Free education for all! – Against tuition fees
Now it is clear what the black-blue federal government has planned for us students: Massive deteriorations – from tuition fees, to exmatriculation for prolonged exam inactivity, to a reduction in the number of exams taken. In addition, the ÖH’s rights of appeal are to be restricted, which would mean the end of independent representation of interests. The ÖH thus becomes the extended arm of the ministry, which muzzles us students and massively restricts our rights. The social consequences of reintroducing tuition fees would be devastating: when tuition fees were last introduced in 2002, 45,000 students had to drop out of their studies from one semester to the next. This is anti-student policy that we cannot stand by and do nothing about!
Demand to ÖVP and FPÖ: Against the introduction of tuition fees!
As on 14.12. ÖVP and FPÖ have agreed on the introduction of nationwide tuition fees. We, the Austrian National Union of Students, decisively oppose this plan, which would be irresponsible from both a social and a study law perspective.
“The fact that we have not yet closed the chapter of nationwide tuition fees once and for all does not give Austria as a higher education area a good report card,” Johanna Zechmeister, Hannah Lutz and Marita Gasteiger from the chair team of the ÖH-Bundesvertretung show their lack of understanding.
The administrative burden that would result from the introduction of such fees would be enormous. In addition, Austria’s types of higher education institutions are currently subject to five different federal laws, which would not even make it possible to regulate the collection, administration and use of contributions in a uniform manner.
In addition to the legal aspects of studying, tuition fees have fatal consequences for students from weaker socio-economic backgrounds. A look at the 2002 student social survey shows the consequences of the introduction of nationwide fees at that time: around 45,000 students had to drop out of their studies in 2001 because the financial pressure became too great for them. Applied to the realities of life today, this number could increase dramatically. Particularly in the area of education, savings are a fatal signal to future generations. In a country like Austria, where education is one of the most important resources, the introduction of nationwide tuition fees would be a capitulation to the challenges of higher education.
The ÖH wants to provide solid proposals for the financing of the higher education sector. We will continue to bring these proposals to the negotiating table in order to make it possible for students to study regardless of their social background. Tuition fees are a step in the wrong direction!