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The corona emergency fund was created by the Austrian Students Union (ÖH) to help those affected by the current crisis. If you are in financial hardship as a result of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, you have the opportunity to receive a subsidy in the form of a one-off payment.
- COVID-19-Universitäts- und Hochschulverordnung – C-UHV
- COVID-19-Fachhochschulverordnung – C-FHV
- COVID-19-Studienförderungsverordnung – C-StudFV
Please note, that they haven‘t been translated yet and are only available in German (as per May 9, 2020).
You can write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. We do our best to reply as fast as possible.
No, the extension period for admission and the registration for the continuation of your studies where extended to the 30. June, 2020.
Please note, that a condition to receive study grants is the notification of the continuation of enrollment, meaning that funding is not possible until the university received the payment.
According to the regulations, the period during which courses are not allowed to be held (e.g.: summer holidays, February, etc.) has been revoked. That means that all lectures and exams can be held during the months of the summer holiday (Juli, August, September).
The course lecturer are still legally obligated to offer at least three different dates for final exams per semester.
The course lecturer is allowed to change the used method, execution, assessment criterions and examination of the course at any time. Changes concerning exams must be officially announced before registration to the exam is possible. If changes to the examination method occurred, students have a right to drop the exam without any consequences (such as a negative exam result, etc.).
No, the rectorate of your academic institution can decide to extend the STEOP period by an additional semester - which would mean winter semester 2020/21 - if you enrolled in summer semester 2020. Additionally, the rector of your institution has the power to raise the maximum amount of ECTS credits that you’re allowed to obtain before finishing the STEOP.
Yes, the examine has the right to let at least one other person of his/her choosing witness the examination. This applies to personal as well as online examinations.
If the disruption was only for a short period of time, the exam can be continued. If the problem is persistent the exam has to be called off, but will not be considered as an attempt.
Yes, the completed exam including a examination record has to be prepared by the course lecturer and, if requested, be either send per email or by any other possible way to the student. Multiple choice examinations are an exemption.
If measurements taken due to the pandemic hinder you from finishing your thesis the institution is obligated to extend the period of submission. The extension period equals the time during which you where unable to continue to work on your thesis.
Curricula that expire in summer semester 2020 will be valid until the end of the winter semester 2020/21. There are no regulations on how to handle curricula that will expire after summer semester 2020. However, the academic institution itself has the legal power to decide about further proceedings and has the ability to act accordingly.
All students that are affected by the pandemic can apply for a leave of absence until a certain deadline that is set by the rectorate. All ECTS credits that were completed until this point stay valid, the tuition/students union fees don’t have to be paid or will be refunded.
The student can end the “general” leave of absence for the summer semester 2020 with the end of the extension period (30. June) if he/she wants to complete exams or lectures in the holiday months (July to September). If the student ends the leave of absence by the end of the extension period the the tuition/ÖH fees has to be reimbursed.
Most FHS already have successfully adapted to the current situation and offer distance learning. If a course can’t be held online because it requires on-hand experience, the course must either be completed during the holiday months (July, August, etc.), simultaneously to your courses of the following semester or after completing the 4th or 6th semester.
Yes, he/she is allowed to do so. Ask the head of the study program or the Austrian students representatives (ÖH) of your FH to receive a guideline concerning online exams. All changes to used methods, dates, execution and assessment criterion of the course must be relayed to the students in a timely manner. Please keep in mind, that even if changes are less than ideal, you might profit more from completing it now than to await the issue.
If changes to the examination method or the exam date occurred, every student has the right to drop out. However, this might lead to long delays as the exams has to be taken at another point in time. If you have issues you can always contact the course lecturer and/ or the head of your study program.
Yes, the examine is allowed to let at least one other person of his/her choosing witness the examination, either personally or online.
Every academic institution handles the current situation differently. At the moment, we can only make assumptions about if and when students will be able to attend courses again. The best way to receive information is to contact the head of your studies or the students representatives of your institution.
As an unfortunate reaction to an exceptional situation, several companies have cancelled all internship positions for this summer. The internships can be replaced by some form of compensation or can be completed later on like in the holiday months, during the following semester or after completing the 6. or 4. semester. You can get more detailed information for your specific program from the head of the study program.
If the disruption was only for a short period of time, the exam can be continued. If the problem is persistent the exam has to be called off, but it will not be considered as an valid attempt.
If measurements taken due to the pandemic hinder you from finishing your thesis the FH has to extend the period of submission.
The current situation puts a lot of pressure on all of us. Many students struggle with curfews and being unable to leave home to study, and not all types of learners are compatible with distance learning. It is completely natural to feel overwhelmed by the current circumstances. If you need a break, feel free to talk to your head of the study program about taking a break from your studies.
If you have already received a negative result for the board examination you can repeat the last academic year. If you can proof that you where in any way affected by the pandemic (e.g.: your where quarantined, volunteered, took care of parents/children/,etc.) you have a legal claim to repeat the exam.
We recommend that you get in contact with the ÖH at your academic institution to talk with them about the circumstances you’re in and get consultation about further steps you can take. All applications for a repetition of an academic year have to be filed with the head of the study program.
Even if you’re unable to provide the required ECTS credits during summer semester 2020, you will still receive funding. The support period as well as and the deadline to file the required performance records will be automatically extended by another semester.
The summer semester 2020 will not be taken into account regarding the maximum support period. That means, that it is not included into the calculation of the maximum time period that funding can be granted (= minimum duration of study of your degree + 1 additional semester of tolerance).
(E.g.: An individual was unable to finish the university entrance qualification exam due to the pandemic)
You are still eligible to receive a study grand if you can proof that delays occurred due to the pandemic. Under these circumstances the age limited can be raised by 6 months.
Yes, you can apply to prolong your scholarship for a maximum of 6 months. This is only possible if you can proof that delays in your studies where due to the pandemic.
The student union fee provides an accident and liability insurance. If the student was regularly enrolled in winter semester 19/20, he/she is covered by the policy until the end of the extension period which was extended to the 30 June, 2020 for the WS19/20.
According to the directives: Yes! §3 Abs C-StuFV roughly states: “If a student continued his/ her studies in summer semester 2020, the period to proof an required academic success will be extended by an additional semester. This also applies to students that need to provide the required performance records of previous semesters to continue to receive funding in summer semester 2020.
According to our estimations: If a student had to complete a total of 30 ECTS-credits until the 15th of May to continue to receive funding in the summer semester 2020, he/ she has now an additional semester to complete the required amount of ECTS-credits.
According to the directives: Yes. The deadline to provide the required amount of ECTS-credits has been extended by an additional semester.
According to the directives: Yes. §3 Abs 2 C-StudFV roughly states: “ If a student hasn’t surpassed the legal minimum duration of his/ her studies (§18 StudFG) or the legally defined additional semesters of tolerance (§19 StudFG), the maximum time limit to receive funding will be extended by an additional semester.
No. In this respective, measurements previously announced by the government where not implemented. If the eligibility period for the study grant ended with winter semester 2019/ 2020, the student will not be able to receive additional funding.
Example: During my bachelor studies I received the regular student grant for seven semesters. Even though I’ve reached my 8th semester now, I am still eligible to receive funding because I had an important reason that obstructed me from continuing my studies (e.g.: because of sickness, volunteered for the ÖH, childcare, medical care of relatives, etc.). Am I automatically eligible to receive funding during the winter semester 2020 as well?
According to the directives: Yes. § 3 Abs 2 C-StuFV roughly states: “If a student hasn’t surpassed the legal minimum duration of his/ her studies (§18 StudFG) or the legally defined additional semesters of tolerance (§19 StudFG), the maximum time limit to receive funding will be extended by an additional semester.
According to the directives: Yes. § 2 C-StuFV roughly states: “If a student was eligible to receive funding in summer semester 2020, the eligibility of the student will be maintained, even if the applicant is obstructed from continuing his/ her studies due to the measurements taken by the higher academic institution as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The received study grant will not be refunded in the future.
A. Because I want to use the neutral semester to pursue other things than studying
B. I need to take care and provide for a child. Because my children are at home all day I am unable to partake in online courses or exams.
In case of A.: No. We highly recommend to take advantage of all available lectures and courses as the COVID-19 regulations state that the student must still be in pursuit of his/ her studies for the extended deadlines to apply. That means that the extended period of providing the required performance records will only be extended if the student was obstructed from continuing his/ her studies by causes related to the higher academic institution itself (cancelled lectures and exams, etc.).
If the student still has the possibility to complete lectures and/ or exams at his/ her higher academic institution (e.g.: through alternative examination methods like essays instead of exams, online examinations, etc.) and chooses not to partake in those out of any reasons, repayment claims might arise.
In case of B.: Unfortunately, the answer is also No as the same issues as in case A apply. The § 2 C-StudFV roughly states: “The entitlement to receive the student grant in summer semester 2020 remains, even if the students was unable to continue his/ her studies as planned due to measurements taken by the academic institutions as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
If the student was unable to continue his/ her studies because he/ she had to take care of a relative or children, the university itself is not at fault of the obstruction to the academic success of the student and therefore, repayment claims might occur.
Knowing fully well that it is a lot to ask for, we recommend that every student takes advantage of the lectures/ exams that their study program offers right now.
Excluded from this condition is the graduation scholarship (§ 3 Abs 4 C-StudFV) where the funding period can be extended by another semester if the student was obligated to take care of a relative/ child.
Full Question: AS I AM IN MY THIRD SEMESTER RIGHT NOW AND WANT TO CHANGE MY DEGREE PROGRAM, I’D NEED TO DO SO THIS SS 2020 TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FUNDING. DOES THE NEUTRAL SEMESTER MEAN THAT I’M ALLOWED TO CHANGE MY STUDY PROGRAM IN WS 2020/21, AS I AM NOT YET SURE WHICH PROGRAM TO CHOOSE?
According to the directives: Yes. §3 Abs 6 C-StudFV roughly states: “The summer semester 2020 will be left out of consideration if a student wants to change his/ her study program (§ 17 Abs 1 Z 2 and Abs 3 StudFG)”.
To continue to receive several subsidies (family allowance, student grant, etc.), a change of study program has to be done before the third semester of enrollment to the current degree program has passed. Otherwise a delayed change of a degree program applies, meaning that it if a student changes his/ her degree program after more than three semesters, the student has to provide an minimum amount of ECTS-credits in the new program before being eligible to receive further funding.
No. The C-StudFV only applies to the subsidies referred to under the student support act (e.g.: scholarship of individuals who earn their own livelihood, mobility grand, graduation scholarship, etc.). There are still some missing legal regulations concerning the problems that student have to face due to the pandemic and its consequences for higher academic institutions. If you have issues or need legal counseling, please feel free to contact the office for social policy of the ÖH: email@example.com
According to our legal team: Yes. However, the amendment to the FLAG doesn’t not provide specif-ic answers. The original regulations, according to § 2 Abs. 1 lit b state, that in a case of an unfore-seen or inevitable situation that occurred during a time period of at least three months, the deadline can be extended by an additional semester. As of right now, we believe that students that normally have until the 30th of November to provide proof of completing a total of 16 ECTS credits (or 8 “Se-mesterwochenstunden” = “SE”) in the previous two semesters, or 24 ECTS credits (or 12 SE) in the previous three semesters have an additional semester to complete the required amount of credits.
Yes. In general, the maximum time frame to receive the family allowance is the legal minimum duration of the study program plus two additional semesters of tolerance. The new regulations, according to §2 Abs 9 lit b FLAG roughly state: “The period of entitlement to receive funding as defined in Abs. 1 lit b (...) will be extended in accordance with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the duration of the crisis and depending on to the following conditions: (...) B) for children of legal age that visit an academic institutions as defined by the students support act (...), and that have a legal claim to receive the subsidy are able to receive funding for another semester or another year, if the maximum age limit to receive funding was not surpassed before the crisis occurred.”
No. Basically, the FLAG states that the maximum time to receive funding is until the 24th birthday or, in case of completing the civil service, pregnancy, etc., until the 25th birthday. For other reasons it is possible to receive funding for another semester. The new amendment §2 Abs 9 lit b FLAG further notes that: “The period of entitlement to receive funding as defined Abs. 1 lit. b (...) will be extended in accordance with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the dura-tion of the crisis and depending on to the following conditions: B) (...) for children of legal age that visit an academic institutions as defined by the students support act (...), and that have a legal claim to receive the subsidy are able to receive funding for another semester or another year, if the maxi-mum age limit to receive funding was not surpassed before the crisis occurred.”
We think the answer is yes, but in this case the regulations (§ 2 Abs 9 FLAG) do not provide detailed information. Therefore, we would highly recommend you to attend offered (online) exams/ lectures or try to complete courses as soon as it is possible again, as the legal ramifications aren’t clear yet.
... TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE I WILL NEED TO DO SO BEFORE THE THIRD SEMESTER OF THE FIRST PROGRAM HAS STARTED. DOES THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020 WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION OR COULD I LOSE MY ENTITLEMENT TO RECEIVE FUNDING?
Answer: According to our information: No. Unfortunately the new regulations do also not answer this case specifically. However, the change of study program is regulated by the student support act (StudFG) § 17 . § 3 Abs. 6 of the new COVID-19 directives concerning the student support act (C-StudFV) roughly states : “The summer semester 2020 will not be taken into consideration while changing the study program as defined in §17 Abs. 1 Z 2 and Abs. 3 StudFG.”
In general, a change of study program has to be done before the third semester, otherwise a delayed change of a degree program applies, meaning that it if a student changes his/ her degree program after more than three semesters, the student has to provide an minimum amount of credits in the new program before being eligible to receive further funding.
According to our legal team: Yes. But, as with some other questions, the amendment §2 Abs. 9 FLAG does not provide a specific answer to this. Please keep in mind, that you should try to continue your studies as much as possible, especially if the crisis situation has passed. Also, please note that this does not apply to the student grant!
FAQs of the Ministry of Family Affairs can be found here: FAQs of the Ministry of Family Affairs
In addition, the Ministry of Family Affairs has issued an explanatory information in which specific individual cases are outlined: Information sheet of the Ministry of Family Affairs
FAQs of the Ministry of Science can be found here: FAQs of the Ministry of Science
FAQs of the Study Grant Authority can be found here: FAQs of the Study Grant Authority
Courses and exams are held mainly in digital form. Nevertheless, individual, non-substitutable courses or exams can take place at universities in person as an exception - this includes e.g. laboratory exercises that cannot be adapted for distance learning due to the technical modalities.
Here are a few important numbers for when isolation becomes psychologically/physically stressful:
Telephone counseling: 142
Women's helpline: 0800 222 555
Psychological counseling for students: 01 402 30 91
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.