University Council elections: De Vrije Student gains a seat; Vuur by far the largest

Leading candidate Gijs Markwat of De Vrije Student toasts the seat win. Screenshot: DUB

Lijst Vuur (Fire List) retains its five seats and thus remains the largest student party in the council. This was announced last Friday by the chairman of the electoral committee, Fred Toppen, during a meeting at De Uithof, which could be followed online. Thanks to its large support base among the student associations, the Partij voor de Utrechtse Student (PvdUS; The Party for the Utrecht Student) managed to win three seats, just as it did last year.

The only party to lose a seat among students is UUinActie (UU in Action). Last year, this group jumped from one to three seats. Despite its great efforts in organising the Alarm Day for Science, the party has now lost a seat, which went to De Vrije Student, a party that can be described as more conservative. Now it has not one, but two representatives in the council.


Screenshot of the announcement of the results. Blue represents the number of seats held by a party in 2020, and orange the number of seats in 2021.

During a brief conversation with DUB's editor-in-chief Ries Agterberg, party leader Gijs Markwat raised a toast to the win and promised to do his best to temper some of the ambitions of Vuur and UUinActie.

This year's biggest vote puller, Vuur’s leading candidate and Media and Culture student Chiara Stam, did not get to speak due to technical problems. She was the only one who managed to reach the electoral threshold for preferential votes.

The students in the University Council of 2021 / 2022:

Vuur: Chiara Stam, Remí ter Haar, Annemarijn Oudejans, Job de Jager, Abraham de Boer
PvdUS: Nick Noteboom, Mart van der Linden, Valerie van Eck
UUinActie: Sifra Meijers and Willemijn Mulder
De Vrije Student: Gijs Markwat and Yari van Eijnsbergen

UUinActie does gain seats among staff
In the elections for the staff delegation, the traditional superpower Vlam (Flame) managed to hold on to a total of seven seats, one less than in the last elections two years ago. The staff group gained one seat and now has two. The Promovendipartij (PhD Party) retains two seats.

This was the final result of the elections, which were divided into four different districts. Zooming in, it can be seen that UUinActie owes its extra seat to the support of staff in the alpha and gamma faculties. In that district, the gain was at the expense of the seat that the PhD party UPP won last time.

UPP compensates for the loss in the district for employees of the faculties of Science and Veterinary Medicine. There, the party grew from one to two seats. Vlam still has one seat left in that district. Only veteran Gert Folkers ran as a candidate for that party.

As was the case two years ago, there were no elections for the seats allocated to support staff. Only three staff members applied for four seats. The remaining seat was allocated to the Vlam group in the alpha/ gamma district based on the results.

A final seat is reserved for the District of Medicine. There were no elections for this seat either, as there was only one candidate.

The biggest vote puller among the staff members was Father of the Council Joop Schippers. Apart from Schippers, UPP's Ellen Deelen also managed to reach the electoral threshold for preferential votes.

The staff members in the University Council in 2021 / 2022:

Vuur: Annemieke Hoogenboom, Dian Enting, Joop Schippers, Gert Folkers, Wim de Smidt, Valéry Oude Groen – Van Rijswijk and Liesbeth Potters.
UUinActie: Katell Lavéant, Jochen Hung
Utrecht PhD Party (UPP): Ellen Deelen, Romy Riemersma
Faculteit Geneeskunde: Erna van Wilsen

Dropping attendance
For the third year in a row, the turnout of UU students in the elections fell. It should be noted that, both last year and this year, there was less or no campaigning in the university buildings because of Covid.


Image: DUB, courtesy of Paul ter Veld and Anne Marie Partridge. Note: staff is only elected once every two years

This year, 18.7 per cent of students (6374) bothered to cast a vote. This is over 2 percent less than last year and over 8 percent less than the record turnout in 2018.

Elections for staff representatives at the university level take place every other year. Turnout there has been on the decline since 2015. This year, 27.3 percent of all UU employees voted. Two years ago, the figure was 32.8 percent.

Elections in faculties as well
In addition to the University Council, elections took place at several faculties last week for the students and staff members who will take seats on the faculty councils. In other faculties and services, there were not enough candidates to organise elections.

The high turnout among employees of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance is striking. More than half of them participated in the elections.


Turnout %

U-raad Students


U-raad Staff


Rebo Students


Rebo Staff


Humanities Students


Humanities Staff


Medicine Students


Geosciences Students


Science Students


Veterinary Medicine Students