The Hochschulrat (council of institute of higher education) of Heidelberg University is called the University Council. It consists of eleven members who are appointed by the Minister for Science, Research and the Arts. Six members, including the chairperson, are leading figures from outside the university; five members, including the deputy chairperson, are members of the university. The term of office of the members, and of the University Council, is three years. The members of the Rectorate, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner and a representative of the Science Ministry attend the meetings in an advisory capacity.
The University Council oversees the management by the Rectorate. It can at any time give the Science Ministry its opinion on strategic matters concerning the university; the Science Ministry can seek opinions from the University Council.