General student committee

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seat of the AStA at the Saarland University

The General Student Committee or General Student Committee ( AStA , plural AStA , AStAs , self- spelling often ASten ) is the executive body of the (written) student body entrusted with external representation in the universities of most German federal states . It represents the student “government” or the actual student representation in the narrower sense. The AStA is usually elected by the student parliament and consists of one or more chairpersons and a number of speakers for various areas of responsibility.

In some German federal states - especially where there is no established student body and instead a so-called independent student body (currently only Bavaria ) - there are numerous deviating terms. In addition, at many East German universities - in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt even regulated by law - there is a student council ( StuRa ) in place of the AStA , which often combines the functions of student parliament and AStA.

Overview of the university organization


The name General Student Committee originated in the late 19th century ; the adjective general documented the claim of the non-incorporated free students to adequate representation in the committees, which were previously often supported by the student associations . However, the term was only able to establish itself across the board after the end of the First World War , when the student bodies were recognized under public law in most German countries.

Choice and duties

The AStA is usually elected for one year by the student parliament, which in most cases is also elected annually by the student body of a university; it is very rare to find terms of office of one semester. At some, mostly smaller universities, the AStA is also directly elected by the student body; a student parliament then usually does not exist. Such a “unitary system”, in which the legislative and executive branches coincide in one body, is also the case with most of the East German student councils .

The tasks of the AStA result on the one hand from the legally regulated tasks of the student body and on the other hand from the local conditions. This means that in a “unitary system” the AStA is basically responsible for all tasks of the student body, while in a “ parliamentary system ” it is usually responsible for managing day-to-day business, executing parliamentary resolutions and representing the student body externally.

In addition, most AStA offer students a range of services, e.g. B. Legal and social advice, housing and employment agencies, discounted copying options, sales of writing materials and international student ID cards (ISIC). Negotiations about the semester ticket are also usually the responsibility of the AStA. Many AStA now also offer offers that were previously located at universities, for example language courses, tutorials or German courses for international students.

Lectures and speakers

The internal organization of the committees is subject to the statutes of the individual student bodies and can therefore vary greatly from university to university.

The “core equipment” of most AStA includes not only the board of directors and the finance department, but also specialist departments for university politics, social affairs, culture and sport. In addition, there are often presentations on student council matters, political education and environmental issues / ecology. There is a similar structure in the Austrian student council .

Autonomous units

While the above-mentioned core units are generally occupied by the respective majority coalition in the student parliament, so-called autonomous units also exist at many universities, which mostly represent minorities or special interest groups. The speakers are usually chosen directly by the members of the respective groups and some have their own budget.

The first autonomous presentations were created in the 1970s and 1980s for women, lesbians and gays . Today they are also available in many places for foreign students, the disabled and chronically ill, students with children (ren) or for financially and culturally disadvantaged students. Sometimes student councils or sports departments are organized autonomously.

The existence of the autonomous units occasionally triggers criticism, in particular that the ability to control finances by the student parliament (StuPa) is insufficient. It is also controversial whether the fields of work of some of the presentations really belong to the remit of the student body .


AStA in Baden-Württemberg

In Baden-Württemberg there was no student body between 1978 and 2012 . However, there was also an AStA in the state university law at that time, which was formed from the student members of the university senate and other student representatives as a university body (similar to the student convention in Bavaria ). His area of ​​responsibility comprised exclusively cross-faculty study matters, the social promotion of students, the promotion of their intellectual, musical and sporting interests as well as supra-regional and international student cooperation (§ 2, Paragraph 3, § 65 old version). From this final catalog of tasks it emerged that the Baden-Württemberg AStA "had neither a general political nor a (full) university political mandate", since the students were only allowed to participate in university policy issues "in the Senate".

Because this form of the AStA was not accepted by some of the students as a fully valid representation of interests, a so-called independent student body existed at some universities parallel to the official AStA , which, however, was not legally recognized as an official representation.

In 2012 the green and red state government under Winfried Kretschmann decided to reintroduce the student body. Several university administrations had previously supported this demand.

Student representation in Bavaria

Student representation at Bavarian universities is regulated in the Bavarian University Act (Art. 52, BayHSchG). Even without an established student body , the student representatives elected in the annual university election participate in the university bodies.

With Article 106 of the BayHSchG, there is a so-called "experimentation clause", which enables universities to organize an organizational structure ( independent student body ) of the student body that deviates from the law . Some universities in Bavaria benefit from this, since they have their own structure and some of them have bodies called AStA . For example:


The work of individual AStA has repeatedly been the subject of public criticism in the past. For example, some student representatives are accused of

  • that they are not sufficiently legitimized due to the low turnout, so that there is a gap between “apathetic students and their remote representatives”.
  • that some representatives were not careful with student contributions and wasted these funds. Because of the high staff turnover, there is often insufficient control over the use of funds; in addition, many universities do not exercise their legal supervision effectively.
  • Conservative groups such as the RCDS in particular regularly criticize, among other things, the fact that individual AStA exercise a general political mandate to which they are legally not entitled. In this context, there were repeated complaints before the administrative courts , which ruled several times against the relevant AStA and imposed administrative fines against the AStA concerned, as well as public prosecutor's investigations generalize political activity in an inadmissible manner.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Law on Universities in Baden-Württemberg (LHG), valid from January 6, 2005, valid until December 8, 2005 .
  2. Volker Haug (Ed.): The University Law in Baden-Württemberg , 2nd completely new edit. Ed. 2009, p. 433.
  4. Press release of the State ASten Conference Baden-Württemberg 2004  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  5. Press release of the State ASten Conference Baden-Württemberg 1999  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  6. LHG § 65
  7. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Legal Gazette on the VerfStudG@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  8. Revitalized those believed dead, in: DIE ZEIT No. 14 of March 31, 2010
  11. a b Merlind Theile: Rudi's leftover ramp: You are Asta. In: Spiegel Online . January 27, 2006, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  12. ^ Sven Becker, Marvin Oppong: Basta, AStA. In: Spiegel Online . February 13, 2012, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  13. Marvin Oppong : Student Representation: The Ten Biggest Wastes of the Asta . Time campus . March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  14. ^ Decision of the VG Hannover
  15. ^ Temporary order from the Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court
  16. Provisional order by the Berlin Administrative Court