As a higher education corporation, the university is a statutory body established under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988 and enjoys charitable status as an exempt charity under the Charities Act 2006. The university’s legal name is The University of Bolton higher education corporation and its correspondence address is:
The University of Bolton
The Board of Governors, who are the trustees of the charity, have paid regard to the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance, particularly the supplementary guidance on the advancement of education. The guidance is also included in the induction packs for new Board members. As a Higher Education Corporation (HEC), the university’s objects are derived from the powers of a HEC, as set out in section 24 of the Higher Education Reform Act 1988, and Part II of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The university’s charitable objects are: provide higher education, and carry out research and knowledge exchange.
The Board of Governors consider that they have complied with Section 17 of the Charities Act 2011 with regard to the guidance on public benefit published by the Charity Commission. The paragraphs below demonstrate the public benefit arising through the university’s activities. The university continues to demonstrate public benefit and civic impact through its core activities as well as through connected initiatives, projects and activities:
- The institution strives to remove barriers to Higher Education based on its core commitment to the widening participation philosophy. The University of Bolton continues to be one of the most inclusive universities in England and its recruitment of students from underrepresented groups meets, or exceeds, all HEFCE benchmarks for social inclusion in admissions, especially for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and for students with disabilities.
- Following the successful launch of its innovative Undergraduate Nursing Degree programme in 2015, the university is rapidly expanding the provision in this area, contributing directly to capacity building and addressing the skills shortage in the Health Sector. In addition to the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the university has now established successful collaborations with the Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, and the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a wide range of programmes.
- The university is also establishing strategic partnerships with a wide range of employers, across the industrial sectors in the North West, exemplifying the university’s growing role and contribution to the local economy. The university is taking its rightful place as a key agent for economic, social and cultural development as part of the new Greater Manchester Northern Powerhouse. The university is also at the heart of, and leading, the regeneration of the town of Bolton; its multi-million-pound learning infrastructure projects are transforming the physical environment of the town centre and the university is widely recognised now as both the engine and driving force for the renaissance of the town.
- The university offers substantial bursaries and incentives targeted to all those alumni who wish to further their studies at the university but who have no other financial support to do so. This reaffirms the university’s commitment to lifelong support for those who can benefit from higher education.
- The university works in partnership with a number of public sector agencies, educational partners and community groups to improve the economic prospects and social mobility of Bolton and the North West. The Bolton Education Zone partnership, between the university, Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College, continues to work actively to highlight, promote and advocate educational opportunities and progression routes in Bolton and to cooperate to facilitate these through shared activities.
- The university’s Centre for Research into Health and Wellbeing works closely with the Council, the Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group and the Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to research into and promote health education and awareness amongst the local community and, through its support for the National Forum on Health and Wellbeing, the same work is actively carried out across the North West. Of particular note is the university’s close involvement in the Bolton Health Mela hosted by our Centre for Research for Health and Wellbeing. The Health Mela offers health advice in a non-threatening and friendly environment and is a key event in the annual schedule of inclusive public health support.
- Through its engagement with international students both here in the UK and also at its partnership centres across the world, the university demonstrates a commitment to internationalism and the bringing together of cultures through education which is also evidenced in the globalisation strand which is embedded in the curriculum of every one of its undergraduate programmes. This is reinforced with an emphasis on employability, enterprise and innovation in a global context.
- Its applied research and knowledge transfer activities support business and industry, the Further Education sector and community bodies. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) the university was rated by independent international panels as delivering world-leading research in six of the seven subjects submitted. One of the highest rated projects for impact, in English Language and Literature, across the UK focused on how University of Bolton research had helped community groups support the families of prisoners. The university also continues to deliver Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects and other applied research projects with companies in the region, directly benefiting the industry.
- It supports a number of local organisations and charities both directly and indirectly. For example, in 2017, the University of Bolton had the honour of hosting a very special event for Fortalice, where it celebrated 40 years of providing refuge and frontline services for women, families, children and young people affected by domestic abuse. The university also supports the Bolton Lads & Girls Club, a local charity, which has been providing a wide range of sporting and learning opportunities for young people since 1890. It also works with other local voluntary agencies and charities such as Bolton at Home, Octagon Theatre, Bolton Rotary Club etc., to help create equality of opportunity and community cohesion in Bolton and beyond.
The university is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS); the OfS is the new independent regulator for higher education in England. The OfS’ regulatory framework published in February 2018 will not come fully into force until 1 August 2019. The secondary legislation that enacts the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) makes provision for the powers and duties of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992) and the Director of Fair Access to Higher Education (under the Higher Education Act 2004) to be exercised by the OFS until all of its new powers are commenced. This means that providers will be funded and regulated by the OFS from 1 April 2018 to 31 July 2019 through a combination of the powers and duties ‘carried forward’ from the previous legislation and the new HERA powers and duties. This is called the ‘transition period’. The OfS’ terms and conditions of funding set out the requirements placed on higher education institutions (HEIs) under the ‘carried forward’ powers.
Members of the Governing Body are also trustees and have the responsibilities and potential liabilities that go with trustee status. Those charitable trustees who served at any time during a financial year and until the date the Financial Statements are formally approved as those members of the Governing Body listed in the relevant Financial Statements.
The names of the trustees on 31 January 2018, together with a list of all other charities (if any) of which each trustee is then also a trustee.