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Centralisation versus decentralisation and student participation

Centralisation versus decentralisation and student participation

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Centralisation versus decentralisation and student participation

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  1. Centralisation versus decentralisation and student participation Antoon BoonRector’s Office + Educational Policy Unit Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  2. Institutional background • K.U. Leuven: process towards decentralisation since 2001 :- central level : responsible for general policies;- new decision making and coordination level : groups of faculties;- executive level : faculties/departments Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  3. Legal background • Decree (= Law) of 19 March 2004 concerning students’ rights, participation in higher education and… • Each institution has to choose between one of the following models :- co-decision;- concertation. Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  4. Legal background • Co-decision model :(representatively elected) students have the right to be a member in each body taking decisions concerning :1° strategic policy of the institution :a) enlargement, scaling down or closing of institution or important part thereof;b) closing of cooperationships with other institutions; devolution of competencies to other institutions or organisation of decentralised structures.c) the programming of educational programmes ;2° the general educational policy, in particular educational innovation and improvement;3° research policy ;4° internationalisation policy ;5° policy concerning allocation of budgets. Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  5. Legal background • Co-decision model :(representatively elected) students have the right to be a member in each body taking decisions concerning in particular :1° regulations concerning students’ rights and the educational and examination regulations;2° the levels of student fees and the spending proposals;3° initiatives of student counseling;4° regulations of international student mobility;5° organisation of academic year, including holidays. Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  6. Legal background • Concertation model :a) university/institution has the obligation to consult with representatives of the student body concerning the same topics as determined for codecision at least once a year;b) for the more specific topics (second list above) formal concertation has to be done between university management and student body;c) for the more general topics student body has the right to formulate advise; university management has to reply formally and motivate if it doesn’t take advise into account Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  7. Organisational chartcentral level Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  8. Organisational chartcentral level Board of Management = Executive Bureau + Persons not belonging to the university (2005 onwards : + representatives of students) Academic Council = Executive Bureau + Deans + Representatives of professors, assistents, students and administrative personnel Executive Bureau : rector, general manager, vice-rectors (4) and vice-presidents (at most 3) (2005 onwards : + representative of students) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  9. Organisational chart relation central-decentral before 2005 Board of Management - Academic Council - Executive Bureau Faculties • Council (i.e. general parliament with all professors; representatives of assistents, students) • Bureau (dean, small selection of professors, possibility to invite assistents or students for matters concerning them) • Departments (with council and bureau) coordinating research matters; • Permanent educational committees (with programme director) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  10. Organisational chart central-decentral since 2005 Board of Management - Academic Council - Executive Bureau Groups • Executive Committee (vice-rector, deans of faculties and small selection of professors (elected or because of their function); representatives of assistents and students • Council (dean; representatives of professors (heads of departments or elected), assistents and students) : controlling function • If need be : General assembly (dean, all professors, representatives of assistents and students) : controlling Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  11. Organisational chart central-decentral since 2005 Group executive committee - Council - General assembly Faculties (responsible for education; research in humanities) and departments (responsible for research in exact and biomedical sciences) • Executive bureau • Eventually council (with reduced power : controlling agency) • Permanent educational committees (with programme director) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  12. Working principles : e.g. education • Academic Council :- central policies (e.g. : bachelor-master reform; quality assurance system; flexibilisation of curricula);- final approval of concrete programme proposals by faculties (until 2005); final approval of programme proposals by groups (from 2005 onwards); • Group executive committee :- proposals for educational programmes (over faculties and groups) (from 2005 onwards);- approval of concrete proposals by faculties (from 2005 onwards); • Faculties :- proposals for educational programmes- concrete implementation Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  13. Organisation : administrative support (e.g. education) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  14. Organisation : advisory structures (e.g. education) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  15. relation central and decentral new “external factor” • K.U. Leuven association Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  16. relation central and decentral influence association • Central level : - policy making (e.g. agreement on profiles of programmes serving for students willing to start academic masters after professional bachelor programmes);- approval in concrete situations :(e.g. approval of new educational programmes must be agreed on within association) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  17. relation central and decentral influence association • decentral level : - policy making (e.g. development of new programmes : influence of partners);- approval in concrete situations :(e.g. negotations on content and size of step up programmes through working committees) Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  18. Organisational chart conclusions • One university • One central policy • Many realities Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  19. Organisational chart - student participation • University and students have chosen for co-decision model (less bureaucratic) • Students are represented by elected representatives at each level of the university (board of management -> academic council -> group structures -> faculty level) • As co-managers students have agreed upon discretion concerning personal matters Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  20. Organisational chart - student participation • Two “exceptions” on co-decision practice :- in agreement students can decide not to participate on certain person-related decisions;- for each decision body, other members (students excluded) can decide to prepare meeting separately Rector’s Office 29/11/2005

  21. Organisational chart conclusions student participation • Leuven was lagging behind in student participation :a) state organised universities : participation was already obligatory;b) “free” universities (although subsidised equally) : freedom of organisation guaranteed by constitution, but most had already implemented participation at most levels • From 2005 onwards students are full members at all important decision levels Rector’s Office 29/11/2005