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Fundamental and Institutional Values in Practice

Glasgow, UK - 18-20 January 2017

A workshop was held in Glasgow in January 2017 which explored ways in which the Magna Charta’s fundamental* and an institution’s own corporate values were given effect in the higher education and other sectors.

An aim of the workshop was to enable participant to reflect on just how their values work through to achieve impact or whether they are having as much impact as they possibly could.

The workshop was attended by 40 people from 13 different countries, most of them Rectors or otherwise senior post holders, including student leaders. Following stimulating inputs from Richard Sermon Chair of the London City Values Forum and Professor Caroline Parker on the experience at Glasgow Caledonian University, the event split into 5 theme groups to consider how values were given effect in detail. These were

governance and organisational matters

curriculum matters

staff matters

student matters

research matters

Details of the programme, introductory presentations, registered participants, speaker and a bibliography can be download from the right of this page.

Reports and other resources arising from the working groups and other resources which are being developed from the workshop can either be accessed at the links below or will be available in due course.

Participants took away new ideas about how values might have greater impact across a range of university activities but wanted the interactions and discovery that took place in Glasgow to continue virtually and hence, anyone wishing to add contributions is invited to email them to

The Observatory wishes to continue this work. Publications are planned which will be designed to aid universities in reviewing their own practices to the end of their values having greater impact in their operations and in building their reputations. It wants to ensure that values can be given effect in different contexts. Specifically, it is working on the development of a self-evaluation aid for universities which will be launched after it has been trialled.

The workshop was co-produced by the Magna Charta Observatory - which promotes the fundamental values which over 800 universities in 85 countries have now signed up to and Glasgow Caledonian University an organisation which has already learned much from its efforts to put its values at the heart of everything it does.

Your contributions to this on-going work would be welcomed.

* Fundamental values are defined as those set out in the Magna Charta Universitatum, which can be summarised as: the university is an autonomous institution; the research and teaching must be morally and intellectually independent of all political authority and economic power; teaching and research must be inseparable; there must be openness with freedom for staff and students with concomitant responsibility to society.)