September 5, 2022
We students are particularly hit by the effects of the current crises; many of us already live just on the poverty line, and our future is anything but promising. But it doesn’t have to be this way – ÖH is fighting for the students and is now pointing out political solutions that will secure our education and make student life affordable.
Student life must be affordable!
- A student grant that is enough to afford life. We need to expand student grants so that students can actually be supported in all realities of life. This includes a general increase in study grants, an abolition of the age limit and access for students from non-EEA countries.
- General rental cap. Housing costs are the largest expense students face month after month. It must finally be ensured that every student can afford housing. This requires a series of control measures and support services, such as a general cap on rents and costs for student residences.
- Energy cost subsidy. Heating and electricity costs are already a major financial burden for students. Students cannot afford these costs. Before students get into even greater financial difficulties because of these costs or even have to abandon their studies, they need a subsidy for incidental costs.
- Abolish tuition fees. Tuition fees have always been an unnecessary and deterrent financial burden for students and also contribute to social selection at universities. Therefore, we demand the abolition of all tuition fees, as well as an immediate refund of the tuition fees for the past summer semester.
- Climate ticket without cost. Public transport plays an important role for students and in combating the climate crisis. But unfortunately, public transportation is also a big cost issue that is not affordable for everyone. Thus, we demand a free climate ticket for students.
Universities must not be economized!
- Cover additional costs of universities. Several universities have announced that the expected costs will cause financing problems that will have to be compensated by mass layoffs of employees. Staff cuts have a direct impact on students. The dismissal of employees cannot be an option – it’s the state’s duty to finance the universities fully.
- Short-term assumption of heating and electricity costs. The first universities are announcing they will go back into distance mode in the winter semester because they are confronted with rising heating and electricity costs, which they cannot handle on their own. Closing universities, because they cannot be heated, is unacceptable. Therefore, heating and electricity costs at universities must be covered by the public.
- Valorization of student place financing. Expenses at universities are rising due to inflation. Nevertheless, the amount of student-place financing always remains at the same level. Thus, there is no more revenue for more expenditure. We demand that student place funding also be adjusted to inflation.
- Renegotiation of financing agreements. Renegotiating the financing agreements is one means of preventing funding problems. However, such measures can at best, serve as short-term solutions to acute problems. In the long term, a new system of university funding is needed that ensures full state funding of universities.
- Universities as a space for all. As public places, universities should not only be available to students and staff but should also be accessible to society as a whole. Especially in winter, there is a need for heated spaces where people can spend time.