Independent student body

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In German federal states without an established student body (currently only Bavaria , until 2012 also Baden-Württemberg ), an independent student body is a voluntary organizational form of students that is largely modeled on the student body. In contrast to this, this is not a public law sub-body of the university and therefore has no legal mandate to represent the students. The board of directors, which takes on the representation in public, is mainly referred to as UStA (independent student committee) or U-AStA (independent general student committee) based on the AStA . For this occur at most universities the university elections , private individuals or lists whose goal is possible to gain many seats in the bodies of the university and to facilitate the work of the independent model based on which. In this way, for example, funds or infrastructure that are available to the official body are also made available to the independent structure. How this is done depends on the university in question.

organization structure

Organizational model of an independent student body using the example of the University of Freiburg

Independent student bodies are usually organized in their own associations (registered or not) or as a working group of the official bodies. In contrast to the written student body, they do not have their own funding and are therefore largely based on the voluntary commitment of students. In individual cases there is an AStA working group within a UStA, which receives funds from the university and passes them on to the UStA.

An independent student body is usually divided into independent student councils .

The bodies of an independent student body are usually:

Since independent student bodies are not standardized by university laws, the names of the bodies vary from university to university.

Universities with independent student bodies

The first "Usta is created in 1978/79" at the Free University of Berlin . Here the Asta [..] had been banned since the 1968 revolt ended . In the 1976/77 student strike , in the summer semester of 1977, "the departmental initiatives and strike activists began discussions with the aim of founding an independent student committee, Usta."


Since June 27, 2012, the student body has been re-established in Baden-Württemberg, which was gradually constituted in the following months at the individual universities. The following independent models previously existed:

The degree and scope of the recognition and cooperation of the universities with these independent structures varied greatly between the universities, especially since the university board is responsible for the implementation and legal supervision of the official AStA and ( LHG ) unlawful decisions such as the transfer of funds should actually prevent independent structures. The availability of rooms and infrastructures of the universities, financial allocations, tolerance of (according to the LHG valid until July 2012) general assemblies and ballots and recognition as a representation of the interests of the students depend on this. This is also reflected in the way the independent models are organized and how they see themselves.

With the reintroduction of the constituted student body in July 2012, these independent structures will presumably be transferred to official structures of a member body of the universities by the winter semester 2013/14 through the statutory statutes and extensive organizational autonomy of the student bodies. Since, over the decades of independent models, working methods and modes of operation have been incorporated that are not entirely compatible with the provisions of the State University Act, the student body then composed and independent structures may coexist.


In the Bavarian Higher Education Act (Art. 106, BayHSchG), there is a so-called "experimentation clause" which enables universities to organize an organizational structure for student representatives that differs from the law. Some universities in Bavaria benefit from this, as they have their own structure:

The naming and organization is therefore quite different from university to university:

Individual evidence

  1. Artur Kritzler: The Forgotten Great Awakening: Strike at the FU 1976/77 , in: FU70 : Counter-statements , Asta-Magazin, published by the General Student Committee of the FU Berlin, October 2018, p. 64.
  2. Information page of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Culture and Sport on the student body , accessed on March 7, 2013
  3. The Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG)

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