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Birkbeck committees

The Governance team supports a large number of committees, boards and working groups across the College.

View Birkbeck's committee structure (PDF). Internal committees are coloured green, corporate governance committees are coloured blue and academic committees are coloured red.


The Birkbeck governing body approves the mission and strategic vision of the College, long-term teaching, research and business plans and key performance indicators, and ensures that these meet the interests of stakeholders and deliver public benefit.

The following Committees report into Governors:

  • University Executive Board
  • Nominations Committee
  • Finance and General Purposes Committee
  • Remuneration Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Academic Board


The University Executive Board provides steer and leadership on the management and the academic and development strategy of Birkbeck. It is responsible for advising on all matters relating to University Strategy and for making recommendations on these as appropriate to the Vice-Chancellor and to Governors for approval.

The following Committees report to the University Executive Board:


The Student Recruitment Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of strategy, policy, planning and process relating to student recruitment and admissions, including setting admissions targets, overseeing the marketing strategy, recommending tuition fee levels to the Governors and monitoring student recruitment risks.


The Human Resources (HR) Strategy and Policy Committee oversees the development and implementation of the College’s People Strategy.


The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee ensures that the College discharges its legal responsibilities and achieves its Equality and Diversity strategic goals by taking ownership of objectives, maintaining oversight of progress through detailed scrutiny of equality reviews and audits to clear timescales, and working with colleagues across the institution to ensure remedial actions are taken where necessary.


The International Committee develops and oversees the implementation of the College’s international strategy, including advancing initiatives to enhance the College’s international positioning and impact and strengthening relationships with important constituencies internationally.


The Innovation and Commercialisation Board aims to facilitate the growth of innovation and income diversification for the College. It will also provide an important focus and much needed expertise and transparency to commercialisation and diversification.


The Growth Steering Group supports the College’s growth strategy by developing and introducing new programmes of study and study areas, and the processes by which these are approved.


The College Ethics Committee is responsible for advising Governors, via the College Research Committee on the development, implementation and review of procedures for ethical issues related to research, teaching and other areas of College business.


The Restructuring (Phase 2) Project Board oversees the implementation of the College’s Vision 2021-2026 Strategy.


The Risk Management Group (RMG) is tasked with identifying and evaluating the significant risks faced by the College and to consider what controls should be put in place to mitigate them. The RMG reports to the University Executive Board and the Audit Committee on the status of risks and controls and meets on a termly basis.


The Health and Safety Committee advises the most senior directors and leaders of the organisation on matters concerning the health, safety and welfare, at work, of College staff. It also keeps under review the measures taken to ensure that the College provides healthy and safe working conditions for staff, students and other persons who may be affected by its activities, within the context of a higher education institutional environment.

Genetic Modification Sub-Committee

The Genetic Modification Sub-Committee reviews in detail experimental proposals involving genetic modification prior to their submission to the Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification as required by the appropriate legislation. The GM Committee reports to the Health and Safety Committee and meets on a termly basis. 


The Nominations Committee normally meets once a year and makes recommendations to the Governors on the appointment of:

  • The President
  •  The Chair and Deputy Chair of Governors
  • The Independent Governors
  • The membership of the Finance and General Purposes Committee; the Audit Committee; the Remuneration Committee; and any other committees as the Governors may from time to time direct.
  • Fellows of the College
  • Honorary Life Members of the College (delegated to College management).


The Finance and General Purposes Committee has overall responsibility, on behalf of the Governors, for the conduct of the College’s financial affairs and for other matters delegated by the Governors. It also gives advice and makes decisions with the aim of protecting and enhancing the College’s assets and making the best use of its income so that the objectives of the College, as defined in its Charter and Statutes, may be achieved.

The following Committees report into the Finance and General Purposes Committee:


The Investment Committee reports to the Finance and General Purposes Committee on the College’s investments portfolio. It recommends to the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Governors the appointment of investment managers to undertake the day-to-day management of the College’s investments in accordance with the agreed policy.


The Strategic Estates and Infrastructure Committee oversees the development and ongoing review of the College’s estates and infrastructure strategy, in the context of the College’s overall plan and strategic objectives, for approval by Governors.


The Digital Sub-Committee provides a forum for detailed consideration of the College’s digital infrastructure and reports to the Strategic Estates and Infrastructure Committee (SEIC) so that SEIC can fully carry out its duty to oversee the development and ongoing review of the College’s estates and infrastructure strategy, in the context of the College’s overall plan and strategic objectives. 

From 2024/25, the Digital Committee will be a full committee reporting directly to Finance and General Purposes Committee.


The remit of the Remuneration Committee is to develop and have oversight of an overall framework to cover the remuneration, benefits and conditions of employment of the staff of the College, ensuring that there are clear and fair processes for setting objectives and assessing contribution.

The principles of remuneration are to recruit and retain the best staff possible, to deliver the best outcomes for students, society and the economy and to demonstrate best use of resources. The approach to setting remuneration takes economic factors, competition, skills, experience, the diversity of the workforce and individual and institutional performance into account.

Read the 2022-23 Annual Report of the Remuneration Committee.


The Audit Committee reports to the Governors on the College’s risk management, control and governance arrangements and its arrangements for ensuring economy, efficiency and effectiveness.


The Academic Board consists of the College’s readers and professors. It is responsible for the academic work of the College, and considers academic matters referred by the Governors.


The Academic Board Executive Committee (ABExCo) is responsible for the general management of the business of the Academic Board, and for advising the University Executive Board and the Academic Board based on information received.

The following Committees report into the Academic Board:


The Education Committee is a Committee of the Academic Board and is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the College’s Education and Student Experience Strategy.

The following groups and committees report into the Education Committee:

Education Strategy Group

The Education Strategy Group (ESG) is a sub-group of the Education Committee and is responsible for discussing and advising on: the education strategy; the operation of policies, procedures and regulatory frameworks; and quality assurance arrangements of all taught provision at Birkbeck.

College Programmes Committee

The College Programmes Committee has a specific remit for the consideration of the College’s taught educational portfolio, new programme proposals (and associated modules) and major amendments on behalf of Education Committee.

College Boards of Examiners

The College Board of Examiners oversees the integrity of the examination process.


The Research Committee supports the College’s mission in relation to all research-related matters, and specifically the provisions of the College’s mission to maintain and develop excellence in research and provide the highest quality research training in all our subject areas, and to make available the results of research, and the expertise acquired, through teaching, publication, partnerships with other organisations and the promotion of civic and public debate.

The Committee also has responsibility for supporting the College in its objective of achieving and maintaining strong research cultures in support of interdisciplinary work in each school and faculty.

The following working groups and parties report into the Research Committee:

Research Strategy Group

The Research Strategy Group supports the College in relation to the academic aspects of the implementation of the Research Strategy, and advises the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) on questions relating to research governance and research performance.

Open research Working Group

The Open Research Working Group has been established to support the College in relation to the open and accessible publication of research and research data, and wider open research initiatives.

REF Working Party

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) Working Party is established for each REF cycle and prepares the College's REF submission.