Would you be interested in getting a glimpse behind the scenes at your school and playing an active role in shaping study programmes for you and your fellow students? Find out what the Faculty Board does and the role that you can play in it.
It won’t be long now until the new members of the Faculty Board (Fakultätsrat) are elected. Would you be interested in getting a glimpse behind the scenes at your school and playing an active role in shaping study programmes for you and your fellow students? Then the Faculty Board is just the thing for you.
SRH attaches great importance to the active participation of students. This starts on a small scale in the form of group spokespersons, who are elected at the start of their programme and represent the interests of the study group vis-à-vis the Programme Director. In addition, each school has a school student body (Fachschaft) that has the option of electing a Student Representative Committee. However, this step must be initiated by the students themselves, and organised on the basis of Student Representative Committee Statutes.
The group spokespersons and the representatives of the school student body participate in the Student Assembly (Studierendenversammlung) on a cross-faculty basis. Besides the above-mentioned groups of persons, the Student Assembly, led by two elected chairpersons, also consists of the Faculty Board representatives and the Senate representatives.
Besides participating in the Student Assembly, three Faculty Board representatives per school and two Senate representatives make up the Student Council (Studierendenvertretung). The task of the Student Council is to represent the interests and concerns of all students vis-à-vis the bodies of SRH University Heidelberg, and within them. Does that all sound a bit confusing? Admittedly, it is rather complicated: while the Student Council is initiated by the university, the group spokespersons, the Student Representative Committee and the Student Assembly are all elements of student self-organisation.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved as a student. One possibility to become active is to stand for the Faculty Board.
The Faculty Board
Each school has its own Faculty Board. This body is made up of five professors, two academic/scientific staff representatives, two school staff representatives and three student representatives. The Faculty Board is chaired by the Dean, who, like the Vice Dean and the Dean of Studies, is a member of the Board by virtue of his or her office. As a student, you will serve on the Board for one year after being elected, attending Faculty Board meetings, which are convened by the Dean at least three times a year. All matters of fundamental importance to the school are discussed during these meetings, such as changes to the curriculum or plans for development. You have the opportunity to participate in decision-making and to represent students’ interests.
Finding solutions for all sides
Since 1 March 2021, a total of 16 students have been represented on Faculty Boards. Mara Fock, a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the School of Engineering and Architecture, tells of her experiences. The 22-year-old is a member of the Student Representative Committee and the Faculty Board. Her reason for applying was that she wanted to help represent and realise the interests of students. She states: “On the Faculty Board, I can make a strong contribution to shaping everyday study life as effectively as possible.” To this end, she gathers students’ opinions and their requests for change, and presents them to the Board members. She can also vote on changes to new degree programmes or curricula, representing student opinions. When asked what qualities candidates for the Board should have, she says: “The reason for the Faculty Board is to discuss opinions and exchange views on issues. It is about finding a solution that works for as many parties as possible. It is therefore very important to have a keen interest in the well-being of the school and to enjoy exchanging ideas with others.” She notes that, as a student, you have the chance to gain new perspectives: