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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.


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.


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 minutescan be found on the Dutch students website page of the Faculty Council.

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.

Department teaching committee Astronomy

Website: http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/education/commissies.php#3
Chairman: Harold Linnartz
E-mail: linnartz@strw.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: oc@strw.leidenuniv.nl

Department teaching committee Biology

Chairman: Huub Linthorst
E-mail: h.j.m.linthorst@biology.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: oc@biology.leidenuniv.nl

Department teaching committee Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chairman: Erik Danen 
E-mail: e.danen@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: ocstudentbfw@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

Department teaching committee Chemistry

Chairman: Mark Overhand
E-mail: overhand@chem.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: occhemistry@chem.leidenuniv.nl

Department teaching committee Computer Science

Deparment teaching committee for the BSc Informatica (including Informatica & Economie) and the MSc Computer Science, ICT in Business and Media Technology
Website: http://www.liacs.nl/~oci/

Chairman: Walter Kosters
E-mail: kosters@liacs.nl
E-mail student section: oci@liacs.nl

Department teaching committee Industrial Ecology

Department teaching committee Life Science & Technology

Chairman BSc : Nora Goosens
E-mail: N.Goosen@chem.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: oclst@svlife.nl

Chairman MSc : Marcellus Ubbink
E-mail: m.ubbink@chem.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail studentsection: masterocleiden@svlife.nl

For more information, see also the website of Delft University of Technology: Teaching Committees Applied Sciences (TU Delft)

Department teaching committee Mathematics

Website: http://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/~ocw/

Chairman: Evgeny Verbitskiy
E-mail: evgeny@math.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: ocw@math.leidenuniv.nl

Department teaching committee Molecular Science & Technology

Chairman: Jan van Esch
E-mail: j.h.vanesch@tudelft.nl
E-mail student section: ocmst@chem.leidenuniv.nl

For more information, see also the website of Delft University of Technology: Teaching Committees Applied Sciences (TU Delft)

Department teaching committee Physics

Website: Department Teaching Committee Physics

Chairman: Martin van Exter
E-mail: exter@physics.leidenuniv.nl
E-mail student section: oc@physics.leidenuniv.nl

Communication between the Astronomy education programme and its students is organised in the Education Committee. Currently, this comittee consists of five teachers and five students, representing each of the three years of the Astronomy bachelor's and the two years of the masters's education programmes.

Staff members
Prof. Harold Linnartz PhD (chair)
Prof. Michiel Hogerheijde PhD
Prof. Christoph Keller PhD
Elena Rossi PhD
Marijke Segers MSc (PhD student)

Student members
Christine Rogers (international master's student)
Bas Zoutendijk (national master's student)
David Kleingeld (third-year bachelor's student)
Christian Groeneveld (second-year bachelor's student)
Victor van Rooijen (first-year bachelor's student)

The Astronomy Board of Examiners establishes rules with regard to exams and provides recommendations on evaluation of examinees and determination of results. Members of the Board of Examiners are appointed by the Faculty Board or the Dean.

Prof. Ignas Snellen PhD (chair)
Jarle Brinchmann PhD
Bernhard Brandl PhD
Prof. Henk Hoekstra PhD
Prof. Alex de Koter PhD (external member)

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)
Prof. Koen Kuijken PhD
Matthew Kenworthy PhD
Prof. Simon Portegies Zwart PhD

The Astronomy Public Relations Committee is joined 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
Sense Jan van der Molen PhD (chair, Physics staff member)
Prof. Henk Hoekstra PhD (Astronomy staff member)
Suzan Commandeur PhD (Astronomy Coordinator PR & Education)
Marianne van Driel MSc (Astronomy Internationalisation & PR Officer)
Shirley Wiedenhoff (Physics Management Assistant and PR Coordinator)
Erik Arends MSc (Outreach Officer Leiden Institute of Physics)

Student members
Erik Weenk (Astronomy Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Esmee Stoop (Astronomy Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Job van der Wardt (Astronomy Master Student's Ambassador)
Amy Louca (Astronomy PR Assistant)
Joshiwa van Marrewijk (Astronomy PR Assistant)
Annet van den Hul (Physics Bachelor Student's Ambassador)
Bas ten Haaf (Physics Bachelor and Master Student's Ambassador)
Camille de Valk (Physics PR Assistant)

Rino Foundation

Henk Buisman PhD
Ingrid Versluijs MSc

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