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University Governance and legal basis of the university

Identifier: EUA IN1/GOV

Scope and Contents

  1. Chancellor
  2. Rector
  3. University Court
  4. Senatus Academicus
  5. General Council
  6. Curators of Patronage


  • Creation: 1582-date

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Certain material may be restricted due to Data Protection and other legislative reasons.

Biographical / Historical

From the early 17th century, the governing body of the University of Edinburgh was the Senatus Academicus. By Act of Parliament this was transferred to the University Court in 1889. The Court had come into existence following the Act of 1858 but from 1889 it became a body corporate, with perpetual succession and a common seal.

The current positions of Rector, Chancellor and Principal & Vice Chancellor also stem from the 1858 Act, as does the General Council which elects the Chancellor and four Assessors on the Court. The Curators of Patronage continue the link between the university and the city, though their powers are now largely formal.


1 tbc unit

Archivist's Note

Grant Buttars 03 June 2004

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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