We are a student body independent of party politics and are opposed to any party politics in the Austrian National Student Union.
The interests of the students are our top priority! Representing them works best, independently of party politics. Financial and ideological independence – without a parliamentary party in the background – enables us to act unaffiliated and independently.
A good student body must be critical and must not lose sight of its actual tasks due to a relationship of dependency on parliamentary parties – party interests must not take the place of the interests of the students!
All students should have the opportunity to help shape the Austrian National Student Union and thus their University Student Union. We are an association of independent lists at the Austrian universities. For us, the involvement of all students in all decision-making processes of the Austrian National Student Union work is of central importance. Thanks to low-threshold participation options, all students have a place with us.
For us, it is essential that non-party and non-attached student representatives and student organizations and institutions have a contact person with us and that their concerns are heard, as engagement does not depend on group membership.
We advocate for inclusive, diverse, and accessible universities for people with disabilities. We want to break up discriminatory structures and actively encourage more diversity among teachers and students.
For this very reason, we firmly reject any form of discrimination, be it based on gender, age, sexual orientation, skin color, social or geographical origin, ethnicity, physical and psychological impairments, religion, opinion, or political attitude. We take an active stance against discriminatory actions and statements.
It is important to us to make communication within the Austrian National Student Union work as freely accessible as possible to all students. To achieve this, we need to communicate it transparently. The Austrian National Student Union must publish its decisions, the reason why its finances and personnel decisions.
As FLÖ, we disclose our campaign costs every period to take a step towards a transparent Austrian National Student Union.
The reality of students does not end as soon as they leave the lecture halls. The life of students has many facets and is shaped by a wide variety of influences. Therefore, it would be unrealistic to say that the mandate of the student council ends with education law and scholarships. FLÖ is hence committed to maintaining and actively exercising its general political mandate.
Students are the largest group of people at universities. We do not see ourselves as their customers or as products but as jointly responsible affiliates. As such, we consider student participation in all kinds of university processes to be essential. Universities thrive on the interplay between research and teaching, which would not be possible without students. Therefore, students must be involved in all decision-making processes at universities, for example, through the equal representation of third parties on the commissions and the development of democratic structures.
We are committed to a study law that secures students and enables a qualitative study. Regardless of whether it is a university of applied sciences, teacher training college, private university, private higher education institute, or university, all students deserve security in their studies and exams!
We welcome the autonomy of the universities, but we see uniform minimum standards in the law of study as a prerequisite for qualitative study.
We criticize the transformation of universities into pure educational institutions.
For us, the focus is on students. We do not see the mere consumption and reproduction of knowledge as the central task of the university but the teaching of current and target group-oriented teaching content and the promotion of critical and independent thinking. Modern and high-quality teaching should enable students to engage critically with current topics and research areas. Teaching should be continuously developed based on current didactic and technical findings and be implemented holistically as a unit with research.
A central objective of higher education institutions should be to promote and ensure the quality of established studies. This includes aspects such as the ability to study, appropriate supervision in immanent courses, ECTS fairness, compatibility with work and care obligations.
To ensure responsible management in research, we advocate the establishment of independent staff units for the evaluation of research projects concerning ethical issues. They also intend to serve as an advisory center for researchers, students, and lecturers on the subject of ethical research. Where possible, we must disclose the source of third-party funding to ensure transparency. Furthermore, we call for impact assessments of research projects at universities, which must be disclosed.
Teachers should also be aware of their responsibility and address ethical issues in their teaching content and encourage students to consider and critically question topics.
We are committed to ensuring that students can organize their studies with flexibility, as the individual focus is essential to the quality of their studies. It includes the dismantling of prerequisite chains and a sufficiently large number of freely selectable ECTS credits. It should enable students to adapt their studies to their reality of life and interests.
We are opposed to any financial obstacles during and before studying, be it tuition fees, deposits, or admission fees. We believe that access to education must not be restricted – education is a human right! The role of the government is to ensure that the capacity of existing universities is increased accordingly and that the necessary resources are provided for this purpose. By creating the right framework conditions at universities, free, open access to higher education is to be made possible for all those who aspire to study.
For us, education is one of the highest assets of society. Universities are centers of discourse and crucial starting points for social progress. Universities must therefore be publicly funded. If universities are dependent on money from the economy, free research and teaching are impossible. Third-party funding should only be additional revenue and not be essential for the operation of higher education institutions.
We advocate for extensive support for students and, in particular, strive to develop a system of grants that are adapted to the realities of students’ lives. Cheap living, affordable, high-quality food in the cafeteria, and discounted tickets for public transport are also important to us. We are committed to removing financial hurdles in the university landscape. Neither the financial position of the student nor the income of their parents should decide whether to start or successfully complete the course. Studying must be made possible regardless of living conditions!
We are particularly committed to promoting and supporting first-generation students (students who have no university graduates in their family background), students with a migration background, and all students from marginalized groups. It is often more difficult for them to begin their studies, to progress successfully in their studies, and to complete them, which is why there should be offers of support and orientation such as individual advice for these students. The parent’s level of education and country of origin must not be decisive for the educational path of the next generation.
In our networked world, international exchange is absolutely necessary. This should also be made possible for students. For this reason, we are committed to facilitating participation in exchange programs – both for outgoing students and incoming students – and for better recognition of achievements abroad.
Furthermore, students from third countries may no longer be discriminated against by paying significantly higher tuition fees.
For teachers and students, the same requirements should be placed on their language level. For international students, it must be possible to provide the required language certificates without additional costs or to learn the required languages at the university at the beginning of their studies. Courses and language tests are to be offered free of charge by the universities.