Edward Snowden is standing for the position of student rector at Glasgow University.
If elected, the National Security Agency whistleblower – who is currently under temporary asylum in Russia – will represent the interests of the students for three years.
The student rectors duties include attending the University court, working closely with the students’ representative council and raising student concerns to management.
On the Glasgow University’s Student Representative Council Website, it says: “Glasgow students have often voted on a principle of honouring heroes, resulting in the election of rectors who were not expected to chair Court or take an active part in the role as they have been unable to leave their country”.
Previous rectors have included Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.
Snowden’s nomination was arranged through his lawyer by a group of students.
In a statement, the students responsible for nominating him said: “Edward Snowden’s candidacy is a unique opportunity to show our gratitude to a brave whistleblower.
“He has shown a spirit of daring and self-sacrifice that is virtually absent in our public life.
We call on Glasgow University students as individuals, and all student bodies committed to ending state intrusion into our pubic lives, to declare their support for Edward Snowden’s candidacy”.
Snowden has also just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, for his contribution to “a more stable and peaceful world order”.
He first hit the headlines last year, when he fled the United States after revealing the level of internet and phone surveillance by the security forces.
For the position of student rector, Snowden will be standing against author Alan Bissett, clergyman Kevin Holdsworth and cyclist Graeme Obree.
The post is currently held by former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.
Voting is due to take place over the 17th and 18th of February.