What is the Fachrat?
Three faculties have a Fachrat: the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Modern Languages and the Faculty of Behavioral and Cultural Studies.
The Fachrat constitutes the specialized committee of members of one or more institutions at university. Its primary function is the development and organization of concepts or projects associated with studying, teaching and tasks related to it within one academic field. Most notably, it supports the Direktorium and the faculty in the exercise of their duties.
Which subjects have a Fachrat?
- American Studies
- Ancient History
- Byzantine Archaeology & Art History
- Chinese Studies
- Classical & Modern Literature
- Classical Archaeology
- Classical Philology
- Computational Linguistics
- East Asian Art History
- East European Studies
- Education Science
- English Studies
- European Art History
- German as a Foreign Language
- German Language & Literature
- Islamic Studies/Iranian Studies
- Japanese Studies
- Medieval Studies
- Pre- & Proto-History /Near Eastern Archeology
- Religious Studies
- Romance Studies
- Semitic Studies
- Slavic Studies
- Sport Science
- South Asian Studies
- Transcultural Studies
- Translation & Interpretation
How is the Fachrat constituted?
The Fachrat is constituted from 4 member groups, usually being:
- 3 full-time university professors
- 3 members of the teaching staff (‚academic middle-level‘)
- 3 student members
- 2 members of the staff for administration and technology
> In academic fields with less than 3 professors, the composition shifts to 2-2-2-1 or 1-1-1-0.
> If there are less candidates running for office than member slots, the slots remain vacant. Special votes to fill the vacancies may be cast.
> If there are more candidates than member slots, the remaining candidates may be elected as representatives.
> Student members are elected annually, whereas all other members are elected every 2 years.
What does the Fachrat do?
In accordance with its statute from 16.12.2010, the Fachrat deals with the following subjects in particular:
- Drafting and amending of regulations on admission, studies and exams as well module handbooks;
- Allocation of funds intended for studies and teaching, e.g. meant for resources and work spaces;
- Development of course structures and schedules;
- Evaluation of teaching;
- Informing members of the study program(s) about their current work and how you can get involved.
The nature of the Fachrat may be advisory – meaning the right of decision remains solely with the professors and the faculty council – but nevertheless their decisions and recommendations are of crucial importance. Moreover, you get in-depth experience in the inner workings and main subjects of higher education policies. Your commitment is more than worth it!
How does it differ from the Fakultätsrat?
The faculty council (Fakultätsrat) is the main advisory body of the faculty. For instance, the Faculty of Philosophy includes and is composed of more than 20 study programs, while their representation in the faculty council is limited to max. 8 student members and 4 members of teaching staff. Therefore, many programs are represented only through their professors.
In the Studienkommission (studies committee), preparing decisions on studies and teaching for the council, only up to 4 student members may be represented. There are 6 more additional seats max., that may be taken by professors. The staff doesn’t have to be represented. Faculties including 2 to 3 academic fields may form several Studienkommissionen, one for each field respectively.
Sometimes, though, it is near impossible to constitute such a committee, since one particular field may be very small and may have only very few professors.
For faculties compromised of many different fields, it is thus hardly possible to have proper discussions and consultations on very detailed matters in their faculty council or Studienkommission(en). For this very reason the following 3 faculties form a Fachrat, that prepares specific and detailed decisions for the faculty council: the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Modern Languages and the Faculty of Behavioral and Cultural Studies.
Furthermore, members of a Fachrat are not just appointed by higher ups (like in the Studienkommissionen) but elected directly by their respective status groups. Therefore, the Fachrat has higher democratic legitimacy than the Studienkommission.
And how does it differ from the Fakultätsrat?
The Fachschaft is a body of student representation, meaning it is composed solely of students. Students of 50 study programs constitute a Fachschaftsrat for their respective academic fields.
Conversely, the Fachrat is a committee of academic self-government. This means that not only students, but also professors as well as teaching and administrative / technic staff are represented. As mentioned before, not every field has a Fachrat: Only 35 study programs from 3 faculties do. In the remaining 9 faculties, no Fachräte are constituted.
How do the Elections work?
If your study program is represented in a Fachrat, any student of that program may vote and run for office, regardless of the degree they are reading for. This includes doctoral candidates and students in minor study programs. Student members are elected annually, while all other members are elected every 2 years.
Theoretically, the university states in the statute for Fachräte that student members are in charge of organizing elections. Factually, a different practice has been established:
On behalf of the students, the Fachschaft / an election committee / the incumbent student members register the elections with the AG Fachrat, that prepares the necessary paperwork. The vote is cast by the Fachschaft through a ballot box vote. Frequently, this election takes place at the same time as elections for the Fachschaftsrat.
For the other status groups, teaching or administrative staff register their election with the AG Fachrat. They will then take care of the necessary paperwork, including the delivery of the election documents, and the election is cast as a postal vote.
Additionally, every single candidate has to be registered online, ideally by the respective candidate themselves. The appropriate forms can be found here: http://www.stura.uni-heidelberg.de/fachrat-kandidaturformular