The governing body of the University is the Council, which has the ultimate responsibility for the work and progress of the University towards the achievement of its goals. Its membership includes leading figures from the national and international community as well as senior personnel within the University. The Council has wide powers to make statutes, lay down policy, approve programmes and plans, and to establish working procedures governing the organisational life of the University. It also provides and controls the resources required to support both the academic activities and the physical development and maintenance of the University. But as a mainly policy-making body the Council cannot, and should not, be engaged in the day-to-day administration of the University. Clearly it could not carry out efficiently all its wide responsibilities by itself. On academic matters it consults the Senate; on many other matters, while retaining overall control and responsibility, it delegates much of the detailed work to the officers and committees.
The chief academic authority of the University is the Senate, whose membership includes the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Faculty Deans, Faculty representatives and Heads of academic support units as well as student representatives. Under the Council, the Senate has the responsibility for the general control and direction of teaching and research activities, examinations, the conferment of degrees and award of diplomas and certificates.
Much of its statutory authority is exercised through its approval and, from time to time, amendment of various sets of academic regulations, all of which are published for general information in the Academic Calendar. They include general and special academic regulations, admissions and examination procedures, degree structures, programmes of study, syllabuses, library regulations, etcetera. Regulations in any organisation may appear to restrict freedom of action, but are necessary for the orderly conduct of affairs. Additionally, in a University context, the regulations are the means by which the Senate ensures that the academic standards and quality of teaching are acceptable not only to the University and the nation, but also to the wider academic community of the world. Senate also delegates much of its detailed work to committees, reviewing the recommendations they bring forward for its approval.
Faculties and Departments
Below the level of the Vice Chancellor’s office, the University is divided broadly into three types of specialised work: academic affairs, finance and administration, and student affairs. The academic division is represented by the Senate, Faculties, Schools, Departments and Institutes. Specialisation and the best use of staff expertise are achieved on the basis of the division of the academic areas into departments. Each department has a special focus, involving it in teaching and research in particular subjects or disciplines. These departments are responsible for the day-to-day teaching and research work of the University, and they formulate the programmes of study.
A number of departments and similar or related disciplines are grouped together to constitute a Faculty. At present there are eight established Faculties:
- Engineering and Technology,
- Humanities, Medicine,
- Social Sciences,
- Faculty of Health Sciences and
- the School of Graduate Studies.
In general, departments in the same Faculty work closely together in offering Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programmes. In many cases there is a similar cooperation between Faculties. Faculties are headed by Deans, who represent the Faculty on other bodies and who have general responsibility for coordinating the work of the Faculty. Faculties work through their Faculty Boards and a variety of committees established by the Boards. Proposals from departments are brought to Faculty Boards for discussion and may then be submitted to Senate and, when necessary, to Council. Decisions and directions are then transmitted back to departments through the same channels.