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Institution structure

Students' Union Executive Committee (AStA)

The AStA is elected by the student council in an institution, normally for one year. The AStA represents students' interests with the institution administration and the general public outside the institution. It is made up of several specialist committees with different responsibilities (finance, institution policy, social issues, culture, political education, environmental issues, student council issues etc.). The rights and obligations of the AStA are set out in the higher education laws of the individual states.


The Dean represents a department within the institution and is the head of its operations.
He is the chairman of the departmental council, leads its meetings and implements its decisions. The Dean is responsible for the completeness of the teaching plan and ensuring compliance with the course and examination rules.

Departmental council/ Student councils

The students in a department or faculty form a student council and elect the departmental council (faculty council) to represent their interests. This council is made up of lecturers, students and academic and non-academic staff in a faculty. However, its work is limited to the relevant department.
The composition of the student councils is determined by the students in a department. They elect the student council representatives. The student councils provide new student and information events, organise trips and parties for new students and represent the interests of the students in a department to the teaching staff.


The Chancellor is responsible for the administrative management and co-ordination of the institution's organisation. He is responsible for managing the non-academic staff and for budgetary, legal and administrative issues.

Vice Chancellor/ President

The Vice Chancellor, often now referred to as the President, is the leading academic figure in a German institution. He is responsible for implementing the decisions approved in a institution's senate and for representing the institution.


The Senate is made up of the Deans of the various departments, professors, academic and non-academic staff and students and is the most important decision-making body for issues of management and organisation. This is where a institution's constitution is set out and where the Vice Chancellor/President is elected. Other responsibilities of the Senate include approving the budget, decisions on individual courses and enactment of the general conditions for examination rules.

Student parliament (StuPa)

The student parliament is elected by all students at an institution. In the parliament, the elected representatives decide on the budget plan and the use of social contributions, discuss current issues and work closely with the Students' Union Executive Committee (AStA), the composition of which is also determined by the student parliament.

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