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50th anniversary of the Executive Board and University Council in Groningen

22 August 2022

Half a century ago, the University Council and the Executive Board of the UG were formally established. This will be remembered on the afternoon of Thursday, September 1, 2022 with the symposium ‘Governance and co-determination: 50 years of balancing act!’

Democratic government

In 1971, the WUB (Wet Universitaire Bestuurshervorming: University Governance Reform Act) came into force, which regulated that universities would be governed democratically. This was no longer an exclusive preserve of professors, but from now on all staff members and students could participate in the management of the university. The tasks of the old Senate were transferred to the Executive Board and the University Council. This was in line with the general trend of democratization in the sixties and seventies. In the following five decades, the administrative structure changed in many ways, but the Executive Board and University Council continued to exist as such.

Harmony model

The UG celebrates the anniversary a year later than other universities in the Netherlands, because in 1971 an even more democratic Interim Form of Government was briefly instituted in Groningen. The academic community of the UG had to reluctantly conform to the rest of the country by order of the national government, but it did lead to the creation of the typical Groningen ‘Harmony Model’: a form of collaboration between the Executive Board and University Council, aimed at cooperation, understanding and respect.


The event will start at 3:00 pm, as a festive reunion for all former and current members of both bodies. Some of the attendees from in 1972 will be present. There will be two lectures: one by Professor Klaas van Berkel, Professor of History at the RUG, and one by Professor Rienk Goodijk, Professor of Governance at VU University Amsterdam. Afterwards there will be a forum discussion. There will be a livestream of the event.

Last modified:06 September 2022 2.04 p.m.
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