University Report 2017 - Federal Ministry Republic of Austria Ed ucation, Science and Research - Bundesministerium für Bildung

 
University Report 2017 - Federal Ministry Republic of Austria Ed ucation, Science and Research - Bundesministerium für Bildung
� Federal Ministry
  Republic of Austria
  Ed ucation, Science
  and Research

University Report
> 2017
Executive Summary

                        www.bmbwf.gv.at
Original report:
https://bmbwf.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/wissenschaft/publikationen/
Universit%C3%A4tsbericht_2017_barrierefrei_20180312.pdf

Publisher and owner:
Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research
Minoritenplatz 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria
www.bmbwf.gv.at

Responsible for the content:
Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research
Edited by: Eva Schmutzer-Hollensteiner
Translation: Rebecca Fischer, xlation e.U.
Layout: Peter Sachartschenko & Mag. Susanne Spreitzer OG
Cover: ateliersmetana
Printing: Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research

Vienna, September 2018
Content

INTRODUCTION .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 5

1 Further developing and strengthening the Austrian higher education area  .  .  .  .  . 5
Higher Education Conference .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .6
The project “Shaping HEIs for the Future”  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 6
National strategy on the social dimension of higher education  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7
The Higher Education Mobility Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy .  .  . 8

2 Funding and governance .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8
Funding of universities .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .9
Increasing the universities’ efficiency .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .9
Cooperation projects from the Higher Education Area Structural Funds .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .9
Building projects of universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10
A new model for university funding .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  10
Cost and activity accounting  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  11
The financial and economic situation of the public universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  11
The role of private sources for the funding of universities .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 11
Governance and steering .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  12
Austrian National Development Plan for Public Universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 12
Development plans of universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 12
Performance agreements with the universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  13
Evidence-based governance in the university sector .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  13
Further developing the intellectual capital report  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  13

3 Staffing, promoting young scientists, and academic careers  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  14
Legal framework .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  15
Employees’ council agreements according to the Hospital Working Hours Act .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  15
Reformation of career structures at universities .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  15
Staff and human resources development in the performance agreements .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  16
Quantitative development of university staff  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 16
Student–teacher ratio  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  17
Fostering of young scientists .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  17
Doctoral training  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 18
Postdocs in academic careers  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 19

4 Research at universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  20
Research staff in Austria .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  20
Research funding at universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  21
Research infrastructure .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 21
Research in the performance agreements .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  22
Research achievements .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 22
Open Access to research findings .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  22
Cooperation in research  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  22

5 Studies, teaching and further education .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  23
Degree programmes offered at universities .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  24
Implementing the new teacher training  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 24
Digital media in teaching  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25
Quality of teaching  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25
Teaching and studies in the performance agreements  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  26
Evaluation of the admission regulations .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  26
Legislative amendments .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  27
Quota regulation in human and dental medicine .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  27
Quantitative developments in studies with admission regulations .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  27
Orientation phase  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  28
Continuing education at universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 28

                                                                                                                                           3
University Report 2017

6 Students and graduates  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                 29
The universities’ position in the tertiary sector .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 30
Access to public universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  30
Students  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  31
Graduates  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 31
Diversity of the student body  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 32
Age of students  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  32
Social background of students  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  32
Refugee initiative “MORE“  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  32
Employment and financial situation .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  33
Students with children .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  33
Students with disabilities or with chronic diseases  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 33
2017 Higher Education Forecast  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 34

7 Student counselling and student support  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                              35
Counselling and information for (prospective) students  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 35
Social support for students .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  36

8 Equality and diversity management  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  36
Presence of women at universities  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  37
Legislative amendments .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  38
Performance agreements 2016–2018  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  38
Diversity management .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  38

9 Internationalisation and mobility  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  38
Higher education within the context of the European Higher Education Area  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 39
Higher education within the context of the European Union  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 39
Participating in the ERASMUS+ programme .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  39
National implementation of the EHEA objectives  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 40
Mobility of students  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  40
Mobility of university staff  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  41
The European Research Area .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  41
Participation in Horizon 2020 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  41
ERA Dialogue  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  42
The European Charter for Researchers  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  42
Bi- and multilateral educational and research cooperation  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  42

10 Universities, economy and society  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                          43
Social responsibility, “Third Mission“ and “Responsible Science”  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  43
Universities’ impact on economy and society  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  44
Tertiary quota and proportion of academics  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 44
Academics in the labour market  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 44
Activities supporting transition to working life  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 45
Lifelong learning .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  45
Universities as a factor for location and region  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  46
Knowledge and technology transfer  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 46
Cooperation between science and industry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  47
Dialogue between science and society  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 48
Responsible Science and Citizen Science .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 49
Sustainable development goals .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  49
Education for sustainable development  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  49

ABBREVIATIONS  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .             50

4
Executive Summary

Introduction

The University Report 2017 is the fifth report       corresponding subject area and includes an
submitted to the Austrian National Council,          outlook where applicable.
which covers the public universities’ previous           The full report in German consists of 331
developments and future orientation and espe-        pages and is available for download on the web-
cially focuses on fostering young scientists, on     site of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sci-
developments with regard to universities’ staff-     ence and Research: https://bmbwf.gv.at/filead-
ing, and the situation of students. The report is    min/user_upload/wissenschaft/publikationen/
based mainly on the universities’ reports that       Universit%C3%A4tsbericht _2017_barriere-
were submitted from 2014 to 2017, in particular      frei_20180312.pdf.
on the financial statements and intellectual
capital reports from 2014 to 2016.                   Please note:
    The University Report focuses primarily on
the 22 public universities, which are part of a      At the time of the completion and publishing of
diversified Austrian higher education area. Fur-     the University Report 2017, a new federal gov-
thermore, cross-sectoral strategy processes,         ernment had taken office and a change of the
or collaborations and permeability, respective-      departments’ responsibilities had been intro-
ly, are becoming increasingly more important         duced. An amendment to the Federal Ministries
for a systematic further development of the          Act came into force on 8 January 2018, which
Austrian higher education area in all of its parts   merged the areas “science and research” and
and especially in its qualitative entirety.          “education” to a new department “Federal Min-
    Within the framework of the legal mandate        istry of Education, Science and Research”. The
pursuant to § 11 Universities Act (UG), the re-      report, which at this point had already been fi-
port seeks to capture the necessary broader          nalised, uses the names that were valid
perspective in its description of the develop-       throughout the reporting period from 2014 to
ments at public universities, which also in-         2017, especially “Federal Ministry of Science,
cludes the other sectors forming the Austrian        Research and Economy” (BMWFW) and “Feder-
higher education area – universities of applied      al Ministry of Education“ (BMB).
sciences, university colleges of teacher edu-
cation, private universities. The report shows       1 Further developing and strengthening
that the public university sector remains to be      the Austrian higher education area
the most dominant sector, quantitatively, but
it also describes their interdependencies and        Austrian universities are well established in the
interactions with the other sectors, e.g. in the     Austrian higher education area as well as in the
context of cross-sectional strategies, in con-       international scientific community. Since
nection with strategic projects such as “Shap-       wide-ranging autonomy was given to the uni-
ing HEIs for the Future“, key cross-cutting re-      versities in the Universities Act 2002 (UG), the
form plans such as the newly structured              paradigm “better performing universities
teacher training, or within the framework of         through more competition” has proved effec-
the forecast of higher education or develop-         tive. Universities are the motors of innovation
ments in the labour market with regard to ac-        for our country and – despite the difficult con-
ademics.                                             ditions – have managed to advance academi-
    The University Report 2017 gives account of      sation in our society successfully. The increas-
the years 2014 to the end of 2017 and the            ing numbers of students show that. Now, the
changes and developments that have affected          task is to guarantee sustainable funding and to
the university sector during the reporting peri-     link the expansion of the university of applied
od. It also covers pending and future develop-       sciences sector to alleviating effects for the
ments. This brief summary is based on the re-        university sector.
port’s executive summary, giving an overview             Further developing and strengthening the
of the most important contents of the ten            Austrian higher education area must be seen
chapters; figures and tables were not included.      as a process, which is driven forward in a con-
Each chapter is preceded by an introduction,         text-related way. During the reporting period,
which focuses on the key developments in the         recommendations of the Austrian Higher Edu-

                                                                                                    5
University Report 2017

cation Conference (Österreichische Hochschul-         Austrian higher education area, providing key
konferenz) as well as overlapping strategic           impulses. In June 2015 the “Recommendation
processes provided impulses, which have an            of the Higher Education Conference on the fur-
impact on all sectors of the higher education         ther qualitative development of doctoral train-
area. The strategic project “Shaping higher ed-       ing in Austria” (“Empfehlung der Hochschul-
ucation institutions (HEIs) for the Future“ elab-     konferenz zur qualitativen Weiterentwicklung
orates on differentiation and cooperation as          der Doktoratsausbildung in Österreich”) was
main aspects of further qualitative develop-          adopted. Based on this recommendation, key
ment, taking into consideration not only the          quality aspects were subsequently adopted as
universities but also the universities of applied     criteria for the funding of structured doctoral
sciences. Over the next few years, an empha-          programmes by means of Higher Education
sis will be put on strengthening the position of      Area Structural Funds (HRSM). In December
the Austrian universities and other higher edu-       2015 the “Recommendations of the Austrian
cation institutions – both in an international        Higher Education Conference on supporting
context, and also in their task to provide orien-     non-traditional access to higher education”
tation for Austrian society. The BMWFW’s main         (“Empfehlungen der Hochschulkonferenz zur
lines of action will focus on:                        Förderung nicht-traditioneller Zugänge im ge-
• further differentiating the higher education        samten Hochschulsektor”) were published.
    landscape by means of comprehensible and          They can be seen as a supportive measure for
    clear profiles and tasks of HEIs;                 improving social participation and the permea-
• promoting collaborations and strong net-            bility between the sectors of the higher educa-
    work structures or clusters;                      tion area. A working group on “Improving gen-
• encouraging creativity and providing a              der competence in higher education process-
    scope for individual action (among staff and      es” (“Verbreiterung der Genderkompetenz in
    students);                                        hochschulischen Prozessen“) completed its
• achieving a balanced participation in educa-        work at the end of 2017. The results will be
    tion and further training which reflects the      published in 2018.
    diversity of the broader population.
                                                      The project “Shaping HEIs for the Future”
The Austrian National Development Plan for            In spring 2016, the BMWFW started the project
Public Universities (GUEP) as a strategic plan-       “Shaping HEIs for the Future” (“Zukunft Hoch-
ning instrument for the university sector refers      schule”), which was aimed at the strategic fur-
to these lines of action. Within the framework        ther development of the Austrian higher edu-
of its objective 1 – “Further develop and             cation system. In addition to improving the ca-
strengthen the higher education system” – it          pacities of the university of applied sciences
takes account of the fact that universities act       sector, it provided for an examination and opti-
as a part of the Austrian higher education area       misation of the following areas:
and that differentiation, the development of          • pronunciation of educational profiles of uni-
profiles and the division of tasks, linked with          versities (scientific/artistic and pre-voca-
closer cooperation and better permeability               tional) and universities of applied sciences
contributes to strengthening the Austrian high-          (practice-oriented training on a higher edu-
er education system and enhancing its com-               cation level);
petitiveness. Furthermore, the GUEP moves             • a structure based on division and comple-
two issues into focus, which will be relevant not        mentarity of tasks and/or the coordination
only for the universities, but also for the fur-         of the degree programmes offered;
ther development of the entire Austrian higher        • permeability within the higher education
education area: the issue of integrating the             sector.
principle of sustainability and the role of digital
transformation in higher education.                   Along five “action areas” and within the frame-
                                                      work of a discussion and working process in 29
Higher Education Conference                           workshops, representatives of public universi-
The Austrian Higher Education Conference              ties, universities of applied sciences and the
plays an important strategic role in strength-        Austrian Science Council, all in all a collabora-
ening the dialogue on higher education policy         tion of 329 participants from 31 higher educa-
issues between the different sectors. During          tion institutions, developed concept papers,
2015 and 2017 the Higher Education Confer-            which were completed in the summer of 2017.
ence adopted two recommendations to be im-            The process involved the fields of law studies,
plemented in the further development of the           studies in economic sciences, life sciences,

6
Executive Summary

computer sciences, and studies in humanities         jectives are pursued also by means of the min-
and cultural sciences, and also addressed the        istry’s impact-oriented budgeting and by the
cross-cutting issues “improvement of permea-         Austrian National Development Plan for Public
bility” and “further development of the univer-      Universities.
sities of applied sciences’ portfolios”.                 Following a broad discussion and consulta-
    As a result, the characteristics and distin-     tion process with higher education institutions,
guishing features of the university sector as        social partners and counselling service institu-
well as the university of applied sciences sector    tions, the BMWFW developed the “National
were clarified, and the potential for further co-    strategy on the social dimension of higher ed-
operation identified. A quota of at least 30% of     ucation. Towards a more inclusive access and
the total enrolment numbers of both sectors          wider participation“ in 2016. Beforehand, a
was specified as a mid-term goal for the expan-      survey on already existing measures address-
sion of the university of applied sciences sector.   ing the social dimension had been completed,
A broad consensus was reached regarding the          which shows that a number of relevant pro-
topics for a coordinated development of the          jects are already being implemented by higher
universities of applied sciences’ portfolios, also   education institutions. It is planned to expand
taking into consideration the aspect of relieving    these measures as well as to create new ones
the university sector. In future, the number of      to be embedded in the institutions’ develop-
dual degree programmes as well as part-time          ment plans.
programmes and joint degree programmes be-               The national strategy lays out three target
tween universities of applied sciences and uni-      dimensions with three action lines and corre-
versities shall be increased. As a result of the     sponding measures for each, which shall be
coordination process, it was clarified that the      implemented by 2025:
further development in the fields of economic        Target dimension I “More inclusive access” pri-
studies and computer science studies shall fo-           marily addresses the quality and accessibil-
cus on increasing staff capacities and improv-           ity of information materials and guidance or
ing the student-teacher ratios in the university         counselling services, outreach activities,
sector, as well as on increasing the numbers of          the recognition and validation of non-formal
study places at universities of applied sciences.        and informal competencies.
Furthermore, the requirements for a transfer         Target dimension II “Avoid drop-out and im-
from bachelor to master shall be made trans-             prove academic success“ refers to the
parent in a standardised way. In the field of            structure of study programmes (i.a. in-
studies in humanities and cultural sciences,             creasing the compatibility of studying with
first steps towards coordination and supra-re-           other areas of life), the entry into higher ed-
gional courses and/or teaching cooperations              ucation (i.a. establishing a “culture of wel-
were identified. It was agreed that it is neces-         come“) and the quality of teaching.
sary to introduce admission regulations for law      Target dimension III “Create basic parameters
studies in order to improve the student-teacher          and optimise the regulation of higher edu-
ratio and reduce the drop-out rate. An “inter-           cation policy“ addresses system-related is-
facultary working group on mobility”, which              sues in higher education systems (e.g. fur-
was set up in the course of the process, agreed          ther developing legal provisions with regard
on a mutual recognition of study achievements            to “studyability”, monitoring “studyability”,
in core subjects.                                        reviewing higher education funding and its
    The outcomes of the project “Shaping HEIs            effect on the social dimension) as well as
for the Future” will be included in governance           the topics of creating appropriate govern-
and steering instruments of the ministry: in             ance structures at higher education institu-
the Austrian National Development Plan for               tions and of improving student support
Public Universities, in the performance agree-           schemes.
ments with the universities, as well as in the
Development and Funding Plan for Universities        The broader objectives include nine quantita-
of Applied Sciences.                                 tive goals to be achieved by 2025, e.g. reducing
                                                     underrepresentation of students whose par-
National strategy on the social dimension of         ents do not have higher education entrance
higher education                                     qualifications, increasing the number of
At the Yerevan Ministerial Conference in 2015,       non-traditional admissions as well as the ad-
the member states agreed to develop national         mission of students with migrant backgrounds
strategies for promoting the social dimension        to higher education, and promoting gender
in the higher education sector. The same ob-         balance in all degree programmes.

                                                                                                      7
University Report 2017

   An interim evaluation is scheduled for 2021.       proves that these funds are well invested. Ac-
The 2017 amendment of the Student Support             cording to the study, the services and achieve-
Act (Studienförderungsgesetz) has already re-         ments of universities are not only important
sulted in significant improvements with regard        factors for location decisions in business and
to student support.                                   industry, and thus for growth and competitive-
                                                      ness. Universities also generate positive re-
The Higher Education Mobility Strategy of the         turns for the state after a relatively short time
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and             through economic effects on the demand and
Economy                                               supply side. Sums invested in universities turn
In our globalised world, mobility experience          out to be profitable after a mere three to five
and stays abroad are becoming increasingly            years.
important for the labour market and for an ac-            Over the past few years, the federal govern-
ademic career. Pursuant to the 2012 Bucharest         ment has successfully increased the university
Communiqué and the Mobility strategy 2020             budget. For the performance agreement period
for the European Higher Education Area, all Eu-       of 2016–2018, a total of €9.7 billion were avail-
ropean countries shall develop and implement          able for the universities, that is €615 million
their own internationalisation and mobility           more than in the previous period. In addition, a
strategies.                                           path was agreed upon to increase the universi-
    In August 2016 the BMWFW presented its            ties’ efficiency and thus yield around €300 mil-
“Higher Education Mobility Strategy” (“Hoch-          lion to remain at the universities’ disposal. This
schulmobilitätsstrategie”) with strategic goals,      significant increase in expenditure was accom-
measures and recommendations to support               panied by an equally significant increase of
transnational mobility at Austrian universities,      student numbers. Because of insufficient pos-
universities of applied sciences and private uni-     sibilities for controlling student flows, the stu-
versities. It focuses mainly on enhancing the         dent-teacher ratios could be improved only
quality of mobility of students, teachers, re-        partially and not to the desired extent. The
searchers and non-academic staff. The Higher          preparations for a new model for financing uni-
Education Mobility Strategy has defined 16 ac-        versities in the future were continued and in-
tion lines, which recommend further steps con-        tensified during this reporting period, aiming at
cerning, i.a. framework conditions or the phases      improving the student-teacher ratios in popular
before, during and following mobility abroad.         degree programmes, and at a state-of-the-art
Some of these measures have already been im-          financing of academic research/advancement
plemented (e.g. measures in the field of curric-      and appreciation of the arts. In this context,
ular design, measures to optimise information         also uniform standards were defined for cost
materials, to make use of experiences gained          and activity accounting at public universities.
during periods spent abroad, as well as meas-             In its decision of 28 June 2017, the National
ures to foster “international experience at           Council established the university budget pur-
home”). The Higher Education Mobility Strategy        suant to § 12 para. 2 Universities Act (UG) for
has also defined three quantitative targets: In       the performance agreement period 2019–2021
2025 30% to 35% of those graduating at an Aus-        at €11.070 billion. The federal government was
trian higher education institution should have        assigned the task of drawing up a government
spent a study period abroad. By 2021 120,000          bill for a capacity-oriented, student-based
students in Austria should have taken part in         funding of universities before the end of Janu-
the ERASMUS+ programme (the goal of 100,000           ary 2018. The corresponding legislative pro-
participations set for 2018 has already been          posal was assessed and further edited in the
met). By 2020 at least 4,500 members of the           autumn of 2017. The implementation of the new
scientific or artistic university staff should have   model for university funding has to be accom-
had an activity-based period spent abroad.            panied by adequate legal provisions allowing
    Necessary modifications identified in the         the federal government in cooperation with the
course of implementation will be addressed in         universities to regulate the access according to
an update of the strategy.                            the available capacities.
                                                          Higher education funding, and the question
2 Funding and governance                              of how to finance what, is inextricably linked
                                                      with the issue of governance and steering. Effi-
The universities are funded mainly from public        cient steering approaches in higher education
funds. A study on the economic and social ef-         must take into consideration two dimensions –
fects of universities published in 2017 by the        a resource-related steering dimension and an
Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)        issue-related or issue-driven steering dimen-

8
Executive Summary

sion. In order to achieve an ideal form of inter-   Area Structural Funds (HRSM), which have re-
action of these dimensions, which is crucial for    placed the hitherto existing formula and are al-
the qualitative further development and inter-      located based on indicators or calls for cooper-
national competitiveness of Austrian universi-      ation projects.
ties and the entire Austrian higher education           For the performance agreement period
area, suitable steering mechanisms and instru-      2016–2018 the university budget was success-
ments are necessary. With a tiered governance       fully increased by another €615 million,
model for the university sector, the Austrian       €315 million going to the basic budgets and
National Development Plan for Public Universi-      €300 million going to the HRSM. Corresponding
ties (GUEP) and the performance agreements,         to the international tendency, indicator-based
Austria has a set of instruments that meet          funds were increased more (+67%) than basic
these demands. The GUEP has integrated both         funding (+3.8%). In connection with the in-
dimensions. It includes the parameters “stu-        crease of the HRSM, the former component for
dents” and “staff” for resource-related and ca-     private donations was replaced by a compo-
pacity-oriented steering as well as the priority    nent for structured doctoral programmes in or-
areas for issue-related steering. The govern-       der to promote the qualitative development of
ance instrument “performance agreement“             doctoral training and to strengthen basic re-
puts both dimensions into concrete terms for        search. Including the compensation universi-
the individual university. In the context of the    ties received for the loss of tuition fees
2017 revision of the GUEP, the groundwork was       (€157 million per year), a total of around €9.721
laid for the implementation of the new model        billion are available to the universities in the
for university financing as of 2019, as well as     period of 2016–2018, that is an increase of
for a future-oriented development of universi-      6.8% in comparison to the previous period.
ties, which takes into account the fundamental
importance of universities for social and eco-      Increasing the universities’ efficiency
nomic development.                                  When fixing the budget funds for universities in
    Higher education funding and steering re-       2015 it was decided that universities will also
quire transparency in order to receive accep-       implement internal structural reforms and, by
tance of the whole society and of the institu-      increasing their efficiency, will gain additional
tions and stakeholders concerned. The new in-       budgetary room for manoeuvre. The path en-
dicator-based funding model for universities        visaged to increase the universities’ efficiency
satisfies this demand for transparency. In the      shall result in efficiency gains of around
future, it will be necessary to increase the sig-   €300 million between 2016 and 2018, to remain
nificance of data evidence and indicators for       at the universities’ disposal. Concrete meas-
steering activities as well as for monitoring       ures were agreed upon with the individual uni-
university performance – not only to steer the      versities and monitored as to their expected
contributions of the individual universities, but   cost savings. The measures concern staffing,
also to make visible their performance and its      the field of teaching and studies, infrastructure
effect in the overall social context.               and buildings, and also include other efficiency
                                                    measures, e.g. in administration. All universi-
Funding of universities                             ties started implementing the measures agreed
Annual federal expenses within the so-called        upon, most of the measures becoming effec-
“higher education budget” have increased by         tive during the first year of the performance
9.3% in the reporting period since 2013, the        agreement period. By the end of 2016, already
expenses directly attributable to the university    a third of the steps had been taken on the path
sector have risen by 8.1%; this corresponds to      to increasing universities’ efficiency.
the increase in GDP (+8.3%). Federal expendi-
ture merely rose by 1%. The annual federal ex-      Cooperation projects from the Higher
penditure, excluding those directly attributable    Education Area Structural Funds
to the university sector, amounted to €3.447 bil-   In the performance agreement period 2016–
lion in 2016 (4.5% of the federal budget).          2018 the Higher Education Area Structural
    Within the performance agreement period         Funds (HRSM) available for cooperation pro-
2013–2015, which ran out during the reporting       jects of universities were increased to a total of
period, the federal government allocated            €97.5 million. In 2016 there were three sepa-
€9.1 billion for the funding of universities,       rate competitive calls, aiming at the areas of
which is 8.9% more than during the previous         teaching, research/advancement and appreci-
period. Part of the additional funds (€450 mil-     ation of the arts, and administration and man-
lion) were dedicated to the Higher Education        agement.

                                                                                                    9
University Report 2017

   The area of teaching was endowed with a         al minister and the university involved. The
total of €35 million, the call for proposals fo-   specific proceedings for the realisation of build-
cused on projects promoting the new teacher        ing projects of universities that exceed a spec-
training and the joint degree programmes for       ified limit are laid down in the Decree on the
secondary teacher training (general education)     Planning Procedure and Realisation of Building
offered together with university colleges of       Projects of Universities (Uni-ImmoV), the draft
teacher education; the Quality Assurance           of which was assessed in autumn of 2017.
Council of Teacher Education was involved in           During the reporting period, from 2014 to
the assessment of the submitted proposals for      2017, building projects of universities amount-
cooperation projects. The HRSM funds will          ed to a total investment of about €380 million.
make it possible to create 82 new positions in     Among those projects were the new Med Cam-
the four regional clusters (“Verbundregionen”),    pus Modul 1 of the Medical University of Graz
thus strengthening the specialised pedagogy        and nine projects from the Federal Real Estate
staff, fostering young scientists and improving    Company‘s (BIG) special building programme
the administrative infrastructure for the new      2014. In February 2017 a new special building
teacher training programmes.                       programme was initiated, aiming at investing
   For the HRSM call in the area of research,      profit distributions by BIG amounting to
there was an amount of €50 million available       €150 million in 12 building projects. Since the
for the modernisation, expansion, and new ac-      number of students has risen in the past dec-
quisition of research infrastructure, predomi-     ades and there is an increasing demand for
nantly in the area of basic research. There was    space, the chosen building projects not only in-
a focus on cooperation projects to provide and     clude building refurbishments, but also new
make accessible modern, high-tech (large-          constructions and building extensions.
scale) research and data infrastructure as well
as on cooperation projects to modernise and        A new model for university funding
further develop existing R&D-infrastructure,       The National Council has dedicated a total sum
thus fostering structural developments and         of €11.070 billion to the funding of public uni-
supporting excellence. Furthermore, the uni-       versities for the performance agreement peri-
versities were able to propose “unconvention-      od 2019–2021 by federal law (Federal Law Ga-
al” research projects and innovative projects      zette I No 129/2017) and commissioned the
for arts-based research – especially in the area   federal government with the development of
of the advancement and appreciation of the         an implementation model for a capacity-ori-
arts. Involving the expertise of international     ented, student-based funding of universities
peers, 46 cooperation projects were selected       by 31 January 2018. Following this duty, a bill
from among 90 proposals.                           was submitted for assessment on 1 August
   The third HRSM call was dedicated to the        2017, which was based on the former federal
area of innovative administration and manage-      act published in Federal Law Gazette. I
ment and provided incentives to modernise          No 52/2013 as well as on a funding model de-
and harmonise administration processes. The        veloped in coordination with the Federal Minis-
€12.5 million available have been invested pri-    try of Finance (BMF) and Universities Austria
marily in two nationwide projects: a joint pro-    (uniko). Simultaneously with the implementa-
ject among all universities aiming at develop-     tion of a capacity-oriented funding of universi-
ing uniform standards for cost and activity ac-    ties, nationwide as well as university-related
counting at universities during the implement-     admission regulations shall be made possible
ing phase; and a project in the field of Open      whenever the figures for the student-teacher
Access, the goal of which is to create the nec-    ratio in the degree programme concerned ex-
essary framework at universities in order to       ceed a certain limit.
make research findings and scientific publica-        This new model for university funding is
tions openly accessible and free of charge.        based on a capacity-oriented, student-related
                                                   funding scheme. The Austrian National Devel-
Building projects of universities                  opment Plan for Public Universities stipulates
The Austrian development plan for buildings is     the goals and framing parameters for further
a planning instrument for building projects of     developing the universities. The contributions
universities, which was incorporated into law      of the individual universities are negotiated
by the 2015 amendment of the Universities Act      and contracted by performance agreements.
2002 (UG) in §§ 118a and 118b. Pursuant to         For their implementation, the universities will
§ 118b UG, the realisation and funding of build-   continue to receive a global budget. The global
ing projects shall be agreed upon by the feder-    budget of each university will consist of three

10
Executive Summary

components, for the performance areas “teach-        The financial and economic situation of the
ing“, “research/advancement and appreciation         public universities
of the arts“ as well as “infrastructure and stra-    Since 2008, the public universities are subject
tegic development“ (three-pillar model). Spe-        to “treasury and subsidiary controlling” by the
cific indicators and seven weighted groups of        BMF and have been required to also submit a
disciplines form the basis for calculating the       “risk disclosure statement” for three years
budget components for the first two areas: the       now.
number of students who actively take exami-              The universities are obliged to submit an
nations (with equal or more than 16 ECTS -           early warning report to the BMWFW as soon as
“study places“) and the number of scientific or      certain financial indicators point to a tight li-
artistic staff (“basic performance research/ad-      quidity situation for the university. From 2014
vancement and appreciation of the arts“). Fur-       to 2016 this necessity arose only once, namely
thermore, competition indicators like the num-       for the University of Salzburg in the fiscal year
ber of graduates, the number of students with        of 2015. Owing to the actions taken, the univer-
equal or more than 40 ECTS (“quick students”),       sity was, in consequence, able to achieve a bal-
third-party research funding, structured doc-        anced result.
toral programmes, provide additional incen-              The development of the financial and eco-
tives.                                               nomic situation of the universities in the last
    A novelty is the linking of funds to a suc-      two years of the performance agreement peri-
cessful implementation of measures which aim         od 2013–2015 was satisfying. Within the perfor-
to promote the social dimension in teaching          mance agreement period 2013–2015 the bal-
and the social diversification of students. In or-   ance sheet total rose by 13%, the fixed assets
der to ensure that these measures are real-          also further increased. The “capital” (equity
ised, up to 0.5% of the universities’ global         plus reserves and investment subsidies) also
budget may be retained until evidence is pro-        experienced a positive development, increas-
vided that the measures have been effectively        ing to a total sum of around €1 billion for all
implemented.                                         universities by the end of the performance
                                                     agreement period. All universities put together
Cost and activity accounting                         generated a net profit of around €178 million
Pursuant to § 16 para. 1 UG, each university         over the entire performance agreement peri-
shall install an accounting system, which in-        od.
cludes cost and activity accounting (KLR). In            For the fiscal year of 2016 there has been an
March 2017 the Decree on Uniform Principles          increase in the universities’ fixed assets, and
for Cost and Activity Accounting at Universities     two thirds of the universities were able to
(KLRV) entered into force, which in future shall     maintain or even increase their financial sub-
provide for information on cost structures in        stance. The overall liquidity situation can be
the universities’ most important tasks in the        regarded sufficient – nearly all universities
area of teaching and research as well as in          were able to cover their short-term liabilities by
other services offered. It will also be possible     the balance sheet date 2016 by current assets.
to show which costs are incurred by which ser-       The financial situation of the public universities
vices. The legal provisions developed are tak-       remained stable in 2016. On the whole, the uni-
ing into account the universities’ autonomy;         versities have a good equity base of about
therefore, most of the regulations merely de-        43%. The profit situation has improved signifi-
termine minimum standards. Data on the costs         cantly as compared to the previous year. The
for the provision of services as well as key per-    “operating performance“ (sum total of reve-
formance indicators (e.g. costs for teaching per     nues, changes in inventory, own work capital-
student who actively takes examinations, per         ised and other operating income) has increased
group of discipline) will also be submitted to       by 2% as compared to the previous year. In
the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and        contrast, the sum total of all operating expens-
Economy (BMWFW).                                     es has only risen by about 1% (including an in-
   The universities are given five years to im-      crease of 3% for personnel expenses).
plement the provisions of the KLRV internally,
and will be supported by means of HRSM funds;        The role of private sources for the funding of
the last two years shall be used for intensive       universities
tests and data validation. The first verified real   International comparisons show that in Austria
data from the KLR systems of the 22 universi-        private sources play only a small role in the
ties will be submitted to the BMWFW by 2021          funding of universities and of tertiary educa-
(concerning the year 2020).                          tion in general. In Austria only 0.1% of GDP ex-

                                                                                                    11
University Report 2017

penses for tertiary educational institutions         Austrian National Development Plan for Public
come from private sources (OECD average:             Universities
0.5%, EU average: 0,3%). Whilst in OECD coun-        The BMWFW uses the GUEP as a strategic plan-
tries on average 30% of the expenses for ter-        ning tool for developing higher education and
tiary educational institutions are privately         as an instrument for transparently presenting
funded, and 22% on average in EU member              its priorities and objectives for the next two
states, the proportion in Austria is only 6%.        performance agreement periods. As such, the
    The revenue structure of Austrian universi-      GUEP has been integrated into the Austrian
ties substantiates the dominance of public           planning and steering system of higher educa-
funds for the financing of universities. The         tion. A first version of the GUEP covering the
global budget share (including the compensa-         planning period of 2016–2021 was developed in
tion received for the loss of tuition fees)          2015, following a consultation process with 42
amounts to 78% of the universities’ revenues;        higher education institutions. In preparation
tuition fees and revenues from degree pro-           for the negotiations on the performance agree-
grammes in continuing education, i.e. reve-          ments for the period 2019–2021 in 2018, the
nues coming from private sources, bring a re-        GUEP has already been revised on a rolling ba-
turn of only 1% each. Resources from private         sis in 2017 for the new planning period 2019–
donors (2016: €17.3 million) represent only a        2024. The objectives and aspired developments
very small proportion. Academic research is          in the university sector are outlined in the
also mainly publicly funded; between 2014 and        GUEP in eight objectives on system level, thus
2016 around 29% of the universities’ R&D rev-        providing the strategic framework for activities
enues came from private sources (25% from            and tasks to be prioritised by the universities.
business companies, 4% from private founda-          The GUEP includes key indicators for the area
tions or associations etc.).                         of teaching and their development, such as, for
    At universities, there are many forms of         example, student numbers, numbers of gradu-
sponsoring, including monetary donations and         ates, student-teacher ratios. With the indicator
non-profit foundations, sponsorships of events       “students who actively take examinations“ the
or study information activities, and so-called       GUEP also contains a parameter of the new
“sponsorships for lecture halls“. Fundraising,       model for university funding.
i.e. raising private donations and other forms
of sponsorship, has been professionalised over       Development plans of universities
time by a number of universities, and is often       In 2015 a new regulation, which is defined in
combined with the strategic acquisition of en-       § 13b UG, has established a specific standard
dowed professorships. In 2017, there were 46         for the universities’ development plans, which,
privately endowed professorships. At the be-         for the first time, stipulates detailed specifica-
ginning of 2016, an extensive legislative pack-      tions as to their structure and content. From
age (“non-profit package“) entered into force,       now on, the development plan shall be pre-
which includes a new law on non-profit founda-       pared by 31 December of the second year of
tions and a number of corresponding adjust-          every performance agreement period for the
ments to tax provisions, and is aimed at mak-        following two performance agreement periods,
ing it easier for higher education institutions to   and based on rolling forecasts. Regarding the
acquire funds from private sources.                  content and structure of the development
                                                     plans, the universities shall be guided by the
Governance and steering                              legal regulations concerning the content of the
In the university sector, governance and steer-      performance agreements. Furthermore, uni-
ing has to be put into practice considering the      versities’ development plans now must contain
tensions between regulation and the universi-        a description of the universities’ human re-
ties’ autonomy, Austria has implemented a            source strategy and an outline of human re-
tiered model for governance in the university        source development. In addition to the number
sector. The respective governance and steer-         of university professorships according to § 98
ing instruments are the Austrian National De-        and § 99 UG, universities’ development plans
velopment Plan for Public Universities (GUEP),       also have to indicate the number of ten-
the universities’ development plans and the          ure-track positions as well as the number of
performance agreements with universities,            positions for associate professors and “univer-
complemented by a reporting system for steer-        sity docents” (Universitätsdozentinnen und
ing, monitoring and accountability.                  -dozenten), who can be appointed as university
                                                     professors in a simplified process.

12
Executive Summary

Performance agreements with the universities         projects still being implemented. 79% of the
The performance agreements for the period of         agreed target values have been reached or
2013–2015 were used to further develop an ef-        even exceeded by the universities.
fective steering of the university sector, in or-       For the performance agreement period
der to meet fundamental medium- and long-            2019–2021, the BMWFW’s key guiding princi-
term higher education policy goals in coopera-       ples as well as concerns and objectives are
tion with the universities. The projects and tar-    provided mainly by the GUEP. In the area of
gets     agreed     upon     were    successfully    teaching the concrete contributions by the in-
implemented by the universities. These includ-       dividual universities shall be agreed upon for
ed better coordinated academic profiles and a        each of the BMWFW’s targets of impact-orient-
priorisation of teaching and research, improv-       ed budgeting. Among other topics, university
ing the teaching capacities by means of the          staffing and career development as well as in-
“quality package teaching“, and also measures        tegrating digital transformation into the uni-
aimed at gender equality and at improving mo-        versities’ provision of services at all levels (in-
bility and internationality as well as at imple-     cluding the development of a relevant strategy
menting the new teacher training. Further-           for the university) are of central importance.
more, the numbers of study places were stipu-
lated in the performance agreements with             Evidence-based governance in the university
those universities that have made use of the         sector
possibility to regulate access in very popular       Evidence-based governance and the use of in-
degree programmes.                                   dicators have become increasingly important
    For the performance agreement period             for steering and funding universities. Identify-
2016–2018, processes for preparing and con-          ing and further developing suitable perfor-
cluding the performance agreements as well as        mance indicators for the relevant target fields
their structural and content-related design          of higher education policy (e.g. intensifying
were further developed. The topics of focus          study progress, improving student-teacher ra-
were, among others, the further development          tios, optimising personnel structures, achiev-
and deepening of priorities and profiles in re-      ing equality objectives) together with support-
search, an enhancement of quality in teaching        ing (reform) measures deriving from the moni-
with the ultimate aim of providing a study en-       toring of these performance indicators, remain
vironment of reasonable quality, further im-         to be the key challenges. Altogether, the goal is
provements in quality assurance (auditing), a        to implement a practicable and stringent steer-
focus on university staffing (based on a set of      ing model, which is based on a broad commit-
indicators) as well as on the fostering of young     ment of the stakeholders. In order to optimise
scientists and their career development, an in-      the necessary coordination between the BMW-
crease in the performance of universities with       FW and the universities, the permanent work-
regard to the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Pro-         ing group OEPIGuni (Österreichische perma-
gramme for Research and Innovation, a focus          nente Indikatoren-AG Universitäten) was es-
on strategic knowledge and technology trans-         tablished in May 2016 as a joint operating plat-
fer, and the ongoing implementation of the new       form.
teacher training.                                        Current reform projects such as the imple-
    Regular    meetings     (“Begleitgespräche”)     mentation of a capacity-oriented, student-­
twice a year between the BMWFW and the               based funding of universities, will require the
heads of the universities accompany and mon-         development and testing of additional forms of
itor the implementation process of projects          intervention aiming at reducing the number of
and targets agreed upon in the performance           dropouts and improving study progress, e.g.
agreements. These meetings have proved an            early warning systems, incentives (“nudging”),
effective complementary instrument, allowing         learning analytics, student monitoring and
for suitable support of the universities’ imple-     tracking of graduates’ career paths – thus, an-
mentation processes and for an institutional-        alytical methods in terms of Big Data, that con-
ised mutual exchange. A reporting on the im-         tribute significantly to strengthening the steer-
plementation of the performance agreements           ing and management possibilities of the federal
is included in the annual intellectual capital re-   government and the universities.
port submitted by universities. According to
the information given in the intellectual capital    Further developing the intellectual capital
reports 2016, already 5% of the 1.440 projects       report
agreed upon have been realised after the first       The intellectual capital report is the universi-
year of the 2016–2018 period, the remaining          ties’ key instrument for reporting, communica-

                                                                                                     13
University Report 2017

tion and giving account. It serves the purpose     academic career at the public universities. En-
of presenting the intellectual capital, the core   hanced organisational conditions will improve
processes and the output in teaching and re-       the career paths for young scientists. The new
search/advancement and appreciation of the         regulations in § 99 UG allow for a continuous
arts, and is thus an essential source of infor-    career path (tenure track) and strengthen par-
mation. Its further development shall ensure       ticipation of highly qualified scientific staff.
that this instrument meets the current require-    They enable to realise the respective measure
ments. In 2016 a revised Decree on Intellectual    stipulated in the Research, Technology and In-
Capital Reports (WBV 2016) entered into force.     novation Strategy (FTI-Strategie 2011) as well
It renamed the sections which the intellectual     as in the BMWFW’s Action Plan for a Competi-
capital report must contain, included a revision   tive Research Area (2015), increasing the at-
of the topics of the “performance report“ and      tractiveness of Austria as a science and re-
provided the opportunity to publish the entire     search location.
performance report focusing only on the first          The career models implemented by the uni-
year of the performance agreement period. It       versities are competitive and performance-ori-
also introduced two new indicators (indicator      ented. New provisions in the UG stipulate qual-
“representation of women in the appointment        ity standards for the selection procedure to en-
procedures for university professors“ and indi-    sure the quality of tenure-track positions and
cator “professors and equivalents“), and fur-      career paths. The universities are requested to
ther modified eleven indicators. Currently, uni-   complete all tender and selection procedures
versities must submit information on a total of    for tenure track positions according to interna-
24 indicators. Medical universities and the Jo-    tional standards, the challenge being to find a
hannes Kepler University Linz must submit four     balance between a strategic in-house human
additional specific indicators on the medical      resources development and a competitive in-
sector.                                            ternational recruiting process.
In 2017 the WBV 2016 was amended, particu-             For fostering young scientists, the universi-
larly taking into consideration the changes to     ties have further developed their offerings and
the Education Documentation Regulation for         supporting measures during the last years. A
Universities (BiDokVUni), which also had an ef-    focus was put on enhancing the quality of doc-
fect on the intellectual capital report indica-    toral training, which many universities com-
tors.                                              bined with an expansion towards structured
                                                   doctoral programmes. The BMWFW provided
3 Staffing, promoting young scientists,            an additional incentive with its financial sup-
and academic careers                               port of structured doctoral programmes by
                                                   means of Higher Education Area Structural
Personnel planning, recruitment and human          Funds (HRSM) applying strictly defined quality
resources development are the basis for en-        criteria.
suring and developing the quality of teaching,         The 2015 Action Plan for a Competitive Re-
research, and organisation at universities.        search Area addresses key areas of activity in
During the last years, the universities have en-   the field of human resources at universities, in
hanced and further professionalised their hu-      particular career prospects, tenure-track posi-
man resources development, improved their          tions, and the high proportion of third-party
quality assurance mechanisms regarding staff-      funded employees and fixed-term contracts.
ing decisions, and institutionalised the mecha-    The performance agreements 2016–2018 with
nisms for planning their personnel structures.     the universities place a focus on personnel
The universities face the requirement of imple-    structure and staffing policy as issues of cru-
menting a personnel structure, which is at the     cial importance. On the basis of an indica-
same time efficient and fundable with the re-      tor-based analysis, university-specific targets
sources available, which is gender-balanced,       in personnel structure to be reached by 2018
but also meets intergenerational needs, giving     were agreed upon with the public universities.
future generations of junior scientists a sport-   Measures on expanding highly qualified scien-
ing chance of employment in the academic           tific personnel shall contribute in particular to
staff.                                             improving student-teacher ratios and the qual-
   With the 2015 amendment of the Universi-        ity of support. During the forthcoming perfor-
ties Act (UG), the Federal Ministry of Science,    mance agreement period, a main focus of
Research and Economy (BMWFW) has taken             steering will continue to be on human resourc-
important steps to provide a legal framework       es. At the end of the day, the success of the
which will increase the attractiveness for an      measures taken in the human resources area

14
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