About the Office of the Austrian Student Ombudsman

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Who? Why?

The Austrian Student Ombudsman

  • investigates matters referred to him and in individual cases seeks to arbitrate vis-à vis the relevant governing bodies and staff of the higher educational institutions or with other authorities. All matters are dealt with confidentially
  • supports measures to address or identify shortcomings at higher education
  • institutions
  • draws attention to problem areas in the higher education system by reporting to the Minister of Higher Education and to the Parliament
  • collaborates with other national ombudsmen, information and ombudsman
  • offices, interest groups and umbrella organisations within the higher education sector
  • advises all governing bodies and staff of higher education institutions

 

Who for?

The Austrian Student Ombudsman services are available to

  • all Austrian and international students as well as their representative student bodies at universities, private universities, universities of applied sciences and teacher training universities
  • anyone applying to or interested in courses of study at such institutions
  • all members of staff at such institutions
  • all former students of such institutions
  • anyone with an interest in higher education issues

 

What?

Advice

Any student may contact the Austrian Student Ombudsman for information or advice on matters relating to courses, teaching, exams, services and administration at higher education institutions

Assistance

In the case of problems in the above mentioned areas, the Austrian Student Ombudsman contacts those responsible at the institutions and attempts to find a solution

Acts as a Mediator

If a problem cannot be solved directly within the institution or if it concerns several institutions, the Austrian Student Ombudsman is available to act as a mediator

Which issues?

  • admission requirements and enrolment procedures at higher
  • education institutions
  • general issues relating to university studies (available courses, choice of course)
  • student mobility within Austria and abroad
  • legal matters relating to university courses (laws, regulations and decrees
  • governing institutions of higher education, examinations and examining bodies)
  • financial support for students (grants, scholarships for studying in Austria and abroad)
  • tuition fees (billing, payment arrangements, exemptions)
  • conditions relating to courses of study
  • choice of course
  • changing courses
  • needs of students with disabilities and special needs
  • matters relating to student accommodation

 

What is not covered?

The Austrian Student Ombudsman cannot

  • amend existing regulations ad hoc (laws, regulations, decrees),
  • revoke official decisions,
  • intervene in legal proceedings,
  • represent you in court.

The Austrian Student Ombudsman has no authority to issue instructions. Contacting the Student Ombudsman in writing or in person does not interrupt or delay any time limits for lodging an appeal in legal proceedings.

 

The ombuds office for students in the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research provides advice and assistance.

Dr. Josef Leidenfrost, MA (Mediation)
Office of the Austrian Student Ombudsman