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Management staff for higher education


10.Management and other education staff

10.5Management staff for higher education

Last update: 20 March 2024

Short-cycle higher vocational education

Higher vocational colleges are managed by directors. If a higher vocational college is an organisational unit of a larger centre or company, it is managed by a head teacher. Directors of a higher vocational college are educational and executive managers. They manage, organise and plan the work of employees, as well as represent and act on behalf of the college. They are responsible for the implementation of student rights and for the overall quality. They decide on the employment relationships, job structuring, salaries and promotion of employees. Head teachers of organisational units have similar duties and tasks, but have to consult with the director before making executive and personnel decisions.

Higher education

In accordance with the Higher education Act (en), universities are managed and represented by the rector. The main tasks of the rector include:

  • conducting the university senate,
  • coordinating the educational, scientific research, artistic and other work at the university,
  • monitoring the regularity of work and the quality of the university.

For assistance in managing individual fields of activities at the university, the rector may appoint vice rectors (e.g. vice rector for study and student affairs, research activity, legal issues, inter-university cooperation) or other assistants (e.g. for financial issues).

Member institutions of the university (faculties, art academies, professional colleges, institutes, libraries, etc.) are managed by deans or directors. Their powers and responsibilities are defined by the constituent instrument. They are professional managers of the university member institution, where they coordinate educational and research work, artistic production and other types of work, as well as monitor the legality of work and the overall quality. Deans of private higher education institutions are managerial executives and professional managers of the institution. The dean is usually assisted by vice deans, appointed to individual fields of work at the university member institution or private higher education institution.

By law, it is allowed to separate the educational leadership and operations of the higher education institution. It depends on the nature of activities and the scope of work. In this case, the powers of the educational leader and the powers of the management body are defined by the charter. However, this provision is not exercises in practice.

Internal organisational units of the faculties, art academies and higher vocational colleges (departments, chairs, institutes, laboratories, etc.) are managed by the head of the organisational unit.

The administrative/managerial and professional/technical duties in higher education institutions are the responsibility of the head of administration and the relevant secretariat.

Requirements for appointment

Short-cycle higher vocational education

The candidates for a director of a higher vocational college (HVC) have Master’s degree, as a minimum, and no less than five years’ work experience. Candidates for a head teacher of HVC have a valid title of HVC lecturer and five years’ work experience in education, as a minimum. The council of the institution appoints the director or head teacher for a term of five years, and the same body has the power to discharge them. The council consults with the HVC board of lecturers and student representatives about all candidates before deciding for a particular candidate. Before appointment, the council seeks opinion of the minister about the selected candidate.

The same applies as for other educational staff, the directors and head teachers may not assume the function if they had been convicted by a final judgement on account of willful misconduct liable to conviction ex officio to unsuspended custodial sentence of over 6 months or criminal offence against sexual inviolability.

Higher education

The Higher education Act (en) stipulates that a rector is elected by all higher education teachers, research faculty members and other academic staff employed at a university. Student representatives also have the right to vote. As a rule, the university charter stipulates that the rector must be elected from among the higher education teachers or research faculty members with the highest possible rank in tertiary education (full professor, scientific councillor), and is appointed for a period of four years. After this period they may be re-elected. The procedure for election is regulated by the Statute or another internal act of the university.

To be appointed to the post of dean of a university member or a private higher education institution, candidates must be fully employed as teachers in tertiary education. The dean of a university member is appointed by the rector at the proposal of the university member’s senate for a period of 4 years, after which they can be reappointment.

To be appointed to the post of director of a university member (library, institute, student dormitory), candidates must hold at least a higher education degree (equivalent to the education acquired upon the completion of a second cycle master’s study programme). As a rule, they are appointed by the rector of the university for a period of 4 years after a public call for applications and after the university member’s professional council has given its opinion. Directors may also be reappointed.

Heads of internal organizational units of faculties, art academies and professional colleges are appointed by the dean from among higher education teachers or research faculty members for a period of 4 or 5 years.

Two other leadership positions are the head of administration and administrative officer of a faculty, art academy or higher vocational college. The requirements for appointment to these posts are laid down in the statute of a higher education institution. In most cases these positions require education equivalent to a second cycle master’s study programme, leadership and organisational skills, and several years of experience in lead positions.

Conditions of service

The conditions of service for management staff (for whom the habilitation process is required) are identical to those for higher education teachers, research faculty members and higher education faculty assistants. The conditions are regulated by general regulations on employment relationships and, at public universities and private higher education institutions, also by the Civil servants Act (en), Public sector salary system Act (en), government decrees, collective agreements and internal rules on performance evaluation. Special rules of the ministry of education define how these positions are divided into pay grades and by which criteria their performance is measured. Taking into account the general rules, the internal rules define the number of hours that can be deducted from teaching or research obligations during the performance of the function the candidate is appointed to. The conditions of service and salaries of secretaries are further specified with the Collective agreement for public sector (sl) and the methodology for the categorization of similar working positions and titles into pay grades.

Working time and holiday allowances, termination of work and the retirement of management staff are regulated by the same general rules that apply for higher education teachers, research faculty members and higher education faculty assistants.