Universiteit Leiden

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University & faculty councils and programme bodies

The University Council and faculty councils are democratically elected co-participation bodies that represent both the students and staff of the university and its faculties. Co-participation also takes place at departmental level through departmental committees and administrative bodies.

The role of the University Council is to critically observe and advise the Executive Board and, when applicable, to assist the board with important decisions. The powers of the University Council are laid down in the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW) and the University Council Regulations (both only available in Dutch).

The Leiden Model

The ‘Leiden’ co-participation model is typified by the importance attributed to the opinion of the University Council in all matters, regardless of the council’s formal authority in that area. A great effort is always made to reach a consensus.

Rights of the University Council

Right of consent  

The Executive Board must always obtain the consent of the University Council in decisions concerning:

  • the institutional plan
  • the design of quality assurance systems
  • the main points of the budget

Advisory rights 

The Executive Board requests advice from the University Council in all decisions concerning:  

  • the status of the university and the smooth running of university affairs
  • policies relating to the establishment of private companies and holding companies
  • models for Course and Examination Regulations (OER in Dutch)

Right of initiative 

In addition to the above-mentioned ‘reactive’ tasks carried out in response to proposed decisions by the Executive Board, the University Council also has the right to bring matters to the attention of the Board on its own initiative. This occurs on a regular basis.

The agenda, dates and minutes of University Council meetings and University Council Executive Board meetings can be found in the organisational structure.

Members of the University Council

The University Council presently comprises sixteen members, eight of whom are staff delegates and eight of whom are student delegates. The council is supported in its work by a registrar and chairperson.

For more information on the members of the University Council please see the organisational structure.

Playing a role in co-participation

Would you like to play an active role in co-participation at Leiden University? Read more about student participation in co-participation bodies at the university.

University Council committees

To help in the preparation of dossiers for large and/or time-consuming issues the University Council has set up three committees: Personnel, Student Affairs and Internationalisation; Education and Research; and Finances & Housing. Each council member takes a seat on one of these committees.

Chairperson

Each committee has a chairperson who has been selected by the University Council. The chairperson is responsible for leading meetings, drawing up the committee’s advice to the Executive Board and developing procedures for certain dossiers, in collaboration with the Executive Board’ chairperson and registrar. The chairperson also maintains contact with students and staff and acts as spokesperson during consultation meetings with the Executive Board.

Committee for Personnel, Student Affairs and Internationalisation (PS&I)

The PS&I committee is responsible for preparing dossiers concerning the position of personnel and students at Leiden University, as well as developments in the area of internationalisation.

Committee for Education and Research (E&R)

The E&R committee is responsible for preparing dossiers concerning education and research in the broad sense of the words. This encompasses academic achievement, the study programmes offered, policies on research and educational quality, excellence programmes, profile areas and other related topics.

Committee for Finances & Housing (F&H)

This committee is responsible for preparing managerial financial reports, the university  budget, the framework memorandum and dossiers concerning real estate and housing.

For information on the composition of the University Council please see our organisational structure.