising

Noted there were no matters arising.

1036 Constitution and membership

Received and considered paper 23/225 ‘Constitution and Membership’. The Chair spoke to this item.


1036.1 to review whether the Chief Executive of the Students’ Union could attend meetings of Senate.

1037 Constitution and membership of sub-committees

Received and considered paper 23/162 ‘Honorary Fellowships and Degrees Committee Terms of Reference’. The Chair spoke to this item.


1037.1 to approve the revised constitution for the Honorary Fellowships and Degrees Committee.

1038 Items from the Chair

Received and considered paper 23/226C ‘Report of Chair’s Action Since Last Meeting’. The Chair spoke to this item.


1038.1 that the items had been approved by the previous Vice-Chancellor;

Establishment of an endowment fund for Hodge Professor of Psychiatry

1038.2  that the Hodge Professor of Psychiatry had been developed to fund further research in the area of precision psychiatry and psychiatry intervention in society; this was linked to the NHS and delivery of service;

Approval of Variation for Students with a Hold Progression Outcome

1038.3 that it had been urgent and important to inform students who were awaiting a progression outcome clarification on the arrangements for progression to the next stage of the programme in 2023/24;

1038.4 that the appendix incorrectly noted a request for Senate’s approval; the item was for noting as this had been approved via the Chair’s action;

1038.5 that students who had been permitted to progress absent some module outcomes and subsequently were required to resit should receive academic advice on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate option for them.

1039 Report from Vice-Chancellor

Received and considered paper 23/227C ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Report to Senate’. The Chair spoke to this item.


1039.1  that the Vice-Chancellor extended their thanks to all who had contributed to the Big Conversation so far, and for the ongoing contributions and engagement; it was planned to commence creating and reviewing future strategic options in early 2024;

1039.2 that the Vice-Chancellor was impressed with the array and quality of work happening across all spheres of the University;

1039.3 that the success of research was identified in the report and it was queried whether further investment could be made in this area; the Vice-Chancellor noted that there was no additional funding available and there was a need to prioritise; new investment in one area would require disinvestment from another and the Big Conversation was key here, to identify how the University wished to look in the future and which activities were priorities;

1039.4 that it was queried whether a teaching culture survey could be undertaken, given the importance of this to the University; it was noted that teaching culture was not easy to define and therefore may not suit a survey, but that thoughts on how to progress this were welcomed; there was also a need to consider culture holistically alongside the values of the organisation.

1040 Student View – university response

Received and considered paper 23/228 ‘Response to the Student Views 2023’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience spoke to this item.


1040.1 that the Senate had received the three 2023 Student Views at its meeting in June;

1040.2 that this paper contained the University’s response to these Views, alongside details of achievements against the 2022 Student View (and against which there had been significant progress);

1040.3 that thanks were extended to the Students’ Union for their continued partnership and support in progressing agreed actions;

1040.4 that governance for Housing, and Estates and Facilities Views would sit within the Student Life Group and Professional Servies Board, with oversight of the Assessment and Feedback View covered via the Rethinking Assessment Group;

1040.5 that the Students’ Union extended their thanks to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience for the collaborative work in this area and noted:

.1 the pleasing progress in regard to the 2022 Student View and requested campus opening times were made consistent across non-traditional opening hours (for example the opening of the Centre for Student Life during weekends of Freshers Week); the Chief Operating Officer confirmed that low usage of buildings was being reviewed and that the above would be considered;

.2 that it would be of benefit to include a validation process to the Marking and Assessment work to ensure there was common application across all schools;

.3 that the Students’ Union had been involved in conversations around student housing but there remained students with challenges finding suitable accommodation and it would be good for a cross-city approach to be taken, to ensure universities were working together to ensure accommodation for all; the Chief Operating Officer confirmed that an agreement had been made with Unite to procure further accommodation but agreed this needed to be considered holistically across the city; a Residences Strategy was being developed;

.4 that an additional prayer room had been identified at Heath Park but was located in the same building as the existing room and therefore an alternate building may be more desirable; it was confirmed work was underway to map prayer rooms across campus and identify other suitable locations; work was also underway with IT to include prayer room locations in the student app;

.5 that the Heath Park had the worst ratio of students to study space and this should be reviewed; it was highlighted that the Heath Park site was shared with the NHS and this placed some limitations on available space;

1040.6 that specific feedback from students was distilled into the Student View and the University response was similarly drafted from a higher level; there was, therefore, a concern noted that the Student View recommendations and their implementation were agreed top-down and not from a localised level; there was a regulatory requirement for the University to provide an institutional response to the annual Students’ Union feedback, therefore requiring management-level input; it was expected that feedback on the Student View recommendations would be shared via Boards of Studies, Student Staff Panels, and College and School Education and Student Experience Committees and that the later item on the Education Governance Review noted this flow of information needed to be improved.


1040.7 to include the Director Estates in a monthly partnership meeting between the Students’ Union and University, to discuss estates issues noted in 1040.5.4 and 1040.5.5;

1040.8 to recommend to Council the response to the Student Views for 2023.

1041 NSS outcomes

Received and considered an oral report from the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience.


1041.1 that it was important to share details of NSS outcomes with Senate, given its role in advising Council and having responsibility for academic matters and matters relating to the student experience;

1041.2 that the NSS had launched in 2005 and was a survey of all UK UGs; it therefore reflected the national picture of student experience and was used by regulators as a proxy for student experience; it also impacted on rankings in league tables;

1041.3  that it was important to consider response rates when reviewing the results and the overall response rate had increased to 71% in 2023;

1041.4 that the survey had been amended for 2023, with the neutral central answer removed, more emotive language and the addition of a mental wellbeing question; the overall satisfaction score had also been removed for English institutions but remained for others in the UK;

1041.5 that respondents to this year’s survey had likely entered higher education in 2020 and therefore been impacted by Covid, industrial action and the cost of living crisis;

1041.6  that key headlines from the results were:

.1 that the University was disappointed in the results and these did not reflect efforts across the institution in this area;

.2 that the University was below sector average at every level for student satisfaction and had been unable to shift the downward trend of previous years;

.3 that 25 of 62 subjects had improved in overall satisfaction, with 7 showing a more than 10% improvement, which was pleasing; however, 34 subjects had decreased, with 8 by more than 10%:

.4  that the Students’ Union remained the highest performing indicator;

.5  that some themes were improving but at a slower rate than the sector;

.6 that 16 indicators were statistically below benchmark;

1041.7 that when compared to the sector, the University was underperforming both in Wales, the Russell Group and across the UK and this needed to be improved;

1041.8 that, due to the NSS outcomes, the University was now the most regulated institution in Wales due to the additional monitoring, with 50% of schools monitored by HEFCW; this added a high level of regulatory burden with a need for response which this year had come alongside the start of the academic year, given the delay in issuing NSS results; thanks were extended to all involved with responding to the survey results;

1041.9 that the NSS outcomes resulted in a high institutional risk that the academic provision would become inadequate (as defined by HEFCW) and the University had submitted an institutional plan to demonstrate how this risk would be addressed;

1041.10 that support plans for schools were also being developed to assist schools with the implementation of school plans;

1041.11 that work to address the NSS outcomes was holistic across the University and included Professional Services, and was therefore not just an academic staff matter;

1041.12 that strong graduate outcomes and REF performance had meant the University’s rankings in league tables had remained steady but it was expected the disappointing NSS outcomes would start to impact both rankings and student recruitment;

1041.13 that a large amount of work had already been undertaken to improve NSS scores, including but not limited to: the development of teaching staff; closing the feedback loop; review of personal tutor support; review of service models; and wellbeing support;

1041.14 that, although important, NSS was only one measure of student experience;

1041.15 that the impact of covid on cohorts of students should lessen in future years and hopefully be reflected in NSS results;

1041.16 that work to share best practice from well-performing schools had been undertaken but this was often relevant to specific schools and subjects with small cohorts;

1041.17  that it was essential to ensure cohesion of the pastoral provision offered to students across the University; communication and signposting of students no matter their school or discipline was also crucial here;

1041.18 that the results suggested the University’s recovery post-pandemic was not as good as the sector and that the pace of improvement was slow;

1041.19 that the Students’ Union welcomed recent invitations to visit schools and review how to build community and belonging for students;

1041.20 that staff workload should also be considered here; it was emphasised that student experience needed to underpin all activity and therefore there may be activity that needed to be reduced or stopped to ensure this.

1042 Annual Quality report

Received and considered paper 23/189R ‘Annual Quality Report 2022-23’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience spoke to this item.


1042.1 that the report contained an overview of the annual quality system and its operation to ensure continuous enhancement;

1042.2 the report also confirmed standards of awards were being appropriately set and maintained and that the University was taking steps to address concerns around student experience;

1042.3 that section 6.4 covered the internal audit report on the results notification process which had been requested following the 2021/22 Annual Quality Report; the audit report had given limited assurance and a Task and Finish Group had been established to take forward the management recommendations; this was a substantial piece of work, with a business case for a Mark Processing Project approved by UEB in October 2023; the project would continue to 2025/26 with a number of elements required to be delivered in the first year to provide assurance;

1042.4 section 4.2 and 4.3 (Degree Outcomes) had incomplete data for 2022/23 due to MAB which had delayed completion of progression outcomes and awards; a further review would be undertaken before the end of 2023 to provide an updated degree outcomes statement and awarding gap data, which Senate would be asked to review in due course; it was pleasing to note that external examiners had raised no concerns around academic standards of awards;

1042.5 that the awarding gap was impacted by numerous factors and the University was undertaking deep dives in this area to ensure resource and support for this area via the Inclusive Education project;

1042.6 good work had been progressed around AI and guidance had been published; current sector feeling was not to return to traditional written exams but to continue to explore alternative assessments which supported academic integrity;

1042.7  that the University was required to report to the Welsh Language Commissioner any complaints relating to the Welsh Language; it was believed these were included in the Annual Complaints Report received by UEB and consideration should be given to including these within the AQR;

1042.8  that the inclusion of PG student experience within the report was welcomed.


1042.9  to review the inclusion of Welsh language complaints within the report;

1042.10  for the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience to discuss with the Vice-President Postgraduate Students (Education and Welfare) postgraduate student representation on boards/groups;

1042.11 to recommend to Council approval of the Annual Quality Report and that the report be used as the basis for Council to submit to HEFCW the assurance statements relating to academic standards and the quality of the student experience.

1043 Academic Standards and Quality Committee report to Senate

Received paper 23/229 ‘Academic Standards and Quality Committee Report’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience spoke to this item.


1043.1 that the report reflected the meetings of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee in July and October;

1043.2 that a Task and Finish Group would be established to review compliance with the recently issued revisions to consumer law advice;

1043.3 that a survey had been conducted around group work assessments and guidance on this would follow; it was noted that group working had been reviewed within the Business School and there may be useful guidance to be shared more widely from this;

Marking and Moderation Policy

1043.4 that the paper presented an updated Marking and Moderation Policy for Senate approval; this work had been led by Dr Kate Gilliver; it was noted that the version issued to Senate included some typos and formatting errors which would be corrected;

1043.5  that there had been consistent feedback from external examiners around inconsistencies in moderation; the second driver for the amended policy came from NSS questions around assessments and marking;

1043.6 that research had been undertaken on how marking and moderation were managed in the sector, alongside feedback from external examiners and the student body;

1043.7 the policy included a shift to pre-marking moderation as was best practice in the sector; there was a concern this may result in additional workload although some schools where this was current practice had found this had reduced time for moderation due to a shared understanding in advance of marking;

1043.8 that the policy would become live from September 2024 to allow work to be undertaken with schools around implementation; it was noted that many schools were already aligned with the revised policy;

1043.9 that work around overlength coursework had been challenging and despite consultation, there had been no agreement in how to manage this (divergent approaches seen in the sector); it had therefore been agreed that the approach would remain as in the original policy; it was highlighted that external examiners had expressed concerns the current approach was not appropriate and therefore best practice on the implementation of the approach would be shared with schools to ensure consistent application of the policy and, if concerns remained, Senate should review the approach;

1043.10 that it would be of benefit to review wording to clarify what is policy (a must) and what is guidance (a should);

1043.11 that there had been some issues experienced around moderation for joint honours programmes due to different approaches being taken across schools; it was suggested this is reviewed as part of implementation and a lessons learnt exercise;

1043.12 that it would be helpful to identify the interpretation of “wherever possible” in relation to anonymity (section 2.4), as this may not be possible in instances of limited numbers holding a speciality; it was noted this may be a good area to review under a lessons learnt exercise.


1043.13  to approve the Marking and Moderation Policy, subject to the sharing of a clean copy of the document with Senate.

1044 Education and Student Experience Committee report to Senate

Received paper 23/230 ‘Education and Student Experience Committee Report’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience spoke to this item.


1044.1 that the Student View 2022 had requested a change to lecture recording and the University had committed to automatic release of lecture recording to 5 days, subject to consultation with Trade Unions and development of operational guidance;

1044.2 the Committee had made a minor amend to its Terms of Reference to correct the name of the Successful Student Futures Group.

1045 Bicameral review update

Received and considered an oral report from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.


1045.1 that Council had commissioned a Governance Effectiveness Review in 2021 (the Nicholls report); from the recommendations of this report, Council had commissioned a review of the relationship between Council and Senate to ensure this was optimal, both between the bodies and other boards that fed into these bodies;

1045.2 this was termed the Bicameral review and would look at areas such as the constitutional relationship, how stakeholders’ views were sought and considered, and how academic assurance was provided;

1045.3 a Task and Finish Group (chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor) had been established to oversee the review; the review itself would be undertaken by Halpin;

1045.4 that the review was currently in the information gathering stage and Halpin was meeting with key stakeholders, including Senate members, Council members and those on Board of Studies/College and School Education and Student Experience Committees;

1045.5  that the draft report would be issued in late January 2024, before being shared with UEB, Governance Committee, Senate and Council.

1046 Education governance review update

Received and considered paper 23/240 ‘Education Governance Review’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience spoke to this item.


1046.1 that the new education governance arrangements had come into effect from 2021/22 and a review of its implementation had been promised;

1046.2 that the review had been undertaken in September and October 2023 and had included a survey of staff; this review would also be shared with Halpin to feed into the Bicameral Review;

1046.3 that key outcomes were:

.1 support for staff and clarity over the roles of the committees, including identifying any overlap;

.2 a more systematic approach to the flow of information through the system to ensure staff were aware of decisions; this was especially true around the flow to and from Boards of Studies and more regular consultation and engagement with them had been identified;

.3 to review student representation on committees;

.4 to review Staff Student Panels and their relationship with Boards of Studies;

1046.4 that it was queried whether employment and training of PGR tutors could be included within the terms of reference of the College PGR Education and Student Experience Committees; it was noted that further consideration would be given by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience and the Director of Human Resources where discussion on these matters would best take place.


1046.5 to approve the changes to the Academic Management Regulations.

1047 Supporting research excellence programme

Received and considered paper 23/231 ‘Supporting Research Excellence – Forward Planning for AY 2023-24’. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise spoke to this item.


1047.1 that the programme had been established last year with an aim to emend good research practice and procedures and to ensure systematic and methodical planning for future REF;

1047.2 that the framework had been included in the paper; this would be shared with Directors of Research and College Boards to determine the direction of travel;

1047.3 engagement with Heads of Schools and Directors of Research had given a perspective on the University’s current position and future priority areas for schools; there was strong commitment at the school level to take the programme forward and this had already been reviewed independently of the programme by some schools; there would be a programme of engagement to identify progress against actions in Spring 2024;

1047.4 that the University had many areas of internationally leading research;

1047.5 that the programme was people-centred and would review mechanisms and culture to ensure best practice; a research culture survey had been undertaken and led by Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen;

1047.6 that there was a need to review research impact across the institution and align this with the possible risks and opportunities in this space;

1047.7 that the focus and priority was on research quality, as opposed to pursuing REF for its own sake; it was noted that conversations around REF and its future were being held in the sector and there was a need to be alive to possible changes in future returns; it was noted that there was a need to review the University’s research outputs given its distance from the Russell Group average;

1047.8 that local ownership was key; actions had been identified at both a school and institutional level.

1048 Changes to Ordinance 7

Received and considered paper 23/232 ‘Changes to Ordinance 7’. The University Secretary and General Counsel spoke to this item.


1048.1 that Senate were asked to comment on and recommend to Council the proposed Senate membership of the Joint Committee;

1048.2 that Governance Committee had debated the Council complement of the Joint Committee at its meeting on 7 November 2023 and recommended this be 2 lay members, one external member (a Vice-Chancellor, Provost or equivalent from a Higher Education Institution) and one other who was not an employee or student;

1048.3 that once formed, the Joint Committee would form one body;

1048.4 that the composition of the Senate members had been discussed at the Senate meeting in June 2022 and the paper looked to codify the decision of Senate at that meeting (and as had been reflected in previous iterations of the Joint Committee); this would help establish a Joint Committee quickly when the need arose;

1048.5 that election by and from each category meant only those eligible in that category could be nominated and only those in that category would be able to vote should a ballot be required (e.g. only Heads of School would be eligible under the Head of School category and only Heads of School able to vote for this category).


1048.6 to recommend to Council approval of the changes to Ordinance 7.

1049 New library and archives strategy 2023 - 2027

Received and considered paper 23/89 ‘New Library and Archives Strategy 2023 – 2027’. The Director of University Library Services spoke to this item.


1049.1 that in response to queries, the following was confirmed:

.1 that the new strategy included the theme of transforming spaces and looked at a possible new building; it was an ambition to have a new library on the Cathays campus but this was not within the timescale of this strategy and no decision had been made on this yet; there was a need through the strategy to plan the space and the demands on the library service;

.2 that the strategy referred to information resources and this included digital and print media; it was anticipated there would be a need to review print collections during the course of the strategy and to actively manage them as part of an ongoing process to manage the space; these would continue to be undertaken collaboratively with colleges and schools;

.3 that there was a vision to review materials that had research value across the UK and work collaboratively to determine where these were stored in perpetuity; this would allow for a Memorandum of Understanding with any partner organisations and agreement on mechanisms to ensure these could be shared; it was not expected staff or students would have to travel to access these materials; work was ongoing on this and further information would be brought to schools once developed.


1049.2 to approve the New Library and Archives Strategy 2023 – 2027.

1050  Any Other Business

Noted there was no other business.

1051 Items received for information

The following papers were received for information:

  • 22/856 ASQC Minutes – 3 July 2023
  • 23/233 ASQC Minutes – 16 October 2023
  • 23/234 ESEC Minutes – 3 October 2023
  • 23/242 Students' Union Relationship Agreement and Student Charter
  • 23/206 Annual Statement on Research Integrity
  • 23/235C Annual Report from Academic Promotions Committee
  • 23/236C Fee and Access Plan (FAP) Monitoring 22-23
  • 23/237 Research Grants and Contracts Annual Report
  • 23/238 Employee membership of University Sub-Committees 2023-24 (appointments made by Senate)

Document control table

Document title:Senate Minutes 8 November 2023
Effective date:09 May 2024