The Carnegie Trust was incorporated by Royal Charter on 21st August 1902. This Charter was replaced on 8th October 1978 by the present Royal Charter, which, with its By-Laws, governs the operations of the Trust.

The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees, comprising fourteen nominated Trustees and fifteen ex-officio Trustees whose role is to ensure strategic objectives remain faithful to the wishes of the Trust’s founder and pertinent to the universities of Scotland, their staff and their students.

Matters reserved to the Trustees under the Royal Charter and its By-Laws comprise the following: administering all the affairs of the Trust, appointing Trustees, receiving the Annual Report and Accounts, appointing members of the Audit Committee and the Investment Committee. 

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees includes nominated Trustees and ex-officio Trustees.

The ex-officio Trustees include the Principals of the Universities of Scotland.

There are fourteen nominated Trustees, who are elected or re-elected at the Annual Meeting of Trustees. The Royal Charter requires that three of the nominated Trustees shall retire each year, in order of seniority of appointment. 

Nominated Trustees are proposed by the Universities, existing Trustees and others knowledgeable in Higher Education. They are appointed by the Trustees on the advice of a nominations sub-committee, which works to ensure an appropriate range of experience in the Trust.

Investment Committee

The Investment Committee keeps the Trust's investments under constant review.

The Trustees are required to constitute an Investment Committee numbering not fewer than four members, of whom not fewer than three shall be persons qualified by their ability in and practical experience of financial matters. The Investment Committee keeps the Trust's investments under frequent review.

Audit & Risk Committee

The Audit & Risk Committee ensures the Trust satisfactorily manages the risks associated with its activities.

The Trustees are also required to constitute an Audit Committee, comprising no fewer than three Trustees, of whom at least one shall be an ex officio Trustee, chaired by a nominated Trustee. In 2015, the Trustees agreed to naming this committee the Audit and Risk Committee, recognising its role in overseeing risk management.

Staffing and Nominating (Trustees) Committees

The Trustees convene these Committees on an ad hoc basis, as required.


The Trustees and Committees are supported by 5 permanent members of staff. The Secretary and Treasurer, Professor Andy Walker, heads the Trust’s staff.