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University & Faculty Councils and Programme Committees

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

The University Council

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).

Faculty Councils

Every faculty has a faculty council. After the university council, the faculty council is the second highest co-participation body within the university. Faculty councils consist of both staff and student members. Find out more under your faculty tab or in the organisational structure.

Programme Committees

Every programme has a programme committee. Within programme committees, lecturers and students come together to discuss the education provided by the programme. Programme committees provide both solicited and unsolicited advice to programme boards, faculty boards and faculty councils, concerning the quality of education, the course and examination regulations (OER) and educational facilities. If further information is available about your programme committee, this can be found under your programme tab.

Playing a role in co-participation?

Are you interested in playing an active role in co-participation at Leiden University? To gain a clearer picture of the various co-participation bodies, you are welcome to attend their public meetings. For more information about co-participation via the university and faculty councils, you can contact the parties that are active within these councils. You could also consider  founding your own party. If you would like to become a member of a programme committee, get in touch with your programme’s own committee.


If you want to have a say in matters that concern education, you can join the faculty co-participation council or the Education Committee.

Faculty Council

The Faculty Councilis the representative body of our faculty, whose role it is to criticaly follow the Faculty Board, advise and sometimes participate in decisions on important issues. Both staff and students are represented. During elections will be determined who will serve on the Faculty Council. Each month the Faculty Board and Council meet to consider matters such as finance, personnel, education and facility services.

Agendas and minutes can be found on the Dutch students website page of the Faculty Council.

The current members of The Faculty Council can be found in the organisational structure.

Department Teaching Committee

The department teaching committee comprises lecturers and students. The committee is responsible for the evaluation of the programme and its components. It is the main body where concrete problems on education and the programme can be put down.

Each degree programme has its own deparment teaching committee (Opleidingscommissie or OC in Dutch), in which both students and staff are represented. The committee has an independent position within the degree programme and is responsible for the execution of the course and programme evaluations.
The Department teaching committee also advises on the course and examination regulations and other important affairs concerning teaching and education.
Based on the composition and procedures the committee is the most important body where students can lay down their problems regaring teaching and education. Through the Department teaching committee students are able to contribute to the improvement of the quality of teaching and education.

Contact committees
All current members of the committees can be found in the organisational structure.




Communication between the Astronomy bachelor's education programme and its students is organised in the Education Committee. The committee monitors the quality of the studyprogramme. Currently, this comittee consists of three teachers and three bachelor's students, representing each of the three years of the Astronomy bachelor's. Contact the Education Committee for complaints about education, suggestions for education improvement and course evaluations.

Staff members
Prof. Michiel Hogerheijde PhD (chair)
Jordy Bouwman PhD
Reinout van Weeren PhD

Student members
Hannah van Gemert (student 1st year)
Rick Dullaart (student 2nd year)
Sascha van Ruiten (student 3rs year)

Email address Education Committee: ocbachelor@strw.leidenuniv.nl
Email address student members: ocstud@strw.leidenuniv.nl

The Astronomy master's programme is represented by a separate Education Committee.

The Astronomy Board of Examiners establishes rules with regard to exams and provides recommendations on evaluation of examinees and determination of results. The Board of Examiners serves both the Astronomy bachelor's and master's programmes. Members of the Board of Examiners are appointed by the Faculty Board or the Dean. Contact the Board of Examiners for request for exemption from certain subjects and adaptations of your examination programme.

Members Astronomy Board of Examiners
Prof. Ignas Snellen PhD (chair)
Matthew Kenworthy PhD
Bernhard Brandl PhD
Prof. Henk Hoekstra PhD
Prof. Alex de Koter PhD (external member)

Requests to Astronomy Board of Examiners
Formal requests for enrolment or cancellation of enrolment for study activities (like exams) can be submitted through the designated request form (in Dutch). For all other requests, use the general request form.

The Board of Admissions provides advice in deciding if candidates for the Astronomy bachelor's and master's education programmes have had sufficient training. In case of any deficiencies, the Board of Admissions may propose a study programme to compensate the deficiencies. Members of the Board of Admissions are appointed by the Faculty Board or the Dean.

Board of Admissions for the Astronomy bachelor's programme
Wouter Schrier MSc (study advisor)
Arianne Pen-Oosthoek MSc (education coordinator)

Board of Admissions for the Astronomy master's programme
Wouter Schrier MSc (chair, study advisor)
Arianne Pen-Oosthoek MSc (secretary, education coordinator)
Prof. Koen Kuijken PhD
Matthew Kenworthy PhD
Prof. Simon Portegies Zwart PhD
Marcel van Dalen PhD
Jackie Hodge PhD
Elena Rossi PhD

The Astronomy Public Relations Committee is joint with the Physics department and is concerned with awareness and recruitment activities for both education programmes. This includes creating promotion materials and organising recruitment events (Open Day, Experience Days, Taster Days) in collaboration with the Faculty of Science. The Public Relations Committee meets three times a year and consists of the following members:

Staff members
Prof. Henk Hoekstra PhD (Astronomy staff member, chair)
Prof. Tjerk Oosterkamp PhD (Physics staff member)
Suzan Commandeur PhD (Astronomy Coordinator PR & Education)
Manon van Ette MSc (Physics Recruitment Coordinator)
Bruno van Wayenburg MSc (Outreach Officer LION)

Student members
Julia Wasala (Astronomy Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Nashanty Brunken (Astronomy Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Amy Louca (Astronomy Master Student's Ambassador)
Ylke van der Zwet (Astronomy PR Assistant)
Paloma Jol (Astronomy PR Assistant)
Serafine Beugelink (Physics Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Jasper Jansen (Physics Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Thomas Rothe (Physics PR Assistant)
Matthijs Goeding (Physics PR Assistant)

Henk Buisman PhD
Ingrid Versluijs MSc

Contact.VWO is the link between the Physics programme in Dutch high schools and the Physics and Astronomy bachelor's programmes of Leiden University. They organize visits and practicals for high school students, events for high school students and their teachers and full support for profile papers (profielwerkstukken). Click here for more information (in Dutch).

The Astronomy education administration is managed by the Education Office Astronomy.

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