Organisational autonomy refers to a university’s capacity to determine its internal organisation and decision-making processes.
Organisational autonomy refers to a university’s ability to decide freely on its internal organisation, such as the executive leadership, decision-making bodies, legal entities and internal academic structures.
The ability to independently select, appoint and dismiss the executive head and to decide on the length of his/her term of office is by no means guaranteed in all European higher education systems. Legal guidelines and restrictions still apply in many countries.
University governing bodies, which usually consist of a board or council, a senate or both, decide on long-term strategic issues, like statutes and the budget, and academic matters, such as curricula and staff promotions. If external, non-university members are included in governing bodies and hence involved in such fundamental institutional decisions, it is important that universities have their say in their appointment.
The capacity to create profit and not-for-profit legal entities and to decide on internal academic structures is directly linked to an institution’s ability to determine and pursue its academic and strategic direction. The ability to set up distinct legal entities may also open up important new funding streams.
Selection procedure for the executive head
countriesThe selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority
countriesThe selection of the executive head is validated by an external authority
Selection criteria for the executive head
countriesThe selection criteria for the executive head are not stated in the law
countriesThe law states that the executive head must hold an academic position
countriesThe law states that the executive head must hold a doctoral degree
countriesThe law states that the executive head must come from within the university
Dismissal of the executive head
countriesThe procedure for the dismissal of the executive head is not stated in the law
countriesThe dismissal is confirmed by an external authority but the procedure is decided by the university
countriesThe dismissal is carried out by an external authority but the procedure is decided by the university
This does not apply to any country.
countriesThe dismissal is confirmed by an external authority and the procedure is stated in the law
countryThe dismissal is carried out by an external authority according to a procedure stated in the law
This applies to one country: France
Term of office of the executive head
countriesThe length of the term of office is not stated in the law
countriesThe maximum or range of length is stated in the law
countriesThe minimum length is stated in the law
countriesThe exact length is stated in the law
External members in university governing bodies
countriesUniversities cannot decide as they cannot include external members
countriesUniversities cannot decide as they must include external members
This applies to 24 countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
countriesUniversities can decide to include external members
countriesUniversities can freely decide on external members
countriesExternal members are proposed by the university and appointed by an external authority
countriesExternal members are partly appointed by the university and partly by an external authority
countriesThe appointment is completely controlled by an external authority
countriesOther appointment process
Capacity to decide on academic structures
countriesUniversities can decide on their academic structures without constraints
This applies to 20 countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
countriesGuidelines exist in the law
countriesFaculties/other academic structures are listed in the law
Capacity to create legal entities
countriesUniversities can create legal entities without constraints
This applies to 19 countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom
countriesUniversities are only allowed to create not-for-profit legal entities
countriesUniversities are not allowed to create any type of legal entity
This does not apply to any country.