The University Council of Maastricht University is a representational body in the sense of the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act. The UC’s main powers are the right to give advice and the right to give or withhold consent. The UM Administration and Management Regulations, which the UC was involved in drawing up, set out the issues on which the UC is asked for advice and/or consent. The UC also serves as a sounding board for the Executive Board, is involved in assessment and monitoring, and may submit proposals for new initiatives.
The UC has three committees in which staff and students discuss plans and proposals with the Executive Board. Their purpose is to prepare particular themes in smaller groups before these are put as items onto the agenda of the council’s plenary meetings with the Executive Board. The committees then provide the University Council with advice to inform its decision making. The definitive decision-making process occurs in the council’s plenary meetings with the Executive Board.
The University Council usually meets once a month a Wednesday afternoon. These meetings are open to the public, as are the meetings of all council committees.
The UC is composed of 18 members, equally divided over students and staff. The nine staff delegates are elected every two years, with six representing the academic staff and three representing the support staff. The nine student members of the UC are elected annually.
The University Council’s aim is to promote best practices within the university. It can discuss all university-related matters and seeks, to the best of its ability, to promote openness, public awareness and reciprocal consultation within the university. One of the council’s tasks is to consider the views and interests of staff and students in the context of formulating the university’s mission. In addition, it also has the general task of guarding against and preventing discrimination on any grounds and, in particular, of promoting the equal treatment of men and women and the involvement of disabled people and ethnic minorities.
The council has ratification authority with regard to, among other things, the institutional plan, the students’ charter, administrative and management regulations, the maintenance of student facilities, the establishment and discontinuation of degree programmes, and regulations relating to health, safety and wellbeing. The council also has advisory functions, for example with regard to the budget, the establishment of legal entities, financial participation in UM Holding BV, and restricting first enrolments according to available teaching capacity.