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WHAT IS THE CORONA EMERGENCY FUND?

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.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE FUNDING?

You can apply by the 31th of March at the latest if you suffer through temporary financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be the case if you or your parents have lost their job(s) or sudden, unexpected payments occured. Additionally, you must provide a proof of performance from your academic institution.

HOW CAN I APPLY?

You can only apply using the online form HERE, forms delivered by email can’t be processed.
Die Antragstellung ist ausschließlich über das Onlineformular möglich. Anträge per Mail werden nicht entgegengenommen.

To apply, please download the corona funds application form (PDF) and sign the document on page 3 and 6. You can either sing it by hand and upload a copy to the corresponding section of the online application form afterwards (as PDF!), or save it to your phone and sign it via mobile phone signature (must include a visible signature block!). After adding the mobile phone signature , you can save the file as PDF and upload it to the online form.

If neither is an option, you can copy the three passages printed on page 6 of the application form (written in bold letters and starting with “I...”) onto an empty sheet of paper and sign it. Afterwards, scan/ take a picture of the signed agreement and upload it to the “further documents” section of the online application form.

To find out which necessary documents are required, please take a look at the sections of the online application form. Antragsformular aufgelistet und entsprechend in die untenstehenden Felder hochzuladen.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS MY APPLICATION?

The processing period can take up to several weeks. Please understand that we are unable to answer questions about the status of your application during the processing period. As soon as we came to a decision, we will send you the results per mail. Please also check your Spam-Inbox.

CAN I APPLY IF I ALREADY RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE ÖH?

If you have already received financial aid from the social fund of the Federal Austrian Students Union (ÖH) or some subsidy from the ÖH at your personal academic institution during the last year, you are not eligible to apply.
However, this only applies if the previous application has been accepted. In instances where past requests have been denied, submission is still possible.

WHY HAS MY APPLICATION BEEN DECLINED?

Requests will be rejected if the application form was incomplete or the conditions set in the present guidelines were not fulfilled.

CAN I REAPPLY AFTER MY APPLICATION GOT REJECTED?

Reapplication is possible if the application was incomplete or if your financial situation has changed since the previous submission of your request.

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?

If you have more detailed questions that weren’t answered by the FAQs, contact us via email at: coronafonds@oeh.ac.at. Please do not inquire information about the status of your application - you will receive the results as soon as processing is done.

HOW CAN I CREATE/ EDIT AN PDF FILE FOR THE UPLOAD OF THE APPLICATION FORM?

Windows:
A great tool is the PDF24 Creator
https://tools.pdf24.org/en/creator

Mac:
You can transform every file into an PDF by “printing” them. Afterwards, you can merge the PDF files in the “Preview” image viewer.
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202945

Android:
The CamScanner App, for instance (the free version is sufficient)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.intsig.camscanner

Linux and other operating systems:
You can open, edit and merge PDF files with the current version of LibreOffice Draw.

CAN THIRD-COUNTRY STUDENTS APPLY?

Yes, all third-country students that are currently enrolled at an Austrian university can apply.

CAN I WRITE THE “REASONS FOR APPLICATION” IN ENGLISH?

Yes.

WHAT SHOULD I DO, IF I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS?

We need all necessary documents that can verify your financial situation. If you currently don’t have access to the required documents, write an detailed account explaining your situation under the item “reasons for application” in the application form.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

Please note, that they haven‘t been translated yet and are only available in German (as per May 9, 2020).

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?

You can write an email to coronainfo@oeh.ac.at at any time. We do our best to reply as fast as possible.

I HAVEN’T PAID MY TUITION/ STUDENT UNION FEE YET. DO I HAVE TO PAY THE FEES UNTIL THE END OF THE EXTENSION PERIOD ON THE 30. April, 2020?

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.

ALL EXAMS AND LECTURES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. HOW WILL THEY PROCEED?

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.

MY COURSE LECTURER WANTS TO IMPLEMENT DISTANCE-LEARNING AND CHANGE THE EXAMINATION METHOD. IS HE/SHE ALLOWED TO DO SO?

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.).

DUE TO THE PANDEMIC I CAN NOT COMPLETE THE STEOP - AM I NOW UNABLE TO CONTINUE MY STUDIES?

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.

AM I ALLOWED TO BRING A WITNESSES TO AN ORAL EXAMINATION?

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.

MY INTERNET CONNECTION GOT DISRUPTED DURING AN EXAMINATION - WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?

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.

IS THERE A WAY TO ACCESS GRADED EXAMS ONLINE?

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.

I COULDN’T FINISH/SUBMIT MY THESIS BECAUSE THE UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN CLOSED, BUT THE DEADLINE FINISHES SOON - WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW?

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.

MY CURRICULUM EXPIRES IN SUMMER SEMESTER 2020 - WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

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.

HOW DOES AN ACADEMIC LEAVE OF ABSENCE WORK?

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.

FH: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH EXAMS AND LECTURES THAT WHERE CANCELLED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC?

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.

FH: IS THE LECTURER ALLOWED TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES TO THE METHOD OF EXAMINATION AND THE COURSE ITSELF?

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.

FH: I’M NOT HAPPY WITH CHANGES THAT HAPPENED, CAN I DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

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.

FH: AM I ALLOWED TO BRING WITNESSES TO AN ORAL EXAMINATION?

Yes, the examine is allowed to let at least one other person of his/her choosing witness the examination, either personally or online.

FH: WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT SEMESTER?

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.

FH: MY INTERNSHIP GOT CANCELLED - WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

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.

FH: MY INTERNET CONNECTION GOT DISRUPTED DURING AN EXAMINATION - WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?

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.

FH: I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE LITERATURE/ THE LABORATORY THAT I NEED TO FINISH MY THESIS (BACHELOR, MASTER, PHD) - WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

If measurements taken due to the pandemic hinder you from finishing your thesis the FH has to extend the period of submission.

FH: I AM UNABLE TO STUDY RIGHT NOW AND I THINK I WONT BE ABLE TO PASS MY BOARD EXAMINATION.

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.

FH: I FAILED MY BOARD EXAMINATION - WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

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.

I RECEIVE THE STUDY GRANT/ SCHOLARSHIP FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO EARN THEIR OWN LIVELIHOOD BUT DUE TO THE PANDEMIC I’M UNABLE TO COMPLETE THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF ECTS CREDITS. CAN I STILL RECEIVE FUNDING?

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.

I’M UNABLE TO CONTINUE MY STUDIES AS PLANNED - WILL THIS BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHILE PROCESSING FUTURE APPLICATIONS FOR THE STUDENT GRANT/ SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS EARNING THEIR OWN LIVELIHOOD?

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).

I WAS UNABLE TO APPLY TO THE STUDY GRANT/ SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDENTS EARNING THEIR OWN LIVELIHOOD DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND HAVE NOW SURPASSED THE AGE LIMIT TO RECEIVE FUNDING. IS THERE STILL A WAY TO RECEIVE SUPPORT?

(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.

I RECEIVE THE GRADUATION SCHOLARSHIP. WILL THE PERIOD TO RECEIVE FUNDING WILL BE EXTENDED?

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.

I HAVEN’T PAID THE STUDENT UNION FEE FOR THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020, HOW LONG AM I COVERED BY THE INSURANCE POLICY?

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.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

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).

TO RECEIVE THE STUDENT GRANT IN SS I NEED TO PROOF THAT I COMPLETED A TOTAL OF 20/ 30/ 90 ECTS-CREDITS DURING MY PREVIOUS SEMESTERS OR AT THE LATEST UNTIL 05/15 , 2020. HAS THE DEADLINE TO FILE THE REQUIRED PERFORMANCE RECORDS BEEN EXTENDED?

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.

IF I WANT TO RECEIVE THE STUDY GRANT DURING THE WINTER SEMESTER 2020/21 I NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF COMPLETING THE REQUIRED 20/ 30/ 90 ECTS-CREDITS BY DECEMBER 15, 2020. HAS THIS DEADLINE BEEN EXTENDED BY ANOTHER SEMESTER?

According to the directives: Yes. The deadline to provide the required amount of ECTS-credits has been extended by an additional semester.

I RECEIVE THE STUDY GRANT DURING THIS SEMESTER (SUMMER SEMESTER 2020). WILL I BE AUTOMATICALLY ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDING DURING THE NEXT 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.

I’VE READ SOMEWHERE THAT STUDENTS WHO RECEIVED THE STUDY GRANT DURING THE WINTER SEMESTER OF 2019/20 WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDING DURING THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020 - IS THIS TRUE?

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.

OUT OF SOME IMPORTANT REASON (E.G.: SICKNESS, CHILDCARE, ETC.) I STILL RECEIVED THE STUDY GRANT DURING MY 8TH SEMESTER. AM I AUTOMATICALLY ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDING DURING THE NEXT SEMESTER?

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.

I‘VE HEARD ABOUT THE NEUTRAL SEMESTER. DOES THIS MEAN THAT I CAN STILL RECEIVE THE STUDY GRANT DURING THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020, EVEN IF MY UNIVERSITY IS CLOSED AND THERE IS NO WAY OF COMPLETING EXAMS OR LECTURES?

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.

I’VE HEARED ABOUT THE NEUTRAL SEMESTER. DOES THIS MEAN, THAT I WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THE STUDY GRANT IN SUMMER SEMESTER 2020, EVEN IF I DO NOT PARTAKE IN LECTURES/ EXAMS/ ETC. THAT MY DEGREE PROGRAM IS OFFERING RIGHT NOW?

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.

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?

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.

I RECEIVE THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE/ EDUCATION BENEFITS/ ORPHANS PENSION/ HAVE A MAINTENANCE CLAIM/ RECEIVE STUDENT INSURANCE/ AM CO-INSURED WITH MY PARENTS. DOES THE NEUTRAL SEMESTER HAVE ANY INFLUENCE OVER THIS?

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: sozial@oeh.ac.at

WHERE CAN I FIND THE NEW AMENDMENT?

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