The Council is “the supreme governing body of the University” and is responsible for “determining the University’s strategic direction and for the conduct of the University’s financial, administrative and other affairs, in accordance with its objects”. It has the custody and regulates the use of the University’s common seal.

The Council’s constitution, powers and functions are provided by Ordinance.


Council Membership

For the 2023 - 2024 academic year, membership of Aberystwyth University's Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Details Photo

Chair of Council
Meri Huws (until 30 April 2026)

  • Until April 2019, Meri was the Welsh Language Commissioner, a role which she held from April 2012. She was Chairman of the Welsh Language Board from 2004 until the Board was abolished in March 2012.
  • An AU graduate in Law and Politics, she previously was a Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales Trinity St David and Bangor University.

Member of the following committee/s:
Governance and Culture (Chair)
Redundancy (Chair)
Remuneration (Chair)


Professor Jon Timmis


Member of the following committees:
Governance and Culture
Resources and Performance

Pro Vice-Chancellor
Professor Tim Woods BA MA PhD (until 31 July 2026)

  • Professor Tim Woods emigrated to the UK from South Africa in the late 1970s with his family.  He completed his BA, MA and PhD degrees in English Literature at the universities of Bristol and Southampton.
  • After lecturing at the University of Winchester, he was first appointed Lecturer in English Literature and American Studies at Aberystwyth University in 1990.
  • He was subsequently awarded a personal chair in 2003 and appointed Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing between 2002-2007. He has since been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities before his appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor in 2018.
  • He has participated in REF and TEF panels, held roles with Advance HE and the QAA, and currently sits on the QAA Board representing UnisWales. He Chairs the QAA Wales Strategic Advisory Committee.




Independent Members

Details Photo

Ellen ap Gwynn (until 31 July 2024)

  • Ellen was the first woman to have led Ceredigion County Council and served as Leader 2012-2022 and as Leader of the Opposition and of the Plaid Cymru Group on the Council 2006-2022. She led on the establishment of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership and as Chair of the Board was a signatory of the £110m Mid Wales Growth Deal.
  • A spokesperson on Equalities and Ageing Well, Language and Education on behalf of the Welsh Local Government Association she also represented the Association on the  Partnership Council of Wales with Welsh Government.
  • Born in Scotland and brought up in Borth-y-gest near Porthmadog, Gwynedd, she graduated in Education and received a PGCE from UCW Aberystwyth.

Member of the following committee/s:
Resources and Performance

Kate Eden (until 31 July 2024)

  • Kate Eden is a non-executive director who has over fifteen years of experience at senior management level both in the UK and internationally.
  • Ms Eden was born and brought up in North Wales. She studied social and political sciences at King’s College, Cambridge.
  • Her expertise in public affairs, policy and strategic communications was gained largely in the pharmaceutical sector. Ms Eden has also worked on energy and science policy.

Member of the following committee/s:
Resources and Performance (Chair)


Professor Simon Green (until 31 July 2025)

  • Simon is Professor of Politics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Aston University, where he has also served as Executive Dean of Languages and Social Sciences
  • His academic interests are in German and European Politics. He was educated at the Universities of Manchester, Heidelberg and Birmingham
  • Simon is a member of the Executive Management Group of Midlands Innovation and is also active in British-German relations

Member of the following committee/s:
Audit Risk and Assurance


Rhuanedd Richards (until 31 July 2024)

  • Originally from the Cynon Valley, Rhuanedd Richards studied at Aberystwyth University and was awarded a BBC scholarship to study in Cardiff University’s School of Journalism. After finished her degree at Cardiff, she started her career with BBC Wales as a journalist before presenting some of its flagship news and political programmes.
  • She left the BBC in 2007 and worked in and around the National Assembly for Wales as a special advisor to the Welsh Government, chief executive of Plaid Cymru and latterly as a policy advisor for the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer.
  • Ms Richards began her current role as National Director of BBC Wales in 2021 and was previously Editor of BBC Radio Cymru and Cymru Fyw.

Member of the following committee/s:
Resources and Performance

Arwel Thomas (until 31 July 2026)

  • A qualified accountant and retired in 2013.  Arwel’s early career was spent working for British Coal.  He left shortly before it was privatized in 1994.  He then joined the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales as an auditor and subsequently as a Senior Audit Manager.
  • In 2008, Arwel joined the Welsh government as Head of Governance and Risk Assurance. Following his retirement Arwel had taken on a number of non-executive roles: Non-Executive Director at Estyn and Independent member of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committees for the Arts Council for Wales and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

Member of the following committee/s:
Audit, Risk and Assurance
Resources and Performance

Mark Tweed (until 31 December 2026)

  • Mark is currently Group Chief Financial Officer, Director and Head of Legal at Propel Finance. Previously, he was Deputy CFO & Interim Head of Legal for Opel Vauxhall Finance (OVF).
  • A graduate in Industrial Chemistry from Cardiff University, Mark is also an independent Board Member of the Welsh Sports Association.
  • Prior to becoming a member of the University’s Council, he served as an independent member on the Resources and Performance, and Investments committees.

Member of the following committee/s:
Audit, Risk and Assurance (Chair)


Jane Usherwood (until 31 March 2024)


Claire Vaughan (until 31 July 2026)

  • Claire is currently the Director of People & Culture at well known, national first aid charity St John Ambulance, which she joined in April 2022 following seven years as Executive Director of Workforce & OD at the Welsh Ambulance Service.

  • She has over 20 years’ experience leading on and delivering sustainable culture and service change in the voluntary, health, education and other sectors and in national roles, and has led many of her teams to award-winning success.  

Member of the following committee/s:
Governance and Culture


Student Members

Details Photo

Bayanda Vundamina, Union President (until 30 June 2024)

  • Bayanda is the Students’ Union President, acting as a voice for students and working on policies that matter to the student body and community.

  • Prior to this, Bayanda studied their Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Aberystwyth University.  

Member of the following committee/s:
Resources and Performance


Elain Gwynedd, UMCA President (until 30 June 2024)

  • Elain is the voice for Welsh culture & Welsh language students in Aberystwyth. Her role focuses on promoting Welsh culture giving Aber students the opportunity to learn, speak and live the language.

  • Prior to this, Elain studied their Undergraduate degree in Welsh at Aberystwyth University. 

Member of the following committee/s:
Governance and Culture



Senate Members

Details Photo

Louise Marshall (until 31 July 2024)

  • Head of Department of English and Creative Writing.
  • Reader in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature.
  • Research interests in theatre, theatrical families, and the representation of national identity.

Member of the following committee/s:
Governance and Culture


Professor Reyer Zwiggelaar (until 31 July 2024)

  • Reyer was born in The Netherlands and moved to the UK to obtain a PhD at UCL in 1993. Since then he has concentrated on research and the provision of postgraduate teaching. His research (group) concentrates on biometrics and the analysis of cancer in medical images, especially breast and prostate cancer. Initially he concentrated on postgraduate research (PhD/MPhil/MRes) students, but as Head of the Graduate School he is also responsible for the taught postgraduate (Masters/etc.) students.
  • He has published over 250 papers, won research awards totalling over £4m, and is an Associate Editor of IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics and Associate Editor of Pattern Recognition. He is the Director of Research for IMPACS.
  • Reyer is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Member of the following committee/s:
Resources and Performance



Non-academic Staff Member

Details Photo

Kylie Evans (until 31 July 2024)

  • Born and bred in Aberystwyth, Kylie attended Penglais Comprehensive School. Joining the University in 1994, she has worked in the areas of Admissions, Recruitment and Marketing.  Her current role is Head of Admissions Operations in Global Marketing and Student Recruitment.
  • Kylie is studying for a PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership, run by the Association of University Administrators and Nottingham Trent University, and is a committee member of the AU Admin Forum.

Member of the following committee/s:



Council Agendas and Minutes

The minutes of each Council meeting are published on this page once they have been approved as a correct record of the meeting, usually at the next Council meeting.

Session 2023/2024

08 July 2024 Agenda Minutes
09 May 2024 Agenda Minutes
12 March 2024 Agenda Minutes
27 November 2023 Agenda Minutes
06 October 2023 Agenda Minutes

Session 2022/2023

7 July 2023 Agenda Minutes
11 May 2023 Agenda Minutes
10 February 2023 Agenda Minutes
28 November 2022 Agenda Minutes
23 September 2022 Agenda Minutes

Session 2021/2022

08 July 2022 Agenda Minutes
12 May 2022 Agenda Minutes
04 February 2022 Agenda Minutes
26 November 2021 Agenda Minutes
21 September 2021 Agenda Minutes

Session 2020/2021

9 July 2021 Agenda Minutes
14 May 2021 Agenda Minutes
19 March 2021 Agenda Minutes
12 January 2021 (special meeting)  Agenda Minutes
26 November 2020 Agenda Minutes
22 September 2020 Agenda Minutes




Related Documents

Council Member Handbook

To assist members with their work on Aberystwyth University’s Council, the University Secretary has produced a handbook bringing together key information from a number of sources. This document is continually updated as necessary, with the latest version always available via this web page.

Council Member Handbook


Standing Orders

Council Standing Orders 





Register of Interests

The University Secretary, as Clerk to the Council, maintains a register of interests declared by members of the Council and its committees. The register consists of information provided by each member and a summary version is available for consultation by the public. While the register will be refreshed on an annual basis, Council members are encouraged to inform the Clerk at the earliest possible opportunity should there be a substantial change to their interests over the course of the year.

Summary Register of Interests


Aberystwyth University is aware of the importance of ensuring that a wide variety of skills, expertise and perspectives are represented by the lay membership of Council and its committees.

As a minimum, any vacancies for Independent Members on Council or its sub-committees are advertised on this page. Suitably qualified individuals are encouraged to send expressions of interest to Dr Gwawr Taylor, University Secretary (

Current Vacancies

Currently there are vacancies for Independent Members on the University Council; the Resources and Performance Committee, Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee and Investments Committee.

Specifically, the University is seeking applications from individuals with experience of financial management and strategy, audit and investments strategy in order to contribute to the collective formulation of advice to Council on institutional financial management and sustainability, audit requirements and investments decisions.  The full responsibility of each of the listed sub-committees are outlined in the Terms of Reference.

In addition to serving on the governing body, Independent Members are also expected to additionally serve on one or more of the Council’s sub-committees. The role will therefore require a time commitment of 1 to 2 days per month and is not remunerated.

For further information or to apply please see the link below. For a confidential conversation please contact Dr Gwawr Taylor The closing date for applications, which should be in the form of a brief CV and cover letter and emailed to by 8th January 2024.

The University is an equal opportunities employer, and particularly keen to encourage applications from candidates coming from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Council member recruitment pack