University & Faculty Councils and Programme Committees
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 programme committees.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Faculty Council has approval and advisory rights on a range of faculty matters, including teaching. It operates as the representative of the students and of the scientific and administrative staff with regard to significant decisions. The Faculty Council comprises nine staff members and nine student members, from different parties.
See for more information the Faculty Council website.
Each bachelor’s and each (research) master’s programme has a Departmental Board. The Departmental Board is responsible for the relevant teaching programme, i.e. for designing and implementing the teaching programme. The Board comprises a member of the academic staff as departmental chairman (bachelor’s) or programme coordinator (master’s), generally a professor, and a student from the department in question.
Departmental Teaching Committee
The purpose of the Departmental Teaching Committee (OC) is safeguarding the quality of the teaching programmes. You are always free to contact the Departmental Teaching Committee with teaching-related questions or complaints. You can also play a role yourself by becoming a member of the OC. As a student member, you can exercise influence on all possible aspects of teaching within your department.
Board of Examiners
Each programme has a Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners of your department is responsible for the effective organisation of the tests and examinations. You can find all information about the Board of Examiners of your programme on this page.