Sabbatical Officer Elections - Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Sabbatical Officers?

Sabbatical Officers are full-time, paid elected representatives of the student body at Aberdeen University.  All these positions are elected for a period of one year, from July 1 to June 30.

What do Sabbatical Officers do?

The Sabbatical Officers represent students and campaign for their rights and interests at the University of Aberdeen, locally and nationally, focussing on issues within their roles designated area and beyond. The Officers chair meetings and oversee the work of relevant standing committees within AUSA. The Sabbatical Officers will agree and work on team objectives for the academic year in addition to their election manifesto. The Officers also participate in the work of University bodies, sharing these responsibilities among themselves, and report regularly to relevant committees and the Student Council. The Council may pass policies that further directs the Sabbatical Officers’ work. All Sabbatical Officers must become members of the Student Associations’ Trustee Board.

Do Sabbatical Officers receive any training?

Immediately after their election, the successful candidates shall be invited to attend Student Council and the Committees of which they will be members when they assume office. The Officer-elects often receive training for two weeks prior to their term of office, and it is advised that newly elected Sabbatical Officers get in touch with their immediate predecessor and shadow them to learn more about their jobs.

How can I become a Sabbatical Officer?

Sabbatical Officers are elected through a cross-campus single transferable vote ballot. Candidates must submit their nominations for the position via an online form. Nominations are open from 1st February until 1st March, and candidates have to submit a list of their supporters alongside the nomination form. Voting will take place between the 16th and the 18th of March.

Am I eligible to become a Sabbatical Officer?

To become a Sabbatical Officer, you must be a registered student at the time of elections. You also must be suitable to become a Trustee for the Students’ Association. In order to be qualified for a Trustee role, you must not be someone who is an undischarged bankrupt, someone with an unspent offence involving deception or dishonesty, someone who has been removed from trusteeship of a charity by the Court or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) for misconduct or mismanagement or someone under a disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Candidates will be required to indicate they meet these criteria when nominating themselves and will be asked to sign a declaration of their eligibility before the close of nominations.

What about my Visa?

You can stay in the UK under Tier 4 if you have been elected to a full-time post as a students' union sabbatical officer. If you have a Tier 4 visa you should be able to extend your visa in the UK. You will have to meet the requirements for Tier 4 (General) Students, including the maintenance requirements. However, the Home Office does not expect you to study during this period. The Home Office should give you permission to be in the UK for 12 months which you can apply to extend up to a two-year maximum if you are re-elected. If you have a different visa the visa process may be slightly different. 

If you are an international student wishing to run in the leadership elections and would like more information about what you need to think about in relation to your visa, please pop in to see us and we can direct you to further advice. Alternatively, you can find information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website by following this link

If you're worried about your Visa cost, it shouldn't stop you from nominating yourself. If you are elected and become a Sabbatical Officer, AUSA will cover the cost of your visa as a taxable benefit paid to you. 

If you have further questions, please email elections@abdn.ac.uk.