The University

The Royal University of Bhutan was launched on 2nd June 2003 to provide tertiary education in Bhutan. The Royal Charter and the Statutes provide the legal instruments for the University.

The overall rationale of the University as set out in the Royal Charter and Statutes is the "dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of learning through a balanced, well regulated and sound tertiary education system for the economic and cultural development of the Kingdom of Bhutan and to promote the cultural enrichment, personal development and well being of our people."

The specific objectives of the University are:

  • to develope and provide programmes of study at tertiary education level, of relevance and good quality which will fulfill the needs of the country for an educated and skilled population, and
  • to promote and conduct research, to contribute to the creation of knowledge in an international context and to promote the transfer of knowledge of relevance to Bhutan.

(Royal Charter and the Statutes of the Royal University of Bhutan 2003:3)


A3 Code of Conduct and Standing Orders of the University Council

Status:     Endorsed by the 1st University Council Meeting in February 2004 

1          Code of Conduct and Ethics 

1.1       Introduction

1.1.1The Royal University of Bhutan in its pursuit for academic excellence in teaching, learning and research, pledge to foster a culture of trust, respect, integrity and fairness; co-operation and collegiality; and accountability for decisions and outcomes.

1.1.2  The Council of the Royal University of Bhutan is constituted under the Royal Charter (2003) of the Royal University of Bhutan and is the ultimate body responsible for the key policies, strategic plans and overall performance of the University. 

1.1.3  Members of the Council, by virtue of their offices, are required to carry out their duties and responsibilities to the University and the society with good faith, honesty, skill, care and diligence.

1.2      Purpose

1.2.1  This Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Council of the Royal University of Bhutan provides an ethical framework for actions and behaviour of the members, in the context of their duties and responsibilities under the law. This should be read along with the Royal Charter and the Statutes.

1.3      Duties and Responsibilities

1.3.1    All  members of  the Council  have a  duty to act at all times  with trust  and to serve in the best interest of the University.  No member should override their duty for personal interest and advantage over the interest of the University. 

1.3.2   All members must act honestly in performing their duties, with reasonable skill, in good faith and in the interest of the University. This requirement to act honestly is imposed for the public interest and to which the University is committed.

1.3.3   All members are responsible for exercising care and diligencewhen using their powers and discharging their duties as the actions and decisions have the potential to affect the lives of individuals. Members who ignore their responsibilities are in breach of their duty. 

1.3.4     All members in accordance with the Council’s policies owe a duty of confidentiality to the University.  Any member with a personal interest must disclose this in accordance with the Standing Orders section 10.  

1.3.5    All  members  must  act in the best  interest of the  University and must not engage in activities that would bring the University into disrepute. The reputation of the University must be protected to maintain a high level of integrity.

1.3.6    All members of the Council have the commitment  to serve in the best interest of the University and any problems/issues are open to discussions within the Council meetings. Outside of the meeting, all members must be united and fully supportive of decisions made by the Council.

1.3.7   Public comments on behalf of the Council, concerning matters discussed or resolved by the Council shall be made by the Chairman or his/her representative and not by any other members of the Council.

1.3.8  The  Council  will review its performance on an annual basis to ensure its responsibility for good governance of the University. 

2          Standing Orders 

2.1      Holding of meetings 

2.1.1      An  ordinary meeting of the Council is to be held not fewer than 4 times in each calendar year.  

2.1.2    A  special meeting may be convened for the consideration of any urgent business by the Chairman or in his/her absence by the Vice Chancellor.

2.1.3     A special meeting shall be convened by the Secretary to the Council and shall be held within 14 days of the request.

2.1.4   Notice of the time and place of the meeting of the Council, and a copy of the business papers are to be delivered to each Council member at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

2.1.5    A member  of the Council must not initiate any matter for discussion or move any motion in respect of the matter, at a meeting of the Council unless the Secretary of the Council is informed in writing not less than 14 days before the meeting. 

2.1.6     Proceedings of the meeting of the Council are to be taken to be validly conducted.

2.2      Motions

2.2.1     The Chair has discretion regarding the acceptance of motions. 

2.2.2      All notices of motion accepted by the Chair shall appear on the business paper for the meeting concerned.

2.2.3      A motion by which notice has been given, must be seconded before there can be any discussion.

2.2.4      A point of order accepted by the Chair takes precedence over all other discussion.

2.2.5      Amendments shall be considered prior to a vote on the substantive motion.

2.3      Voting

A motion shall be declared carried if it receives a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chair has a right to casting vote. If the Chair declines to exercise a casting vote, the motion lapses.

2.4       Decisions 

Decisions of the Council shall be made on the result of a vote on:

2.4.1     a motion prior notice of which has been given on the business paper or

2.4.2     a formally proposed and seconded motion arising from the business of the meeting

2.5       Right to address the Chair

2.5.1    Prior to the closure of a debate a right of reply shall be allowed only to a mover of a substantive motion or amendment and such reply shall close the relevant debate.

2.5.2      At the discretion of the Chair a speaker may be asked to yield the floor on a point of information.

2.6      Contribution by invitees

2.6.1   Persons can be invited to the University Council meeting by the secretariat based on their expertise and relevance to the discussion.

2.6.2     At a meeting of the Council, a person who is not a member of the Council may contribute to an item on the Agenda only if invited to do so by the Chair by a resolution of the majority of the members present at that meeting. 

2.7      Quorum

2.7.1     A majority of the total number of members for the time being of the Council constitute a quorum. 

2.7.2    If, at any meeting of the Council, a quorum is not present, all business that should have been transacted at the meeting shall be stood over until the next meeting, and shall take precedence at that meeting.

2.7.3     The forum shall constitute a minimum of 12 members out of the total number of members (19). 

2.8      Confidential matters

2.8.1  Distribution of the Confidential Agenda shall be restricted to members of the Council and the Secretary. The Council may permit whoever else it considers necessary to be present at meetings during the consideration of confidential matters.

2.9      Agenda items

2.9.1     Notice of items for discussion shall be conveyed by letter to the Secretary 14 days before a meeting.

2.9.2  The agenda for each meeting shall include an item “Question Time/Any Other Matter”. Under this item Council members may direct questions with or without notice through the Chair to the Vice Chancellor or the university representative. The Chair shall have absolute discretion in determining whether or not the questions will be accepted.

2.9.3   If the member of Council to whom a question –without –notice is directed is unable to provide an answer either at the meeting or before the next meeting the question shall be included as a question – with - notice in the business papers for the next meeting.

2.10       Disclosure of interest                 

2.10.1  At any meeting of the Council where an item to be discussed has the direct personal interest or involvement of a member must immediately be declared by the member. The Council must thereupon determine whether or not that member may be present during any discussion of the item.   The member shall not vote on the item.

2.11       Suspension of standing orders

2.11.1    In exceptional circumstances the Chair may move the suspension of standing   orders.

2.11.2   A resolution of the suspension of a standing order shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present.

2.12       Attendance           

2.12.1    All members of the Council are expected to attend all the Council meetings.  In case of any member not able to attend a meeting, the secretariat must be informed in writing not later than five days prior to the meeting.

The Academic Board is the primary academic authority of the University and shall be responsible for academic affairs, including academic standards, research, scholarship, teaching and courses at the university subject to the overall responsibilities of the University Council and of the Vice Chancellor. The primary functions that fall within the permit of the Academic Board include the following:

  • Determining the award structure of the university
  • Programmes 
  • Library and IT provision within the university
  • Quality of programmes 
  • Assessment and examinations 
  • Admission and registration of students 
  • Resources and planning 
  • Student support systems 
  • Programme operation and management
  • Research
  • Research degrees
  • Scholarships 

The constitution and composition of the Academic Board is as follows:

  • The Vice Chancellor of the University ex officio who shall be the chairman of the Board
  • Two Pro Vice Chancellors ex officio 
  • Directors from the ten constituent colleges 
  • One representative elected by each of the following categories of staff (i) library (ii) support, and (iii) academic service staff 
  • Two students representatives elected by and from the student body 
  • The Registrar, ex officio who shall be the Secretary
  • Co-opted members (up to three) 
  • Members of the Academic Board other than ex officio members shall hold office for a period of three years, renewable for a further period of three years, except that the members (two student representatives) shall hold office for a period of one year.

A7 Standing Committees of the Academic Board

Status:       Approved by the 3rd University Council Meeting in October 2004

1         The following committees report directly to the Academic Board:

1.1         Academic Planning and Resources Committee 

1.2         Programmes and Quality Committee

1.3         Research and Innovations Committee (sub-committees are Research Ethics Committee)      

1.4         Research Degrees Committee 

1.5         Academic Appeals Committee 

1.6         Institute Academic Committees         

1.7         Programme Boards of Examiners

2         Terms of reference common to all Academic Board standing committees 

2.1    To act on behalf of the Academic Board in accordance with such powers as may be delegated to it by the Academic Board.

2.2     To consider and report on such matters as may be referred to the Committee  by the Academic Board.

2.3   To establish such sub-Committees and Working Parties as are required to enable  the Committee to discharge its responsibilities.

2.4     To account formally to the Academic Board for the discharge of the Committee’s responsibility, normally by means of an annual report.

2.5     To submit minutes of meetings to the Academic Board. 

2.6    To identify issues and advise the Academic  Board on the implications for resource allocation of matters within the Committee’s remit.

3       Constitution Common to all Academic Board Committees 

3.1     Members are appointed by the Academic Board unless specified otherwise.

3.2     The term of office is for three years.

3.3     The Vice Chancellor is an ex-officio member of all Academic Board Committees.

3.4     The Registrar will appoint the Secretary to all Academic Board committees.

3.5    In addition to the composition set out, the Chair of the Committees may appoint two further members in each of the committees.

3.6    Given the need for the University to identify and make use of new talent, the Chair of each Committee is empowered to appoint up to three co-opted members to the Committee. These will be individuals identified as having skills and experience that are of particular value to the development of the Committee’s work. Their appointment will be for one year at a time and their names will be reported to the Academic Board. 

4         Procedures common to all Academic Board committees

4.1    The procedure  followed by the  Committees  will be that of the standing  orders of the Academic Board unless specified otherwise, except that the required frequency of meetings will be determined  by each Committee on an annual basis and the circulation of papers will be ten days rather than twenty-one days before a meeting.

5         External Members 

5.1      Provision shall be made for the payment of expenses for external members but not for the payment of any honorarium.

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