WHAT IS THE AUSTRIAN HIGHLY SCHOLARSHIP?
The ÖH is the legal representation of all students and has existed since 1945. As the Austrian National Union of Students, we provide political representation and try to improve the everyday situation of students through numerous services. On our website www.oeh.ac.at we therefore offer information on various topics that have certainly caused you headaches during your studies, as well as information for life away from university.
We are fighting for free education and a good life for all to become a reality – and for more money to finally be invested in our universities now.
EXECUTIVE MILESTONES FROM 2021-2023
Covid-19, Corona Hardening Fund
That the Corona pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for many is indisputable. Numerous difficulties stood in the way of students – a not insignificant part: precariousness. “Studi” jobs were eliminated, but the bills remained the same.
Corona Hardship Fund
The previously existing Corona Hardening Fund was continued and greatly expanded. In January 2022, it was increased a further time by 500,000 euros. Financial support was provided to 775 students as part of this increase.
In addition to online consultations, the ÖH presented political demands to the outside world and entered into dialogue with stakeholders. It was recognized early on that quality hybrid teaching and social protection, as well as protecting at-risk patients, were key concerns. This could also be implemented with many universities.
In addition, ÖH is working with the universities to learn from the crisis in a sustainable way – so that everything we have gone through is not in vain.
Free testing and vaccination opportunities at universities
Thanks to the efforts of the ÖH, free testing and vaccination facilities have been created locally at university locations.
The revision of the study subsidy, which includes the study grant, was dealt with in the National Council in May 2022 – after a short review period of 12 days. In the process, longstanding ÖH demands were implemented, making the grants accessible to more students. So we recommend you to submit an application!
Even though aid rates were increased, however, this amendment was by no means sufficient to keep students out of poverty. A large number of students from third countries are still excluded from aid, and there have also been changes for the worse, such as a shorter period of aid for studying abroad, or exclusion from aid in the case of a change of study after obtaining a degree in the second stage (diploma studies). More info here.
In the meantime, the automatic inflation adjustment of the student grant has also been obtained under pressure from the ÖH.
The major student survey 2022
From February 1 to March 16, 2022, ÖH conducted a student survey in which 28,101 students participated, making it the largest type of this survey since 1991.
The requested topic blocks Social Security, Climate, Corona, Digitalization, Mental Health and finally ÖH have shown a clear need for action of the Austrian federal policy. The results were presented at a major press conference.
For half of the working students, for example, balancing studies and a job is a heavy or very heavy burden, and for nearly half of the students who need care, balancing care responsibilities is also a burden. One-third of students think it is a heavy or very heavy burden to make ends meet financially in general. Changing these circumstances and making studying possible for all is a major concern of the ÖH team.
In 2020, summer school, a support service for students due to the Corona pandemic, was introduced. Although additional practical experience for student teachers is welcomed, the ÖH found it unacceptable that students had to work here without pay. After long negotiations, the ÖH was able to achieve that this will change and that students will be paid 25 euros per hour plus special payments in the future.
There for you in times of crisis: Solidarity against inflation
January 2023 marks the month with the most consultation requests from ÖH since records began in 2016. Not only in the consultation, and in discussions with politicians, action was taken.
The ÖH itself provided financial support in these difficult times. With the ÖH Social Fund, the ÖH has provided an important support service for many years. But it was clear that this would have to be increased just as much in view of the enormous inflation. At the first ordinary meeting of the ÖH Bundesvertretung in the winter semester 2022/23, we therefore increased the ÖH Sozialfonds by 200.000€ per year to 455.000€, so that even more students can be financially supported.
“Youth and education must not be forgotten in the crisis,” underlined ÖH, Fridays for Future and the Austrian Trade Union Youth at the Anti-Inflation Summit in September 2022. The resolution is here.
Support for student demos
In November, more than ten thousand students were on the streets for funding for their colleges during times of inflation. The ÖH supported and led the demos – but despite this, the federal minister continues his austerity course. A small increase in the higher education budget was achieved, but it clearly does not cover the additional costs of higher education during this crisis.
Student Conference “Let’s Build a New Future”.
On December 10, 2022, the ÖH organized a large student conference in the Audimax of the TU Vienna under the title “Students, let’s form a new future!”
The crises of our time confront us with many questions about the future, but we students are far too often ignored by politicians. We want to change that! We want to take our future into our own hands and therefore, as ÖH, we created the student conference, where interested students could work together with NGOs and experts from civil society on ideas for a better future.
Focusing on the future: Driving climate protection forward
Climate-neutral university by 2030
Universities are a major player in society and have a special responsibility. Therefore, a central project of the Department for Environmental and Climate Policy of the ÖH is the implementation of the climate-neutral university by 2030. Together with all relevant stakeholders, we support the universities in the implementation and drive the process forward.
In this period, the ÖH joined the UNiNeTZ, which works on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and sees universities as central bearers of the socio-ecological transformation.
Funding pot for climate-friendly initiatives
Last year, the ÖH introduced a new funding pot for climate-friendly initiatives. This supports student projects with up to 2,000 euros. The promotion of student engagement is a particular concern of ours. We want to encourage innovation in this area and, beyond climate protection measures, improve the quality of life of students and strengthen a rethinking of society as a whole on environmental and climate policy issues.
Day-to-day climate protection work
The climate crisis is the biggest crisis of our time and the ÖH feels responsible to fight it on all levels. With our day-to-day climate protection work, we not only promote projects and actions such as the global climate strikes – in 2021, we also took part in the COP26 world climate conference, where we campaigned for an effective fight against the climate crisis.
At the request of the coalition, the ÖH Bundesvertretung has passed a resolution to support the #ErdeBrennt movement. Over a long period of time, universities were occupied throughout Austria. #ErdeBrennt is also a climate movement with necessarily far-reaching demands, but not only – it is also a movement that advocates for free study and just social conditions. The ÖH fully supports these demands and will continue to support the movement and all progressive students in their activities.
Ukraine emergency aid
After the war began, the ÖH reacted quickly and set up an emergency aid pot. With a volume of 500,000€, students who were affected by the consequences of the war of aggression (for example, financial difficulties due to the loss of income of their parents in Ukraine) received direct and low-threshold support. This made it possible for many to continue their studies or to receive financial support during their first months of study in Austria.
Tuition fee waiver
Already in the summer semester of 2022, the ÖH demand for the waiver of tuition fees for Ukrainian students at public universities was implemented. This was also recently extended to the upcoming 2023 summer semester.
Raise a Roof
Local support was also a key concern for the ÖH team. With the Raise a Roof crowdfunding campaign, we raised funds for student housing in Ukraine on a joint initiative with the Ukrainian Associaton of Students.
Tuition fee waiver
The situation in Iran is also of great concern to the ÖH. We clearly support the revolutionary movement in Iran and also want to help Iranian students financially. For the summer semester, the ÖH was also able to obtain a waiver of tuition fees at public universities for students from Iran.
Making Iranian voices audible
The ÖH is also concerned about the content of the debate on the revolutionary movement in Iran. In the course of this, we held a movie night where we watched “Persepolis”. Furthermore, an online webinar with Shoura Zehetner-Hashemi took place, in which she gave input on the history of the feminist movement and the current situation in Iran. Again and again, the presidency team has spoken on the topic at various events and together with alliance partners has shown its solidarity and support for the revolution in Iran.
Sexual violence at universities: student survey
The ÖH used the international day against patriarchal violence as an opportunity to publish the previously conducted student survey on sexualized violence at universities. The figures were shocking: every tenth student has experienced sexualized violence at an Austrian university in the last 12 months.
With great media interest, results were presented and demands were made, which can be read here.
Dealing with social issues
During this period, the ÖH has focused on anti-fascist work in Austria through numerous events and projects. For example, prozess.report was invited to present their work.
Networking with friendly organizations
The ÖH is in active contact with friendly student organizations that primarily represent minorities in Austria. The Jewish Austrian Students and the Students’ Union of Austrian Rom_nja and Sinti_zze and the Muslim Youth of Austria are in particularly close contact with the ÖH. Together with them, mainly commemorative and further education work is done through the ÖH.
During this period, the ÖH has intensified cooperation with its partner organizations in Europe and beyond. Through its membership in the European Students Union and the progressive TOPICS network, the ÖH is more networked than ever before, in order to be able to tackle the transnational issues and problems of our time together with its partners. The highlight has been the TOPICS meeting in Vienna in October 2022.
Ahmed Samir Santawy
CEU student Ahmed Samir Santawy is still in Egypt and cannot leave the country, even though he has since been released from prison. The ÖH has led and supported various campaigns on his behalf, reached out to relevant stakeholders, and is still working full force to support Ahmed and bring him home safely.
The HPV campaign with IG Wien Alpbach represented an important breakthrough: After intensive efforts, it was announced that vaccination against (cancer-causing) human papillomavirus (HPV) is now free until the age of 21.
In the section “Done”, the ÖH presents successes from counseling. And there are a few of them!
The Österreichische Hochschüler_innenschaft fights for your rights and your concerns. You too are welcome to ask for advice! You can find the current counseling calendar at oeh.ac.at/counseling.
Active for the students of tomorrow!
For most, the first contact with the ÖH is before they even start their studies, and with programs like Studieren Probieren, the decision support for choosing a course of study.
After all, one of the ÖH’s core tasks is to advise and support the students of tomorrow. And the figures are impressive:
In 2022 alone, there were 1057 Study Trial appointments and 9082 registrations for them. In addition, 142 counseling sessions were held in schools with 8,200 students.
WHAT DOES ÖH OFFER FOR STUDENTS?
Among other things, our wide range of consulting and services!
Advice on study law
Counseling for students and graduates
Counseling for foreign students
Consultation of the Unit for Feminist Politics
Consultation of the Queer Unit
More information and our consulting hours can be found at www.oeh.ac.at/beratung.
Did you know that you are automatically covered by accident and liability insurance when you pay your ÖH fee? 70 cents of your ÖH fee will be used to purchase insurance for you.
In principle, all accidents and damages that may occur during the course of studies are covered. From a spatial point of view, this mainly concerns universities, PHs, FHs, PUs and student houses of the ÖH or student dormitories according to the Student Dormitory Act. Accidents and damage occurring in the course of events directly related to studies, such as excursions, trips, USI courses, ÖH events or internships or clinical placements are covered by the insurance.
All information on ÖH insurance at www.oeh.ac.at/versicherung
Information for prospective students (studienplattform.at, Studieren Probieren, MatBe)
Study platform – here you will find an overview of all studies offered in Austria: www.studienplattform.at
StudierenProbieren – find your dream study program! StudierenProbieren gives you the opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to study. www.studierenprobieren.at
Counseling for students and graduates – Any questions? We will be happy to advise you on your choice of study program, admission requirements, or how to start your studies: www.oeh.ac.at/studienberatung
ÖH Map, Aid overview, ÖH Reminder
At map.oeh.ac.at you will find all the important addresses and contact details you need for your studies.
For information on scholarships and grants, visit www.oeh.ac.at/studieren/stipendien-und-beihilfen.
Never miss an important deadline again – sign up for the ÖH SMS-Reminder at reminder.oeh.ac.at
You can download free information brochures on topics related to your studies here!
Social fund: support options for socially needy students in financial distress
Special projects funding pot & KG funding pot: funding for projects with student relevance.
Queer-Fem funding pot & funding pot for research on social permeability in the education system: funding of scientific work on these topics.
Funding pot for climate-friendly initiatives
Heimfördertopf: Acquisitions and activities in studi homes.
Information on how to apply at oeh.ac.at/service/foerdertoepfe