Social Council

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Social Council


Spanish public university governance is regulated in detail by law. Thus, a number of collegial bodies and individual roles are determined:
. Collegial bodies: Social Council (Board of Trustees), Governing Council (Board of Governors), University Assembly (Senate), School and Faculty Councils and Department meetings.
. Individual roles: Rector, Vice-Rector, Secretary General, Manager, Faculty Deans, and School, Department and Institute Directors. 

The Social Council is the body intended to represent the public interest and act as a bridge between society and the university. It supervises the university’s financial activities, approves the new proposal of undergraduate and graduate studies, approves the tuitions and fees for graduate studies, and approves the annual plan of activities to promote its engagement with the surrounding community. UC3M’ Social Council is composed by 19 members and comprises the Rector, the Secretary General, the Manager, a representative of the academic staff, a representative of students and an administrator elected within the Governing Council members.


The rest of the members, including the chairperson, typically are individuals external to the university from the cultural, professional, economic and social life of the region where the university is located. The Social Council consists for 68 % of external stakeholders and 32% of members from the academic community.

The Governing Council is the university’s main governing body. It sets out the strategic and programmatic lines for teaching, research, human and financial resources, as well as the guidelines and procedures for their application. It has up to 50 members, and comprises the Rector (chairperson), the Secretary General, the Manager, and representatives of the Vice-Rectors, the Deans and Directors, and representatives of the university community in agreement with the composition of the University Assembly. Depending on the statutes of each university, at most 3 representatives of the Social Council are also members of the Governing Council. The Governing Council consists for 94% - 98% of internal stakeholders and 6% - 2% of external stakeholders

The University Assembly (Claustro Universitario) brings together the entire university community. With a membership of up to 300 people, it comprises the Rector (chairperson), the Secretary General, the Manager and representatives of all groups within the university community. As a general rule, the majority of its members should be full professors or hold a doctoral degree. The Assembly is responsible for the development of the statutes, and eventually for the election of the Rector (universal suffrage is also allowed according to the statutes), to revoke the Rector’s mandate with one third of the membership, and other functions as designated by the law.

The Faculties or Schools elect councils chaired by the Dean or Director. The majority of the members are teachers of professors with a permanent position at the university.
The Rector is the university’s highest authority and representative. His or her office performs the leadership, governance and management of the university: develops guidelines for activities in a range of areas, to be approved by the relevant collegial bodies; and carried out those agreed.

The Rector names the Vice-Rectors from the academic body and the Secretary General. The management of administrative and financial services is the responsibility of the Manager. The Rector proposes a candidate for the Social Council’s approval. The Faculty Deans, School Directors and Directors of Research Institutes are elected by permanent academic staff and represent their unit and provide leadership.