Better education, thanks to you

The University Council

The representation of the student view on the policies of the University of Groningen is very important. The perfect place for student representation is the University Council, the main representative body of the students & staff of the University of Groningen towards the Executive Board of the University. The Council consists of 12 staff members and 12 student members, which are annually elected during the election week. As a council, we discuss a wide range of topics: the financial situation of faculties and new policies on education & research, issues concerning the student community like wellbeing & social support, but also current governmental & political developments on higher education. We also campaign for new areas of policy, such as what is the position of the university on the possible reintroduction of the study grants (basisbeurs)? And to what degree is the university responsible for the housing crisis in Groningen?

Lijst Calimero

It is Lijst Calimero’s vision that high quality education is the primary task of the University. Through focussing on areas like small-scale education, a wellbeing-orientated study environment, accessibility, and inclusivity, we try to improve the value of your diploma and the quality of the education at our University. In council meetings we try to find a healthy balance of being constructive yet staying critical. We are solution oriented, yet we are not afraid to criticise the university and those who govern it. We have an analytical, committed and thorough way of doing our council work.

Lijst Calimero works with a Faction and a Support Faction. Faction members have a seat in the University Council. They are present at all meetings while also having a board position. Faction members generally work full-time or in an intensive part-time capacity, although it is possible to follow a small amount of courses. Support Faction members do not have a seat in the council. They support the faction by either taking up a board position or by focussing on a specific portfolio, however, they have an equal say in how Lijst Calimero formulates its policy and positions. They are free to decide how much time they are willing to spend on  Lijst Calimero. Our members can work individually, but are also capable of working in a close team for a full year. Depending on their time spent both faction and support faction members receive financial compensation for their work. Information on the different board positions and portfolios can be found here.


The nine person candidate faction will be complete at the end of February. After this, we’ll start with writing an election programme and the preparations for the campaign. During this preparatory phase you will have plenty of time to follow courses. The election week is from the 17th until the 21st of May. After the results, the portfolios and remaining board positions will be divided, and the transfer period will start. The Wisselraad will take place in the end of August, in which you are officially installed as a member of the University Council. Your board year will start here; from this point forward you will bear full resposibility for the future of students, the university & Lijst Calimero.

Who are we looking for?

  • You are interested in shaping the policies of the University of Groningen on the highest level.
  • You are not afraid to give your opinion and to be part of an election campaign.
  • You are interested in (national) political and societal developments in the field of higher education & research.

Your competencies

  • You are analytical with a critical and proactive attitude.
  • You can demonstrate leadership in difficult situations.
  • You possess strong communication skills and can easily navigate through different social circles.
  • You can creatively convince people to take a common position.


The discussions in the University Council are primarily held in Dutch. Depending on the subject, policy documents are both in Dutch or in English. There is live translation available during the council meetings. We strongly emphasize that even though being in the council as an international student can be perceived as a challenge, it’s still possible to take up this position. Hence, you’re more than welcome at Lijst Calimero. International students are an important part of our academic community, and deserve to have a place in the Council as well. Additionally, it’s a good opportunity to practice Dutch.

What do we offer?

  • Acquiring knowledge and personal skills which will stay with you the rest of your career and life; some skills simply cannot be learned from books or lectures.
  • Becoming a member of the largest student faction of the University Council (and also a close group of friends) with a beautiful office overlooking the gardens of the Academy Building.
  • The creation of a professional network with new social contacts both inside and outside Groningen.
  • A financial compensation.


Do not hesitate to get in contact with current faction members for more information on Lijst Calimero, a year in the University Council, the application process or the election week. We are happy to buy you a cup of coffee and talk things over! You can WhatsApp Eoin Raftery (+31 6 46 46 26 50) or mail to as well.

Application deadline

Apply now! Apply by sending a motivational letter and curriculum vitae to If present, indicate your preference for either the faction or the support faction. Afterwards we will get in contact as soon as possible for a potential interview. Prior to the interview you will receive a short case which will be discussed during the interview.

Who are we?

The experiences of previous faction members

Hanna Berretz

Hanna Berretz

Faction 2016-2017

“My year with Lijst Calimero was very challenging, I learned a lot and it was a lot of fun. Firstly, you make very good friends. Up until today we stay in touch with our faction members and have regular contact. Secondly you learn what you can and what you can’t handle as a person. I have learned a lot from that. And thirdly, a year in the University Council looks very wel on your resumé. It opens doors when you start to apply for jobs.”

Nina de Winter

Nina de Winter

Faction 2016-2017

“My year in the Council has taught me that if you really agree or disagree on something, you should stick to your opinion and go for it, even when that’s very difficult.”

Leendert Kalsbeek

Leendert Kalsbeek

Faction 2009-2010

It is hard to be concrete about what a year in the University Council brings you. However, it is a very fun and you learn a lot. You see from the inside how an academic institution is governed and experience a little how politics work. This expands your personal horizon and it gives you a head start when you start to every job you would want to apply for.