General Meeting - Thursday 4th May

UUSU is inviting all students to attend the General Meeting to discuss the change that we are proposing to make to become a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee. This is your chance to ask us questions about this change.


UUSU is governed by a Trustee Board that has ultimate responsibility for UUSU’s strategic priorities, governance and finances. The Board is made up of the seven elected Student Officers, four elected Student Trustees, and three Lay Trustees. At a recent Trustee Board meeting, it was agreed to change UUSU’S legal structure from that of an unincorporated association and incorporate to a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, a structure which is widely used in the charity sector. As per the existing UUSU Constitution, this decision must be approved by a UUSU General Meeting, at which all students are entitled to attend.

As an unincorporated association, UUSU has no legal identity of its own. This means that all of its legal relationships are entered into by the Trustees, rather than by UUSU itself. Consequently, Trustees could be personally liable if the assets of UUSU are insufficient to meet its liabilities. Changing to a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee will give UUSU a separate legal identity, significantly reducing the risk to individual Trustees. As a tried and tested legal structure, incorporation as a charitable company involves formalisation of governance structures, reinforced by company law, and usually means a clearer ownership structure and governance.

The change in legal structure will mean that the new company will have a governing document called the Articles of Association which will replace the current UUSU constitution. The Articles of Association reflect the charitable objectives of UUSU and are based on best practice documents that have been agreed between the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Charity Commission. The schedules to the existing UUSU constitution will form the Bye-Laws to the new Articles of Association.

If the change to a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee is approved by the General Meeting, the Articles of Association will also need to be approved by the University and Charity Commission NI.

It is the intention of the Trustee Board to incorporate on the 31st July 2017.

Agenda of Meeting

  1. Introduction
  2. Change to Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee
  3. Questions and Answers
  4. Any Other Business

Where is the meeting?

The meeting will be held by video conference on all four campuses.

Belfast: BA 02 009
Coleraine: H215
Jordanstown: 08H09
Magee: MD122

When is the meeting?

Thursday 4th May from 13:00 - 14:00.

Will I receive lunch?

Of course, after the meeting... we aren't barbaric. Pizza anyone?

Key Documents

NUS Guidance Document on Legal Structures 

Constitution (our current governing document)

Articles of Association (our proposed governing document)

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