Privy Council

Privy Council


The Privy Council is a formal body of advisors to the monarch in the United Kingdom. While the role of the Privy Council has evolved over time, it still plays a significant role in higher education in the UK.

The origins of the Privy Council can be traced back to the medieval period in England. However, the modern Privy Council as we know it today was formally established in its current form by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which set out the Council's composition, functions and powers.
One of the key functions of the Privy Council in relation to higher education is the power to grant degree-awarding powers and university title to institutions in the UK. This means that institutions wishing to award degrees or use the title "university" must first seek the approval of the Privy Council.

The Privy Council's role in higher education accreditation is an important one because it ensures that institutions meet certain standards before they are allowed to grant degrees or use the title "university." This helps to maintain the quality and integrity of higher education in the UK.

In addition to granting degree-awarding powers and university title, the Privy Council also has the power to amend or revoke an institution's degree-awarding powers or university title if they fail to meet the required standards. This provides a mechanism for ensuring that institutions continue to meet the required standards and maintain the quality of their degrees over time.

While the Privy Council's role in higher education accreditation is an important one, it is worth noting that there are other bodies involved in the accreditation process as well, such as the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and individual professional bodies for specific disciplines. Nonetheless, the role of the Privy Council remains an important one in maintaining the quality and integrity of higher education in the UK.

General Information

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2 Carlton Gardens
SW1Y 5AA London United Kingdom


+44 (20) 7747 5310


+44 (20) 7747 5311

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