The University of Hertfordshire was created as an independent Higher Education Corporation in 1989 under the terms of the Education Reform Act (1988). The institution achieved university status in 1992 under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act (1992).
The University operates in accordance with the terms of its Instrument and Articles of Government, as approved by the Privy Council. These determine the overarching governance framework within which the University functions and require it to establish a Board of Governors and Academic Board.
The University is an exempt charity.