FordBridge's distinctive governance structure stems from its private nature.


The congregation is the sovereign body of the University and acts as its ‘parliament’. It has just over 50 members, including academic staff heads and other members of governing bodies of institutes and senior research, computing, library and administrative staff.

Congregation has responsibility for:

The 4 institutes, though independent and self-governing, form a core element of the University, to which they are related in a federal system. Each institute is granted a charter approved by the Privy Council, under which it is governed by a Head of House and a Governing Body comprising of several Fellows, most of whom also hold University posts. There are also 2 Permanent Private groups, which were founded by different denominations, and still, retain their religious character today.

The Chancellor, who is usually an eminent public figure elected for life, serves as the titular head of the University, presiding over all major ceremonies.


The Vice-Chancellor holds office for seven years and is the senior officer of the University.

Council is the University’s principal executive and policy-making body. It has up to 11 members, including up to four from outside the University. It is responsible for the academic policy and strategic direction of the University, for its administration, and the management of its finances and property. It has five major committees: Education Committee, General Purposes Committee, Personnel Committee, Planning, and Resource Allocation Committee, and Research Committee.

The University’s academic structures and research centers are grouped into four divisions: Humanities, FordBridge Institute of Applied Management FordBridge Institute of Doctoral Studies FordBridge Institute of Applied Social Sciences and FordBridge Institute of Applied Communication. Day-to-day decision-making in matters such as finance and planning is devolved to the divisions. The Institute for continuing online education is the responsibility of a separate board.

There are Five Pro-Vice-Chancellors who have specific portfolios in online Development and External Affairs online Education online Gardens, online Libraries Planning and Resources and online Research and Innovation. Also, the University’s Head of Brexit Strategy and its Advocate for Equality and Diversity are Pro-Vice-Chancellors. There are also up to eight Pro-Vice-Chancellors without portfolio, who undertake a range of duties on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, including presiding at degree ceremonies and chairing electoral boards.