About the University Council
What is the University Council?
The University Council is the central organ of every university in North Rhine-Westphalia. Its main tasks are to advise the Rectorate and supervise its management of university affairs. Members of the University Council work in an honorary capacity.
How long has the University Council been in existence?
University councils have existed since 1 January 2007. On this day, the new North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Education Act (HG) came into force; this law granted greater freedom to institutions of higher education. With this law, the state gave the universities the competence and responsibility for making financial, personnel-related and organisational decisions. The universities also became independent entities under public law; this means they are no longer directly under the control of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. University councils were set up as part of these developments and given the mandate to act as controlling and supervisory authorities for the universities.
The BUW’s University Council was elected on 20 June 2007. Its members received their certificates of appointment from Minister of Science Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart on 29 June.
What tasks does the University Council perform?
The University Council advises the Rectorate and supervises its management of university affairs. According to § 21 of the Higher Education Act, its tasks specifically include
- Electing members of the Rectorate
- Approving the university development plan and the draft of the agreement on objectives that the Ministry concludes with every university
- Approving the business plan and the university’s entrepreneurial activities
- Stating its position on the accountability report issued by the Rectorate and on the quality development and assurance evaluation reports commissioned by the universities or the Ministry
- Stating its position on research, art, teaching and study affairs that relate to or are fundamentally important to the entire university or its central services
- Relieving the Rectorate
How does the University Council perform its tasks?
The University Council can view and inspect all of the university’s documents. The Rectorate is also obliged to provide the University Council with information. To this end, the Rectorate reports on the development of the university's budget and economic situation at least four times a year. It also submits an accountability report every year. The university administration also assists the University Council with the performance of its tasks.
How often does the University Council meet?
The BUW University Council usually meets four times a year.
How many members does the University Council have?
University councils can have six, eight or ten members. At least half of the members must be external, i.e. they may not be university members or affiliates. The number of University Council members at any given university is regulated by the constitution of the respective university.
The BUW’s University Council consists of six members, four of whom are external. Please click here for an overview of the current members of the University Council.
How do you become a member of the University Council?
The legislators specify that members of university councils must hold or have held responsible positions in society, particularly in the fields of science, culture or business; moreover, they must have the exceptional knowledge and experience required to help the university achieve its goals and perform its tasks.
The members of a university council are elected by a selection panel set up especially for this purpose; this must consist of two representatives of the Senate, two representatives of the current university council and one representative of the state. The state representative on the selection panel has two votes; all other members have one vote. The persons nominated by this selection panel must subsequently be confirmed by the Senate and approved by the Ministry.
How long do members of the University Council stay in office?
Their term of office lasts 5 years.
Are members of the University Council also members of the university?
Yes, all members of the University Council, also external members, become members of the university – with all the associated rights and duties – when they assume office. This expresses the fact that members of the University Council have a special relationship with the university besides making it clear that the University Council is an internal organ.
Where can I get more information about the University Council?
On the website of the competent NRW Ministry: