Most universities around the world have some kind of “student council”. They might be involved in organizing activities or meeting with university officials, but don’t usually have any power.
In the Netherlands, student councils (SC) hold a unique legal position within the university as a result of student protests in the 1990s. According to Dutch law, the student council is a “discussion partner” of the Executive Board (EB), meaning that that the Executive Board must consult us on certain decisions. We have monthly meetings with the EB to discuss these decisions, and we can also bring our own initiatives and ideas to the table. Depending on the subject, we may have legal rights on a decision. For example, we have the right of consent on the budget of the university (€680 million!). If the SC does not agree with how the university is spending its money, we can reject the budget and the EB needs to come up with a new plan.
But when we’re not meeting with the Executive Board, we are meeting with all sorts of people around campus to work on the issues we feel are important. Every student council member has a set of dossiers they are responsible for, which could range from Educational Innovation, to Campus Real Estate, Internationalisation, IT, Study Guidance, and anything in between. In meetings, we could be consulted on a new plan for study places, asked to give the student perspective on Brightspace improvement, or simply updated on what’s going with university policy. We are involved in many areas of the university, and employees really value our input, since they otherwise wouldn’t get the student perspective.
All in all, the student council is a very important aspect of decision-making at TU Delft, with many rights and substantial influence on how the university works. If you’d like to learn more about the student council and what we do, you can contact us at .