Study grant for EU-student due to integration in the Austrian education system

4. August 2020
oeh hp geschafft fall 18 bcb

Won by the ÖH: With the help of the ÖH, the student is awarded study grants for her bachelor’s degree.

After studying in Croatia for 2 years, Student F decides to move to Austria and start a bachelor’s degree program here. Ms. F speaks fluent German, after all she was born in Austria, spends her first 12 years of life in Austria and also attends school here. She then moves to Croatia with her parents.

In the 5th semester of her bachelor studies in Austria, she applies for study assistance. For the time being, the study grant authority awards her the study grant in a lower amount. Ms. F appeals against this decision. In the subsequent decision, the authority suddenly denies her the entire subsidy and reclaims the amounts already received. She had no right of permanent residence and, moreover, did not pursue any professional activity in Austria. Thus, she was not on an equal footing when it came to receiving the student grant.

Students from European member states are not automatically entitled to Austrian study grants under the same conditions. They must be equal. Equality exists if students are either professionally active in Austria and qualify as “migrant workers”, if they have a right of permanent residence, or if there is a so-called “integration into the Austrian education system”.

With the support of the Österreichische Hochschüler_innenschaft (ÖH), the costs of proceedings before the Supreme Court are finally covered.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has already dealt with the question of when “integration into the Austrian education system” exists on several occasions. The Court assumes a decision on a case-by-case basis, taking into account many circumstances that may express the attachment to the benefit state. These include residence and citizenship, but also schooling, employment, language skills, family connections, or other social conditions. Thus, integration into the education system can be given by completing a considerable part of the schooling in Austria or also by attending an Austrian school abroad.

Overall, the Administrative Court in its decision (VwGH of 25.06.2019, Ro 2018/10/0028-4) considers the degree of integration into the Austrian education system in the case of Ms. F to be sufficient and also takes into account the long past stay in Austria during her childhood, school attendance, language skills and the four bachelor’s degree semesters already completed in Austria.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, the study grant authority awards Ms. F the unreduced study grant for the entire period applied for.
Won by the ÖH: With the help of the ÖH, the student is awarded study grants for her bachelor’s degree.

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