uni-assist was founded in November 2003 as a registered association of 41 German universities. The other founding members were the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK). The association is headquartered in Berlin and is open to all universities in Germany recognized by the state. Decisions on admission to the association are made by the board.
The honorary board deliberates and decides on all basic strategic and operational matters of the association in order to represent the interests of the members of uni-assist e.V. The board consists of five elected members and one representative of the DAAD. In addition, the HRK is invited to board meetings as a permanent guest with advisory function.
Professor Karin Luckey
Rector of the University of Bremen
Professor Gerhard Sagerer
Rector of the Bielefeld University
Other elected members
Professor Beatrix Busse
Prorector for academic affairs at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
Professor Klaus Semlinger
President of Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
Deputy secretary general of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD
Deputy secretary general of the German Rector's Conference (HRK)
uni-assist maintains an office in Berlin with approximately 150 permanent employees. The office is located at Gewerbehof Geneststraße, near the Berlin-Südkreuz station.
The office is managed by:
Director of uni-assist e.V.
The general meeting sets the principles for uni-assist's work and determines the handling fees imposed by uni-assist.
The general meeting receives management's annual report on the work of the office as well as the annual accounts confirmed by an accountancy firm, and approves the activities of the board.
The general meeting convenes once a year. The chairperson of the board calls the general meeting.
Articles of association
- The association has the title „Arbeits- und Servicestelle für Internationale Studienbewerbungen (uni-assist) e.V.”.
- The association has its offices in Berlin.
- The fiscal year is the calendar year.
- The purpose of the association to provide universities and foreign students with support for applications to courses of study in Germany. Uni-assist e.V, the university aplication service centre for international student applications, is an association supported by over 180 German universities. uni-assist provides preliminary checks for international student applications. Further responsibilities may be added by a decision of the general meeting.
- The core responsibility of the university application service centre is the administrative preparation and evaluation of student applications for its members. In addition to international applications, this includes applications to Master's courses from German applicants. The admission procedure for these applications at the member universities begins only after this preliminary check has been completed. The preliminary checking procedure concludes with a certificate which informs the applicant if they fulfil the necessary formal criteria for their application, and with transfer of this information to the relevant university/universities. The following tasks are carried out in the course of the preliminary check: electronic registration, authentication, statistical evaluation and evaluation of the content of the data according to the university's own admission criteria for the selected course of study, including additional demands of missing documents, if any.
- The admission procedure carried out by the universities consists of the qualitative selection and admission of applicants. The tasks of counselling applicants and university marketing remain with the universities.
- In joining, the member universities task the association with carrying out the functions named in paragraph 2 under the conditions set forth by the general meeting of the association in this charter. Alternatively, the association may enter cooperation agreements with its members which set out the details of collaboration with the university application service centre. The general meeting may set forth binding general framework regulations for these cooperation agreements.
- In order to prepare admission to the association, a university may request that applications for a specific admission deadline be handled by uni-assist. The entering of such an agreement shall be decided upon by the general meeting.
- The association has only direct, non-profit goals as set forth in the section "tax-privileged purposes" of the fiscal code. The association is wholly non-profit and does not primarily act in its own financial interest.
- Funds held by the association may be used only for the purpose and aims of the association's work as set out in the charter. Members shall not receive grants from the funds of the association. No person may benefit from expenditures unconnected to the purpose and work of the association or from unreasonably high reimbursements.
- The founding members of uni-assist are the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the following universities: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Fachhochschule of Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, European University of Applied Sciences Brühl, University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven, University of Applied Sciences for Sustainable Development Eberswalde, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Justus Liebig University, THM University of Applied Sciences, University of Greifswald, Universität Hamburg (UHH), Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg), Hochschule Hannover, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Jena University of Applied Sciences (EAH Jena), Hochschule Kaiserslautern - University of Applied Sciences, University of Kassel, Rheinische Fachhochschule Cologne, Hochschule Lausitz (FH) University of Applied Sciences, Leipzig University, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Fachhochschule Nordostniedersachsen, HfWU Nuertlingen-Geislingen University, Osnabrück University, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, University of Potsdam, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, University of Rostock, Saarland University, Hochschule Stralsund - University of Applied Sciences, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, Rhine-Main University.
- Additional members may be admitted on the basis of a written request for admission sent to the board. Decisions on admission are made by the board.
- Membership ends with leaving the association, exclusion or termination of the member's existence as a legal entity or status as an association without status as a legal entity.
- A termination necessitates a written declaration to the board. The notice of termination may be given only in the winter semester and must be received by the board before January 31st of the same year. The first date at which termination is possible is the second year after joining, during the following winter semester.
- If a member is culpable of grossly violating the interests of the association, it may be excluded from the association following a decision by the general meeting. Before exclusion, the member must be given an opportunity and adequate time to submit a written statement. A majority of three quarters of votes cast is required to decide on an exclusion. Reasons for the exclusion must be submitted to the member to be excluded in writing.
- The association is funded through fees levied from the applicants, charges to universities, donations, subsidies and, if so decided by the general meeting, through membership and admission fees. The fees are tied to the actual costs. Should a surplus remain after deduction of all expenses and necesarry, earmarked reserve funds, they shall be allocated to further tasks related to international student applications according to decisions made by the general meeting.
- Amount and due date of admission and membership fees as well as handling fees are set by the general meeting.
- Should the annual budget of the association exceed 250,000 €, the board shall appoint external auditors to audit the annual accounts. The external audit report shall be submitted to the members at the latest nine months after the end of the fiscal year.
- The institutions of the association are board and general meeting.
- The board is elected from its members by the general meeting for a term of three years. Re-election is possible. The board remains in office after its term has run out until the next election. The election may take place in writing if so requested by a member of the association.
- The board consists of five elected members and one representative each of the DAAD and the HRK. The composition of the board shall orient itself on the composition of the association's members (types of university, regional distribuation etc.). The board works on an honorary basis.
- The board authorised to represent the association according to § 26 BGB consists of the chairperson and a deputy chairperson. The chairperson shall have proven experience of higher education policy, and must be a member of a university's administration.
- The chairperson of the board and their deputy are authorised to represent the association in and outside of court. Any legal transactions with a financial volume exceeding 20,000 € require joint representation.
- A managing director is appointed to conduct running business according to § 9.
- The board is tasked with all responsibilities which are not assigned to the general meeting by law or by this charter. The board is responsible specifically for the following, which may be transferred to the directing manager revocably and in part:
a. drawing up and executing the budget as well as any connected important financial questions;
b. hiring and releasing personnel;
c. preparing and calling the general meeting as well as drawing up the agenda;
d. carrying out the decisions of the general meeting;
e. basic policy issues regarding management;
f. submitting reports and draft decisions to the general meeting and external partners.
- The board convenes at least three times a year. Additional meetings are possible if the chairperson calls the board to a meeting or if one third of its members demand a meeting.
- The board has a quorum if at least half of its members are present. Resolutions are passed with a simple majority of the valid votes cast. If votes are tied, the vote of the chairperson decides the vote; in their absence, their deputy decides the vote. Board resolutions may be passed using written procedure unless a member objects to the procedure. The procedure is to be led by the chairperson or their deputy.
- The board may invite guests, including on a permanent basis, to its meetings and institute working groups for specific topics.
- The general meeting is responsible for the following:
a. election of board members;
b. election of internal auditors;
c. receipt of annual report and accounting from the board;
d. approving the activities of the board;
e. approving the budget for the following fiscal year;
f. changes to the charter;
g. setting and changing regulations on dues and fees;
h. framework regulations for the university application service centre uni-assist;
i. dealing with basic policy issues concerning the association's goals, including any expansion of these goals;
j. dissolution of the association.
- The general meeting convenes once a year. An extraordinary general meeting shall be called if
a. the board decides to call a meeting for important reasons or
b. a quarter of the members demands a meeting from the board in writing, giving their reasons.
- The general meeting is called by the chairperson in writing, subject to a term of at least 2 weeks, under specification of the agenda. The general meeting is chaired by the chairperson of the board. Decisions may be made only on subjects which were publicized in the agenda provided with the invitation to the general meeting.
- The general meeting has a quorum if at least half of the members are present. Acting on behalf of a member as well as the transfer of voting rights to another member is possible if written authorisation is presented at the general meeting. If the general meeting has no quorum, the invitation may invite recipients to a second meeting with the same agenda to take place on the same day, directly after the first meeting. This second meeting has a quorum if at least one third of the members are present or represented by a third party, as long as this has been announced in the invitation.
- The general meeting makes its decisions with a simple majority of the valid votes cast. In order to change the charter, a simple two-third majority of the present members is necessary. In order to dissolve the association, a two-third majority of the members' votes is necessary.
- Decisions by the general meeting are recorded in writing and signed by the chairperson as well as the keeper of the minutes.
- The association creates a university application service centre led by a director. The director is at the same time managing director of the assocation and conducts its running business. They are bound, both as the managing director of the association and as the director of the university application service centre, by the decisions of the association's institutions and the directives of the chairperson of the board in individual cases. Furthermore, their authority is regulated by the employment contract, which is closed after agreement of the board by the chairperson of the board.
- The workforce of the university application service centre are employed and reimbursed as employees of the association according to the principles otherwise governing universities.
- Until the association attains the status of a registered association (e.V.), the association acts as an association in the course of formation in accordance with this charter. Inasmuch as a capacity to act is necessary, especially in regards to the employment of personnel, the representatives of the association may enter legally binding contracts on account of the DAAD, which shall be immediately transferred to the association after its registration. This transfer shall be provided for in contracts with third parties.
- Until the association becomes self-supporting on the basis of fees levied, the DAAD shall provide appropriate subsidies using the funds of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The agreed-upon terms of approval are binding for the association.
- For the first two years (up to and including October 1st, 2005), three of the five elected board members as well as the chairperson are to come from member universities in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
- Before the two-year trial period ends, an evaluation of the university application service centre shall be carried out.
- In case of dissolution of the association, unless the general meeting decides otherwise, the chairperson of the board and the managing director are authorised as joint liquidators. This applies accordingly if the association loses its capacity to act for any other reason.
- In the case of dissolution or if the non-profit nature of the association is abandoned, its assets fall to the HRK to be used for purposes in accordance with its charter.
This charter is a translation provided for reference purposes. Only the original in German is legally binding.
Charter for the university application services for international students (uni-assist):
Agreed by the inaugural meeting of the association at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn on 04.11.2003 as amended on March 22nd, 2013.