BM72: “Studienplatzfinanzierung” = Restriction to the access to Higher Education

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“Studienplatzfinanzierung” = Restriction to the access to Higher Education

The Austrian government announced a few days ago that they want to implement a new way of funding public universities, which results into access restriction to the higher education sector in Austria. Under the codename of ‘university place funding’ (Studienplatzfinanzierung) the minister of science wants to restrict the access for future students to higher education. For ÖH it is important to state that an increase of money spent per student is not a bad idea at all and with that also raising the funding for universities is crucial. The problematic part about this is when it is used as a hypocritical argument of the Government to cut the free and open access to education.

With the currently suggested model – which is still undergoing a lot of discussion – there shall be a formula the ministry wants to lay as a foundation for the whole budget of public universities. This formula should consist of 25% of beginners, 25% of graduates and 50% of students who take exams in their first year of their studies. The effect this new way of funding public universities would have a severe impact on the biggest study fields. These would automatically lead to 60% less students per year on divers universities. Especially in study fields like business, economics and law the reduction of spots will reduce by up to 80%.

There are two main arguments for this reform suggestion. On the one hand, the government want to reduce the dropout rate and on the other hand provide a better quality for students. These arguments are told, without any explanation. There is no reason to believe that because of restrictions to higher education the number of student dropouts will lower, nor are there any concrete suggestion to improve the quality of the study fields.

Instead of funding the higher education area in Austria with the full amount of the promised 2% of the GDP, the government build up further obstacles for the youth without proposing any kind of alternatives. Furthermore, to reduce the dropout quota in an efficient way, it is crucial to implement an orientation phase that actually helps students to find the right studies for them.

ESU stands with ÖH and pressures the government to maintain an open and accessible Higher Education System for every student, without any exceptions. For ESU it is crucial to fund the Higher Education System fully. #FundOurFuture


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