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Academic councils: What you need to know

University elections 2023 — It sounds fancy — the Academic Council — and it is. This is where students and staff meet up with, and give advice to, the dean. The dean then (hopefully) makes good decisions about the future course of the faculty.

Elections are being held for the academic councils at the University of Copenhagen. You can vote between 20 and 24 November. But what does an academic council actually do? And can you vote for it? Here are the short answers.

What is the academic council?

The name is so authoritative that you might think there was only one of them. In fact, there are six academic councils at the University of Copenhagen – one at each faculty.

The academic council is an advisory body: The council advises the dean on research, education and knowledge exchange. The academic council at each faculty, in other words, helps influence the direction in which the faculty moves forward.

The academic council sets up an appointment committee to hire associate professors and professors, and awards PhDs and higher doctoral degrees. The academic council has influence on what type of research is prioritised at the faculty. If the faculty has prizes to be awarded, the academic council is also responsible for this.

Who serves on the academic council?

The size of the council varies according to the size of the faculty. There are always twice as many scientific staff as students there. The dean is an automatic member and is often, but not always, the chair of the committee. Scientific staff members are elected for a period of three years, while student representatives are replaced every year at the university elections.

University elections 2023

Elections are taking place at the University of Copenhagen. There are elections for:

There must be at least two technical-administrative (TAP) staff members on the academic council. The TAP members of the council do not have the right to vote, but attend as observers. The faculty director and the associate deans usually also attend the meetings. They don’t have voting rights either.

The number of meetings held by the academic council varies per semester. At the Faculty of Humanities, they meet once a month, but at the Faculty of Social Sciences they have meetings twice in the semester

Who can I vote for in the academic council this year?

Only students are up for election to the academic council this year. Employees only vote every three years, the students every year. Local student political groupings (most of them affiliated with the Student Council) like the HUMrådet, Forenede Jurister, SCIENCErådet, SAMFrådet, SUNDrådet, Det Teologiske Fagråd – are all running candidates this year.

You can see all of this year’s candidates here. The voting takes place electronically via KUnet and opens on 20 November at 10 am.

READ MORE ABOUT THE ELECTIONS in this guide to the 2023 university elections

You can vote via KUnet here. (Go through the KUnet log in process. Click on ‘Click here and vote in the UCPH elections‘ then ‘Klik for at gå til stemmeseddel‘ – then ‘Fold alle lister ud‘ – then choose and click a name, then confirm with ‘Stem på den angivne liste/kandidat‘.)

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