Student government and participation

At every level of Utrecht University, students and staff help develop policy and give advice to the different governing bodies. A well-organised student and staff representation system is very important to the functioning of the University. Even when you are not part of a consultative body, you can give your opinion on the education, facilities and other study-related issues in various ways.

Do you want to offer us feedback on our performance, or would you like to participate in educational policy making and represent the student body of the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University? You can! On every level in the Faculty students can voice their opinion on the quality of education, and influence it. You can do this by simply participating in educational surveys or by becoming a student member of one of our boards and committees.

Voicing your opinion

Your opinion is very important to us! Constructive and critical feedback from students motivates us to improve our educational standards and our facilities:

  • You can voice your opinion about the level of the courses through our regular course evaluations (Caracal),
  • The annual National Student Survey (NSE, in Dutch) questions students nation-wide about all aspects of their education,
  • You may also choose to inform your student representative in one of the (Faculty) consultative bodies about your concerns or in case you have suggestions for improvements in our services or programmes.
EDUCAtion committee GRADUATE school of Natural sciences

To guard the quality of education the Faculty has developed a quality assessment system, which revolves around the Education Committee as the most important body of influence.

Tasks and responsibilities

The Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences is mandated by law to execute the following tasks:

  • Advise the Board of Studies of the GSNS on the Education and Examinations Regulations (OER),
  • Assess the execution of the OER once per year,
  • Offer the Board of Studies of the GSNS solicited and unsolicited advice on all matters relating to teaching and education.

The Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences assesses the quality of teaching and education by executing periodic evaluations. The process of these evaluations is determined by Faculty regulations. The Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences evaluates courses on multiple occasions in the academic year, as well as the entire program at the end of the year. After every evaluation, the Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences creates a report which advises the Board of Studies on actions to be taken.

The Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences is made up of both students and staff, who both hold half of the total amount of seats. The members are appointed by the Board of Studies and chosen from the Departmental Education Advisory Committees.

Each Department and some individual Master's programmes have their own Education Advisory Committee, you can always approach its members with questions or complaints about education. You can also play a role yourself, by running for a seat in this Education Advisory Committee. Please contact your student representative in the Education Committee of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences for more information and procedures if you would you like to run for a seat in the Education Advisory Committee of your Department or Master's programme.

Faculty Council

The Faculty Council is the representative body for staff and students in the Faculty. The Faculty Council has approval and advisory rights on a range of faculty matters, including - but not limited to - education. By doing so, it functions as a representative body of both students and scientific and support staff with regards to important decisions. As a student, you can run for one of seven available seats during the annual Faculty Council student elections in May.

Tasks and responsibilities

The Faculty Board and the Faculty Council meet once per six weeks to discuss current affairs. The meetings are guided by an agenda that is co-drafted by the Council and the Board, this agenda includes a set of documents that the Board would like to discuss with the Council. If the Council requests information on certain issues, it can also submit written questions, on which the Board is obliged to answer. Staff members of the Faculty Council are elected for two years, student members for one year.


For more information about the Faculty Council and/or the annual Faculty Council student elections in May please visit:

Student Member of the Faculty Board

Maartje Koppelman is the current student member of the Faculty Board. The student member looks after the interests of students within the Faculty on various matters. She also manages the portfolios community building, internationalisation and alumni policy and maintains contacts with student associations and other student organisations in Utrecht on behalf of the Faculty of Science.

Tasks and responsibilities

The Faculty Board consists of the Dean, the Vice-Dean of Education, the Vice-Dean of Research, the Faculty Director and a student member. Aside from the student member’s duties in the Board, he/she also promotes and supports student participation in other co-participation organs such as the Faculty Council, and the Board of Studies of the Undergraduate School. Other student initiatives like student associations or activity committees are also very important and therefore encouraged. The student member makes sure that these students are able to execute their duties as well as possible, by inviting them for meetings and trainings.

In brief, the student member is the representative of all Faculty of Science students and is expected to:

  • Attend weekly Faculty Board meetings and contribute to policy making discussions on everything that is going on, especially those matters concerning students and education, in the Faculty,
  • Be a member of the Board of Studies of the Undergraduate School (UGS). During monthly UGS Board meetings educational matters are discussed by the Departmental Heads of Education,
  • Be a vital link between Faculty Board, Faculty Council, Student Societies and the student body.

TERM of Service

The student member of the Faculty Board holds a paid position. It is a valuable learning experience and good addition to your résumé. The position requires an investment of approximately 16 hours per week, which are mostly spent in meetings. The term for a student member is one calender year (Start on January 1).


You can contact the residing student member of the Faculty Board by sending an email to: Are you interested in this job? Applicants are welcome to send their résumé to the same email address annually in the first half of November.

Student Member of Departmental Committees and Boards

The Faculty of Science includes six Departments (Biology, Chemical Sciences, Physics, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematical Science, and Pharmaceutical Sciences), each with its own Department Board and Education Advisory Committee. A Board has one student member, The Education Advisory Committees have several student members. Please contact your Student Association to find out more about how you can contribute to policy making in your Department.

University Council

The University Council is the central representative body of Utrecht University. The Council serves the interests of students and staff.

More information is available: University Council.


If you want to get involved in a governing or representative body at Utrecht University, you may qualify for financial support from the University in the form of a compensation for board activities.