The Publications Scheme

Part 1: Introduction - select an option below...

1. Legal requirement

1.1 Adopting a publication scheme is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This Act promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector by requiring all 'public authorities' to make information available proactively, through a publication scheme.

1.2 'Public authorities' are defined in the Act and include universities.

2. What is a publication scheme?

2.1 A publication scheme is a document which describes the information a public authority publishes, or intends to publish. In this context, 'publish' means to make information available, routinely. These descriptions are called 'classes of information'. The scheme is not a list of the actual publications, because this will change as new material is published or existing material revised. It is, however, the public authority's commitment to make available the information described.

2.2A publication scheme must set out the classes, or categories, of information published. It must also make clear how the information described can be accessed and whether or not charges will be made.

3. The 'model' publication scheme for higher education

3.1 The Manchester Metropolitan University has developed the model publication scheme prepared for the Higher Education sector and is committed to publishing the information it describes.

3.2 This model is designed for universities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the model is to save institutions duplicating effort in producing individual schemes and to assist the public in accessing information from across the sector. However, to reflect the diversity in size and function of institution, a number of optional classes of information are included. As a result, models within the sector will vary slightly. Any optional classes relevant to us have been included in our scheme.

3.3 To assist with the development of the model, a number of institutions across the sector volunteered as pilots. Information about the pilot exercise is available from the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) website.

4. Who we are

The Manchester Metropolitan University was established in 1992 when the then Manchester Polytechnic was granted University status under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

The University is dedicated to the success of all with the ability and motivation to benefit, meeting the needs of the professional and wider communities it serves through the excellence of its teaching, learning, research and scholarship.

The University has over 30,000 students attending undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and post-experience courses in a wide range of subject areas, in many of which research in the form of scholarship, applied research and consultancy is also pursued. The University has extensive partnerships and links with business, industry, the professions and the wider community.

The University occupies five sites in Manchester and two at Crewe and Alsager in Cheshire. It is presently organise into seven faculties, each of which is headed by a Dean of Faculty: Art and Design; Community Studies and Education; Food, Clothing and Hospitality Management; Humanities, Law and Social Science; Science and Engineering; MMU Business School; MMU Cheshire.

The central administration comprises six divisions: Academic, External Relations, Finance, Human Resources, Services and the Secretary's Department.

The heads of each of the central administrative divisions, together with the Deans of Faculty, form an executive body headed by the Vice-Chancellor, the Directorate, an executive body which manages and plans the University's affairs.

The University has a Board of Governors comprising independent members with experience in industry, commerce, the professions or employment matters, co-opted members and elected members from the academic and non-academic staff, and a member of the student body. The Board of Governors is responsible for broad policy, and the Vice-Chancellor discharges responsibility for its implementation and for the organisation, direction and management of the University.

5. Accessing information covered by the publication scheme

5.1 The classes of information we publish are described in the second part of the scheme.

5.2 Next to each class we have indicated the manner in which the information described will be available. Information available on the University's Web site is free of charge. The University may charge a fee for paper copies of material. Where requests are made for substantial amounts of information a charge will be made to cover the cost of photocopying and postage.

5.3 To request information available through our publication scheme, please contact: Head of Legal Department, All Saints Building, All Saints, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH.

5.4 Please note that a publication scheme relates to 'published' information. Therefore, material covered has already been prepared in a format ready for distribution.

6. What about information not covered by the publication scheme?

6.1 From 1 January 2005 you will have the right, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to request any information held by a public authority which it has not already made available through its publication scheme.

6.2 Requests will have to be made in writing and, in general, public authorities will have 20 working days to respond. They may charge a fee, which will have to be calculated according to Fees Regulations. They will not be required to release information to which an exemption in the Act legitimately applies. However, public authorities may be required to explain to the applicant why they are not releasing information and they may also have to justify this to the Information Commissioner.

7. Feedback

7.1 It is important that this publication scheme meets your needs. If you find the scheme difficult to understand, please let us know. We also welcome suggestions as to how our scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent in writing to the Publication Scheme Co-ordinator: Head of Legal Department, All Saints Building, All Saints, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH.

7.2 If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

8. Further information

More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner's website.

Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow. Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510

Please note that Scotland has its own Freedom of Information Act and Information Commissioner. For more information, please see the Scottish Executive's website.

© University of Sheffield. Reproduced, with local amendments, by kind permission.

Part 2: Guide to Information - select an option below...

1. Who we are and what we do

Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

2. What we spend and how we spend it

Financial information related to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

Capital Projects


Finance Policies




3. What our priorities are and how we are doing

Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

Academic and Quality Standards

Capital Projects/Estates/Facilities

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Human Resources

4. How we make decisions

Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

Governance and Committees

The Governance section on the website contains lots of information, including details of the Board of Governors, the Board’s Sub-Committee Structure & Terms of Reference. The code of conduct for members of governing bodies is available via the HEFCE website.

Academic Board and Sub-Committees

Staff Consultation

Student Consultation

Students are represented on all major boards & committees, including programme committees, Faculty Boards, Academic Board and Board of Governors. Representation is organised through the Students Union.

Public Consultation/Engagement

5. Our policies and procedures

Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities. University-wide policies are listed below. Individual Faculties or Departments may hold further departmental policies / guidelines. Contact the relevant department for further information.

General Policies

Academic Policies and Procedures

Finance Policies

Research Policies and Guidelines

Student Regulations and Procedures

6. Lists and registers

Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

The university is not aware of any legal requirements for it to hold publicly available registers.

7. The services we offer

Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.


Services for staff

Services for students

Services for external organisations

Working with business, public and not-for-profit organisations: