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Study circumstances

Fair regu­la­ti­ons for atten­dance requirements

Wir for­dern eine kla­re Rege­lung dar­über, wel­che Abwe­sen­heits­grün­de bei einer Lehr­ver­an­stal­tung von der Lei­tung zu akzep­tie­ren sind. Jeden­falls ist für uns selbst­ver­ständ­lich, dass Krank­heit und fami­liä­re Not­fäl­le zu einer Abwe­sen­heit ohne nega­ti­ve Kon­se­quen­zen für die Stu­die­ren­den füh­ren müssen.

Außer­dem soll eine Maxi­mal­gren­ze für Anwe­sen­heits­pflich­ten ein­ge­führt wer­den (zB bei 80%). Eine aus­nahms­lo­se Anwe­sen­heits­pflicht ohne jeg­li­che Fle­xi­bi­li­tät stellt vor allem für Stu­die­ren­de mit Betreu­ungs­pflich­ten eine unver­hält­nis­mä­ßi­ge Mehr­be­las­tung dar.

Free­dom of choice for app­li­cants to uni­ver­si­ties of app­lied sci­en­ces (UASs)

Aus­tri­an uni­ver­si­ties of app­lied sci­en­ces offer a wide ran­ge of stu­dy pro­grams with dif­fe­rent cur­ri­cu­la and focus. Howe­ver, many app­li­cants are not free to choo­se bet­ween the­se opti­ons, as some UASs requi­re a final accep­t­ance, while feed­back from other UASs is still pen­ding. App­li­cants must be able to choo­se free­ly bet­ween their opti­ons! We, the­re­fo­re, call for a stan­dar­di­zed, defi­ned point in time throughout Aus­tria, whe­re UASs must announ­ce their accep­t­an­ces so that app­li­cants can make a com­mit­ment to their future stu­dies in peace.

Qua­li­ty assuran­ce for aca­de­mic con­ti­nuing edu­ca­ti­on courses

Cur­r­ent­ly, con­ti­nuing edu­ca­ti­on cour­ses at uni­ver­si­ties are not suf­fi­ci­ent­ly regu­la­ted or labe­led. High-qua­li­ty stan­dards must be main­tai­ned at Austria’s hig­her edu­ca­ti­on insti­tu­ti­ons – whe­ther in a degree pro­gram or a cour­se. The­re­fo­re, we call for the obli­ga­ti­on of qua­li­ty assuran­ce of cour­ses by an inde­pen­dent body (ex AQ Aus­tria), which cor­re­sponds to the stan­dards of regu­lar bache­lor and mas­ter programs.

Advan­ced Master’s degrees cour­ses on Uni­ver­si­ties of App­lied Sci­en­ces (UAS)

Many stu­dents in UAS can not enter their Advan­ced Master’s degrees cour­ses (AMDCs) becau­se, at their UAS, it is con­struc­ted as a sepa­ra­te cour­se of stu­dies, which could cost thousands of euros.

Due to this cir­cum­s­tance, many must chan­ge their place of stu­dy to find a sui­ta­ble Master’s degree course.

This is not an indi­vi­du­al case and leads to gene­ral social restrictions.

We demand that all AMDCs can be atten­ded as gene­ral cour­ses of stu­dy without extra payment.

Ful­ly fun­ded insti­tu­ti­ons of hig­her education

We demand that the public aut­ho­ri­ties ful­ly fund all uni­ver­si­ties of app­lied sci­en­ces, col­le­ges of edu­ca­ti­on, and universities.

High qua­li­ta­ti­ve cour­ses of stu­dies are only pos­si­ble if the fun­ding is secu­red in the long term, inde­pendent­ly from pri­va­te investors.

Exter­nal funds (third-par­ty funds) should only be a source of addi­tio­nal fun­ding, not the finan­cial foun­da­ti­on of tea­ching and research.

Stu­dents need secu­ri­ty to com­ple­te their studies!

Free access to the sci­en­ti­fic literature

Free access to sci­en­ti­fic lite­ra­tu­re is not only an advan­ta­ge for stu­dents loo­king for sui­ta­ble sources for their final papers but also for the who­le socie­ty becau­se pro­gress in the socie­ty needs free cir­cu­la­ti­on of know­ledge. Rese­arch fin­dings should not be hid­den behind paywalls.

Estab­lish­ment of ethics plat­forms at all insti­tu­ti­ons of hig­her education

Ethics is a very rele­vant topic con­cer­ning rese­arch and tea­ching. To rai­se more awa­reness and crea­te a space for dis­cus­sion bet­ween the mem­bers of the­se insti­tu­ti­ons, we must estab­lish man­da­to­ry ethics plat­forms at all insti­tu­ti­ons of hig­her edu­ca­ti­on. Here, repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from all orga­niz­a­tio­nal units of an insti­tu­ti­on as well as stu­dents would be repre­sen­ted. The ethics plat­form at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Natu­ral Resour­ces and Life Sci­en­ces in Vien­na shall act as an ori­en­ta­ti­on aid.

Exams

Trans­pa­rent assess­ment criteria

Stu­dents need exact details on the assess­ment for each cour­se and need to com­pre­hend how a final gra­de is assi­gned. Gra­des must not be attri­bu­ta­ble to the sub­jec­ti­ve­ness of a tea­cher but must be based on objec­ti­ve cri­te­ria. For this rea­son, we demand the pre­sen­ta­ti­on of a com­pre­hen­si­ve cata­log of cri­te­ria at the begin­ning of the cour­se, with the pos­si­bi­li­ty of dis­cus­sing it. This will pro­vi­de secu­ri­ty for stu­dents taking cour­ses with con­ti­nuous assessment.

Legal cer­tain­ty for cour­ses with con­ti­nuous assessment

For cour­ses with only a sin­gle exam, such as tra­di­tio­nal lec­tures, the law lays out clear rules to pro­tect stu­dents from arbi­tra­r­i­ne­ss. For all other cour­ses for examp­le with con­ti­nuous assess­ment, such pre­cau­ti­ons don’t exist.

To pro­vi­de stu­dents with more legal cer­tain­ty when it comes to com­pul­so­ry atten­dance and reta­king cour­ses, we demand the imple­men­ta­ti­on of mini­mum legal requi­re­ments. Cur­r­ent­ly, each insti­tu­ti­on of hig­her edu­ca­ti­on estab­lis­hes its regu­la­ti­ons. It is time to crea­te an Aus­tria-wide mini­mum standard.

Legal pro­tec­tion in exams

To coun­ter poten­ti­al­ly arbi­tra­ry assess­ments with safe­guards, we call for the pos­si­bi­li­ty of appeals against the gra­ding of exams.

Pos­si­bi­li­ty of repe­ti­ti­on for suc­cess­ful­ly com­ple­ted cour­ses at Uni­ver­si­ties of App­lied Sciences

For uni­ver­si­ties of app­lied sci­en­ces, we ask for the pos­si­bi­li­ty of repea­ting exams pas­sed suc­cess­ful­ly to impro­ve the gra­de point average.

Right to pri­va­cy even during online exams

Many stu­dents have had to endu­re mas­si­ve inva­si­ons of their pri­va­cy in the past year. Several came­ras, record­ings, and spy­wa­re had to be accep­ted to take part in exams.

We call for legal cla­ri­fi­ca­ti­on of the facts and clear gui­de­li­nes for online exams, which will put a stop to a dis­pro­por­tio­na­te inter­fe­rence in stu­dents’ pri­va­cy. Should par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on be refu­sed, due to dis­pro­por­tio­na­te mea­su­res, the uni­ver­si­ty must crea­te alter­na­ti­ve modes to enab­le all stu­dents to take exams.

Digitalization

Digi­tal Qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons for Teachers

Last year, cour­ses throughout the coun­try had to switch to digi­tal methods. Drastic dif­fe­ren­ces in the know­ledge of the requi­red methods and soft­ware bet­ween the tea­chers beca­me appa­rent. While some reco­gni­zed and used the poten­ti­al of distance lear­ning (e. g. by record­ing lec­tures), others were con­tent with uploading their pre­sen­ta­ti­ons. Digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on at uni­ver­si­ties must not remain an impro­vi­sed bridge. Even after the cur­rent excep­tio­nal situa­ti­on, the posi­ti­ve aspects of digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on should con­tri­bu­te to the qua­li­ty of tea­ching and to the fle­xi­bi­li­ty of stu­dies in favor of stu­dents. The­re­fo­re, we demand trai­ning for tea­chers on the use of soft­ware and con­tem­pora­ry didac­tic methods in distance settings.

Expan­si­on of tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re at universities

In par­ti­cu­lar, the drastic mea­su­res taken at uni­ver­si­ties, sin­ce the begin­ning of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic, have shown how important it is for a modern uni­ver­si­ty that both lec­tu­rers and stu­dents are equip­ped with the appro­pria­te tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re for tea­ching and rese­arch from a distance. We call for the expan­si­on of tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re at Austria’s uni­ver­si­ties. In any case, the­re must be strea­ming and record­ing faci­li­ties in lec­tu­re halls and lar­ge semi­nar rooms. For stu­dents, who do not have the necessa­ry infra­st­ruc­tu­re, the uni­ver­si­ty must offer alter­na­ti­ves. This can be done by pro­vi­ding the university’s rooms or tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re and or offe­ring alter­na­ti­ve assess­ment methods.

Com­mis­si­on on Fair Review of Chea­ting Allegations

With the gro­wing pro­por­ti­on of online exams, the tea­chers’ fear of chea­ting has also grown. At many uni­ver­si­ties, the num­ber of chea­ting accu­sa­ti­ons has incre­a­sed enor­mous­ly in recent mon­ths. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, in such situa­tions, it is still the case that exami­ners are both plain­tiffs and jud­ges. This sta­te of affairs is unfair and into­le­ra­ble. That is why we are cal­ling for the crea­ti­on of a spe­cial com­mis­si­on to exami­ne the­se chea­ting alle­ga­ti­ons impar­ti­al­ly, with the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of students.

Social affairs

Adap­ting the grant and scho­l­ar­s­hip sys­tem to the rea­li­ties of life

We demand that the sys­tem of grants and scho­l­ar­s­hips be adap­ted to the rea­li­ty of stu­dents’ lives. Using the mini­mum dura­ti­on of stu­dy as a basis for cal­cu­la­ting the dura­ti­on of enti­t­le­ment igno­res the fact that many cour­ses of stu­dy can­not rea­listi­cal­ly be com­ple­ted wit­hin this peri­od. The­re­fo­re, the average dura­ti­on of stu­dy + tole­ran­ce semes­ter should be used for the calculation.

Aid must pro­tect against pover­ty and exclu­si­on which is why an incre­a­se is essen­ti­al. In addi­ti­on, age limits for sub­si­dies are to be com­ple­te­ly abolis­hed. A clear over­view of all grants and scho­l­ar­s­hips is nee­ded, to faci­li­ta­te access for students.

No age limits for stu­dent benefits

We demand that stu­dent bene­fits (e. g. on public trans­port) are avail­ab­le to all stu­dents, regard­less of their age. The average age of stu­dents in Aus­tria is 27 years old and not every stu­dent begins their stu­dies at the age of 18. The cur­rent rules igno­re the rea­li­ty of the very group of peop­le they are inten­ded to relieve.

Faci­li­ta­ti­on of part-time studies

65% of stu­dents work along­side their stu­dies, most­ly to be able to finan­ce them. This addi­tio­nal time­ly bur­den makes it impos­si­ble for many to com­ple­te their stu­dies in the mini­mum peri­od of stu­dy and thus are in the situa­ti­on of having to pay tui­ti­on fees or lose their enti­t­le­ment to sub­si­dies. We, the­re­fo­re, call for a lon­ger exemp­ti­on from tui­ti­on fees and a lon­ger enti­t­le­ment to allo­wan­ces for pro­ven employment.

Finan­cial reli­ef for stu­dents with care obligations

Tho­se, who are rai­sing a child or caring for a fami­ly mem­ber, are unab­le to stu­dy full-time and will not be able to com­ple­te their stu­dies wit­hin the mini­mum peri­od of stu­dy. But this work also deser­ves to be appre­cia­ted. That is why we are cal­ling for a lon­ger exemp­ti­on from tui­ti­on fees and a lon­ger enti­t­le­ment to sub­si­dies for all stu­dents with care obligations.

More fle­xi­bi­li­ty and self-deter­mi­na­ti­on at uni­ver­si­ties of app­lied sci­en­ces through part-time study

In addi­ti­on to the inter­rup­ti­on of their stu­dies, UASs stu­dents should be allo­wed to split their aca­de­mic year into two years, for rea­sons known in advan­ce, and thus app­ly for a part-time stu­dy pro­gram for this period.

The cour­ses of the first and second year, as well as tran­si­tio­nal pro­vi­si­ons, in the event of a pos­si­ble chan­ge of stu­dy plan, must be deter­mi­ned tog­e­ther with the head of the program.

Dog trans­port on public trans­port also free of char­ge for students

Stu­dents have to pay half the fare for their dog in most of Aus­tria. In some Aus­tri­an cities, a dog can be brought free of char­ge with the annu­al ticket. Stu­dents who take their dog on public trans­port incur expen­ses for each trip – if you take your dog with you on public trans­port every day, you incur cos­ts almost three times as much as a stu­dent semes­ter ticket costs.

Espe­cial­ly during the COVID-19 pan­de­mic, the num­ber of dog owners has demons­tra­b­ly incre­a­sed. In many cases, a dog is indis­pensable as social and emo­tio­nal sup­port. We, the­re­fo­re, call for the free trans­por­ta­ti­on of dogs on the means of trans­port of the Aus­tri­an public trans­port asso­cia­ti­ons to impo­se an addi­tio­nal unbe­ara­ble finan­cial bur­den on stu­dents with dogs. In addi­ti­on, the trans­por­ta­ti­on of pets must be inclu­ded in the nego­tia­ti­on of the 1−2−3 ticket alrea­dy announ­ced by the government.

Aboli­ti­on of tui­ti­on fees

Edu­ca­ti­on is a human right and must be free­ly acces­si­ble to ever­yo­ne! Social, finan­cial, and eco­no­mic aspects should not be a rea­son for stu­dy­ing exclu­si­on. That is why we are clear­ly against tui­ti­on fees and the­re­fo­re call for their abolition.

We are par­ti­cu­lar­ly cri­ti­cal that stu­dents from third coun­tries are struc­tu­ral­ly dis­ad­van­ta­ged by paying signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her tui­ti­on fees right from the start of their stu­dies. This must be abolished.

No addi­tio­nal cos­ts during your studies

Many stu­dents have to work along­side their stu­dies to make a living. The cos­ts of cour­ses (excur­si­ons, exer­ci­ses, labo­ra­to­ries) repre­sent a fur­ther bur­den. The uni­ver­si­ties are to be given an addi­tio­nal bud­get for it – the cos­ts must not be left to the students.

Finan­cial bar­ri­ers hin­der the pro­gress of stu­dies. We demand that spe­cia­list lite­ra­tu­re and scripts are gene­ral­ly free and easi­ly acces­si­ble. This can be done, for examp­le, employ­ing an online libra­ry that is acces­si­ble throughout Aus­tria. Fur­ther­mo­re, the soft­ware requi­red for the cour­ses must be free­ly acces­si­ble and free of charge.

Inclusive institutions of higher education

Man­da­to­ry trai­ning against uncon­scious prejudices

Ever­yo­ne has pre­ju­di­ces. Howe­ver, espe­cial­ly in the cour­se of appoint­ment and post­doc­to­ral lec­tu­re qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on com­mit­tees, it is important to cri­ti­cal­ly exami­ne them. We must not give any chan­ce to pre­ju­di­ces about the gen­der, age, or ori­gin of can­di­da­tes. We, the­re­fo­re, call for man­da­to­ry trai­ning on uncon­scious bias for all Commissioners.

Offers for stu­dents with child­ren at universities

5.6% of all stu­dents have child­ren, under the age of 14, living with them. In order to enab­le the­se stu­dents to stu­dy, child­ca­re ser­vices must be expan­ded direct­ly at the uni­ver­si­ties. Chan­ging tables and nur­sing rooms must also be offe­red across the board.

Acces­si­bi­li­ty at universities

Uni­ver­si­ties throughout Aus­tria must beco­me acces­si­ble for peop­le with disa­bi­li­ties to be able to pro­vi­de inclu­si­ve edu­ca­ti­on. To this end, it is man­da­to­ry to crea­te an appro­pria­te infra­st­ruc­tu­re. In addi­ti­on, uni­ver­si­ties should offer fle­xi­ble cour­ses for stu­dents with long-term disa­bi­li­ties and or chro­nic ill­nes­ses and, whe­re appro­pria­te, offer exams in a bar­ri­er-free environment.

Sim­pli­fied reco­gni­ti­on of for­eign qualifications

To ensu­re mobi­li­ty among stu­dents and young sci­en­tists, diplo­mas or matri­cu­la­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes from all tho­se coun­tries that have gua­ran­te­ed the qua­li­ty of tho­se diplo­mas must be ack­now­led­ged. Cur­r­ent­ly, even from EU coun­tries, such noti­fi­ca­ti­ons are only pos­si­ble with a high degree of bureau­cra­cy. A reco­gni­ti­on data­ba­se, simi­lar to the Ana­bin Data­ba­se (https://​ana​bin​.kmk​.org) in Ger­ma­ny, must be intro­du­ced in Aus­tria to faci­li­ta­te rapid and trans­pa­rent procedures.

Pro­mo­ting gen­der diver­si­ty and awareness

Acti­ve pro­mo­ti­on of gen­der diver­si­ty at uni­ver­si­ties by rai­sing awa­reness among exis­ting tea­ching staff is essen­ti­al. Tea­chers must attend man­da­to­ry trai­ning on women’s empower­ment, gen­der diver­si­ty, and gen­der awa­reness. In addi­ti­on, uni­ver­si­ties must offer their cour­ses to make stu­dents awa­re of gen­der issues.

Queer pro­mo­ti­on at universities

Lack of know­ledge about issu­es of the queer com­mu­ni­ty and discri­mi­na­ti­on of queer peop­le are still omni­pre­sent at our uni­ver­si­ties. Uni­ver­si­ties need to sen­si­ti­ze their mem­bers, to issu­es of the queer com­mu­ni­ty, in the form of trai­ning or infor­ma­ti­on cam­pai­gns. In addi­ti­on, each uni­ver­si­ty should set up its con­ta­ct point for queer peop­le. Uni­sex toi­lets must be available.

Inde­pen­dent Anti-Discri­mi­na­ti­on Cen­ter at Universities

Discri­mi­na­ti­on and abu­se are unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly a bit­ter rea­li­ty at our uni­ver­si­ties. This is why the­re is a need for low-thres­hold coun­se­ling faci­li­ties, which can also be used anony­mous­ly. Mem­bers of the uni­ver­si­ties must have a con­ta­ct point that offers them both psy­cho­lo­gi­cal and legal advice and pla­ces them elsewhere.

We call for the estab­lish­ment of inde­pen­dent advice cen­ters for discri­mi­na­ti­on, at all uni­ver­si­ties! The­se advice cen­ters must be staf­fed com­pet­ent­ly and inde­pendent­ly. Clo­se co-ope­ra­ti­on with the Working Group on Equal Tre­at­ment is necessa­ry, in order to pre­ser­ve the legal struc­tures. In addi­ti­on, they are to report annu­al­ly to the Sena­te, on the forms of discri­mi­na­ti­on repor­ted and the advice given, and to pro­po­se con­cre­te impro­ve­ments for the university.

Quality in academic teaching

Com­pul­so­ry didac­tic trai­ning and con­se­quen­ces in the event of non-ful­film­ent of tea­cher duties or uni­ver­si­ties duties

All tho­se who enter appren­ti­ce­ship and have not com­ple­ted or have insuf­fi­ci­ent didac­tic trai­ning must be obli­ged to do didac­tic trai­ning. Fur­ther­mo­re, in the event of legal vio­la­ti­ons, by the uni­ver­si­ty or the lec­tu­rers (e. g too long cor­rec­tion peri­ods, fail­u­re to offer exami­na­ti­on dates), con­se­quen­ces must be fol­lo­wed. And this defect cor­rec­ted as soon as possible.

Expan­si­on of infra­st­ruc­tu­re at hig­her edu­ca­ti­on institutions

Uni­ver­si­ties are not only pla­ces of tea­ching, but also pla­ces of lear­ning. For this, stu­dents must be pro­vi­ded with the necessa­ry infra­st­ruc­tu­re! We, the­re­fo­re, call for the crea­ti­on of suf­fi­ci­ent stu­dy and group work­pla­ces and for an exten­si­on of the ope­ning hours of uni­ver­si­ties and libra­ries. In addi­ti­on, the­re is a need for com­mon rooms and com­mu­nal kit­chens for students.

As part of the cour­ses, we also call for an expan­si­on of the equip­ment in lec­tu­re halls, semi­nar rooms, and labo­ra­to­ries. The qua­li­ty and relia­bi­li­ty of the infra­st­ruc­tu­re must also be guaranteed.

High-qua­li­ty tea­ching as an essen­ti­al part of a uni­ver­si­ty career

Uni­ver­si­ties must reward excel­lent tea­ching. Whe­re­as nega­tively eva­lua­ted tea­ching should be impro­ved by appro­pria­te trai­ning. This requi­res a low-thres­hold eva­lua­ti­on sys­tem to allow as many stu­dents as pos­si­ble, to express their opi­ni­ons anony­mous­ly. The results must be made avail­ab­le to stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves and ser­ve as a basis for impro­ve­ments or awards of cour­ses. We demand that an attrac­ti­ve incen­ti­ve sys­tem is crea­ted for good tea­ching and that in the event of insuf­fi­ci­ent didac­tic skills, fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on and trai­ning be com­pul­so­ry. Fur­ther­mo­re, the invol­ve­ment in com­mit­tees should be rewar­ded becau­se here too the frame­work con­di­ti­ons for high-qua­li­ty tea­ching are being worked on.

Stu­dies which can be studied

We must ful­ly inte­gra­te the rea­li­ty of stu­dents’ lives into decisi­on-making pro­ces­ses at uni­ver­si­ties. Con­si­de­ra­ti­on of the aspect of stu­dy abi­li­ty and stu­dent per­spec­ti­ves is the­re­fo­re essen­ti­al. Stu­dent-cen­te­red tea­ching and lear­ning should be taken into account when designing cur­ri­cu­la. Aspects, such as modu­la­riz­a­ti­on, stu­dent mobi­li­ty (e. g. via mobi­li­ty win­dows), as well as free­dom of choice, and indi­vi­du­al focus, are to be taken into account in terms of stu­dy abi­li­ty. In addi­ti­on, we must impro­ve struc­tu­ral frame­work con­di­ti­ons (e. g. faci­li­ta­ting reco­gni­ti­on, short cor­rec­tion peri­ods, com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty of cour­ses with other obli­ga­ti­ons, offe­ring suf­fi­ci­ent exami­na­ti­on pla­ces) to con­tri­bu­te to a stu­dy able degree.

Fair con­di­ti­ons in appoint­ment and habi­li­ta­ti­on commissions

To ensu­re the best pos­si­ble selec­tion of com­mit­tees, it is man­da­to­ry to take into account the diver­si­ty of mem­bers, in par­ti­cu­lar gen­der balan­ce, in the com­po­si­ti­on of com­mit­tees. It must also be made clear that any mis­con­cep­ti­ons of any kind must be defi­ned and decla­red befo­re the start of the Commission.

Fur­ther­mo­re, we are in favour of streng­t­he­ning and legal­ly ancho­ring the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on rights of stu­dents, in abbre­via­ted appoint­ment pro­ce­du­res, as well as the aboli­ti­on of the ECTS limit, for the sen­ding of stu­dents to committees.

Third pari­ty in Committees

To repre­sent the inte­rests of stu­dents, a balan­ce of power is nee­ded on the boards of hig­her edu­ca­ti­on insti­tu­ti­ons. At the moment, many decisi­ons are being made over the heads of stu­dents and our needs are being sub­or­di­na­ted to poli­ti­cal and finan­cial interests.

To chan­ge this, we demand that at least one third of the seats on com­mit­tees, be fil­led by stu­dents, to be able to repre­sent the stu­dents’ con­cerns with a strong voice.

Internships

Fair com­pen­sa­ti­on for internships

For many degree cour­ses, com­ple­ting internships are man­da­to­ry and often occu­p­ies over 40 hours per week. Addi­tio­nal­ly, exams must be pas­sed, and one must make a living. For many stu­dents, this is a source of gre­at stress. Stu­dents are not just a cheap resour­ce for com­pa­nies pro­vi­ding internships; our valu­able work deser­ves to be appre­cia­ted. For this rea­son, we demand fair com­pen­sa­ti­on for internships.

Finan­cial sup­port for stu­dents par­ti­ci­pa­ting in sum­mer schools

Sum­mer schools are desi­gned to coun­ter­act impen­ding edu­ca­tio­nal dis­ad­van­ta­ges that may have deve­lo­ped due to dif­fe­rent cir­cum­s­tan­ces pupils may have had to over­co­me during the Covid-19 situa­ti­on. Par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the­se sum­mer schools is free of char­ge. Tea­cher trai­ning stu­dents inst­ruct child­ren and are cur­r­ent­ly com­pen­sa­ted with 5 ECTS credits. This inclu­des pre­pa­ra­ti­on and fol­low-up courses.

We demand a fair model that gua­ran­tees stu­dents par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the­se sum­mer schools, tra­vel reim­bur­se­ment, and rea­son­ab­le com­pen­sa­ti­on. Fur­ther­mo­re, all requi­red tea­ching equip­ment must be pro­vi­ded for stu­dents or an expen­se allowance.

Aus­tria-wide internship qua­li­ty seal

We demand the intro­duc­tion of an Aus­tria-wide qua­li­ty seal for internships. Com­pa­nies pro­vi­ding internships are rated based on a list of cri­te­ria (sala­ry, qua­li­ty of super­vi­si­on, working hours, etc.). Com­pa­nies and orga­niz­a­ti­ons with good working con­di­ti­ons will recei­ve an internship qua­li­ty seal from the Aus­tri­an Natio­nal Stu­dents’ Uni­on. A list of all com­pa­nies and orga­niz­a­ti­ons that have recei­ved the seal is publicly avail­ab­le. Stu­dents bene­fit from hig­her trans­pa­ren­cy of working con­di­ti­ons at the internship, while com­pa­nies and orga­niz­a­ti­ons pro­fit from more app­li­ca­ti­ons from moti­va­ted students.

Strengthening student representatives

Com­men­ting pro­ce­du­re for stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves befo­re per­for­mance agree­ment periods

Stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves should be obli­ga­ted to be invol­ved in preli­mi­na­ry talks for per­for­mance agree­ments and deve­lo­p­ment plans. As the­se docu­ments dis­cuss key aspects and com­mit­ments for insti­tu­ti­ons of hig­her edu­ca­ti­on, stu­dent par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on is vital for the inclu­si­on of stu­dents’ con­cerns for future deve­lo­p­ments at insti­tu­ti­ons of hig­her education.

Stron­ger rights for stu­dent representatives

When repre­sen­ting stu­dents‘ inte­rests, one will ine­vi­ta­b­ly express cri­ti­cism towards tea­chers and often one’s exami­ners. To sepa­ra­te repre­sen­ta­ti­on work from one’s gra­des, legal pro­tec­tion is nee­ded. The cur­rent legal situa­ti­on inclu­des the right to an exami­na­ti­on com­mis­si­on. Howe­ver, it does not pro­vi­de a solu­ti­on for cour­ses with the con­ti­nuous exami­na­ti­on. This needs to change.

Stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­on work in Aus­tria is based on vol­un­ta­ry work. Stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves work by con­vic­tion and invest time, money, and many dif­fe­rent resour­ces doing so. This must not lead to dis­ad­van­ta­ges, which is why legal pro­tec­tion is nee­ded. In addi­ti­on to the cur­rent legal situa­ti­on for stu­dy grant enti­t­le­ment exten­si­on, we demand the right to wai­ve tui­ti­on fees for stu­dent representatives.

When someo­ne works as a stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ve, they should be enti­t­led to bene­fi­t­ing from cer­tain rights. Cur­r­ent­ly, many com­mit­ted stu­dents are exclu­ded from the legal defi­ni­ti­on of a stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ve. This defi­ni­ti­on needs to be rewor­ked so that, for examp­le, class repre­sen­ta­ti­ves, who play a gre­at role in repre­sen­ta­ti­on work at Uni­ver­si­ties of App­lied Sci­en­ces are inclu­ded in the future.

Sup­port for net­wor­king bet­ween local representatives

We will con­ti­nue to sup­port net­wor­king and voca­tio­nal trai­ning for pro­gram-level stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves, depart­ments, and insti­tu­ti­on-level stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves. This assi­s­tance must be orga­ni­zed and finan­ced by the Aus­tri­an Natio­nal Stu­dents’ Uni­on, among others, to pro­vi­de expe­ri­en­ced con­sul­ta­ti­on and strong repre­sen­ta­ti­on for all students.

We demand the expan­si­on of trai­ning offers for pro­gram-level and insti­tu­ti­on-level repre­sen­ta­ti­ves, as the­se levels work very clo­se­ly with stu­dents. Pro­gram-level and insti­tu­ti­on-level repre­sen­ta­ti­ves know best what stu­dents need to ensu­re a suc­cess­ful stu­dy and per­so­nal life. This work needs to be hono­red and encou­ra­ged by pro­vi­ding voca­tio­nal trai­ning, free of char­ge in all are­as of respon­si­bi­li­ty stu­dent repre­sen­ta­ti­ves have, as well as soft skills like nego­tia­ti­on stra­te­gy and rhe­to­ric trai­ning. This is the only way of ensu­ring the best repre­sen­ta­ti­on work possible.