The University is a corporation (a legal person) established by Act of Parliament in 1832 and the granting of a Royal Charter in 1837. The University was then re-established in 1963 under the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act, the purpose of which was to establish Newcastle, previously King’s College Durham, as an independent institution. The University of Durham acquired its Statutes at this time.
The University is an educational charitable and chartered corporation, exempt under the terms of the Charities Act 1993. Under the Charities Act 2006, universities are supervised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as principal regulator, who are charged with ensuring that Universities fulfil their obligations under Charity law.