About the UCC

The University Chancellors Council (UCC) comprises Chancellors of all public, not-for-profit universities within Australia. The UCC is used as a means for university Chancellors to discuss key issues and current events surrounding the tertiary education sector in Australia. The Council meets twice each year, with one of these meetings occurring jointly with Universities Australia. Chancellors can be represented by a Deputy Chancellor or a council member of their university’s governing body during UCC meetings and events.

The purpose and function of the Council is to:

  1. Assist Australian universities in the carrying out of their respective and collective functions;

  2. Provide a means of voicing appropriate concerns on behalf of Australian universities on matters of governance;

  3. To liaise with Universities Australia Limited and similar organisations and act as ambassadors in the advancement and promotion of Australian universities;

  4. To provide a forum for communication and discussion concerning Australian universities and related institutions; and

  5. To carry out such activities as are necessary to further the above objects.

The University Chancellors Council holds a joint meeting with Universities Australia once per year.


History of the UCC

The University Chancellors Council (UCC) was established in 2004 as the University Chancellors Conference and renamed to the University Chancellors Council in 2007.

The current Convenor of the UCC is Mr Stephen Gerlach AM, Chancellor of Flinders University, who is supported by a sub-committee made up of other University Chancellors from around Australia.

Previous convenors of the UCC have included:

  • Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of Western Sydney University

  • Dr Ian Gould AM, former Chancellor of the University of South Australia

  • Professor Vicki Sara AO, former Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney

  • Emeritus Chancellor Mr John Phillips AO (dec), former Chancellor of Western Sydney University

  • Dr David Klingberg AO, former Chancellor of the University of South Australia

National Conference on University Governance

The National Conference on University Governance (NCUG) is held every 2 years and is sponsored by one or more of the universities in the state in which it is held. It began in 2001 as a way of providing training in governance issues for Council / Senate / Board members.  As this is no longer necessary, due to the recent introduction of the AICD University Governance Course, the program has expanded to include broader higher education issues impacting contemporary University Governance. 

The conference allows the UCC members to hear from various experts on contemporary issues in the Higher Education sector that affect governance such as government policies, current issues such as freedom of speech and ethics and the future of universities and is open to all Council / Senate / Board members of member universities as well as senior staff, governance staff and any other interested staff at the universities. The program is designed to be interactive with experts and discussion panels giving an overview and then Q&A sessions and small group discussions to allow time to explore the issue in more depth. Copies of the previous conference programs are available in the Archives section of the NCUG website.

The next conference will be held in Brisbane in October 2020. Further details will be made available as they are confirmed.


The Role of the Chancellor

A Chancellor is the formal head of a university, chairing the institution’s governing body, presiding at ceremonial occasions such as graduations and representing and advocating for the university’s interests in the wider community. For full details of a Chancellor’s role, see the University Governance in Australia page.

University Governance

The University Chancellors Council and the Australian Institute of Company Directors have worked together over the last couple of years to design and run a tailored training course for all Council / Senate / Board members, members of official university committees and all staff with governance responsibilities. 

The University Governance Course is a comprehensive 3-day course and runs 4 times per year in different capital cities to allow easy access for most university members. This is an important program for ensuring that the governing bodies and the staff of our universities have the skills needed to ensure good governance practices and to meet the existing and future challenges facing our universities.

 The next two courses will be held at follows:

  • Adelaide: 30 October – 1 November 2019

  • Canberra: 25-27 November 2019

Download the course brochure.

Register for the next course via the AICD website