Austria

Recent developments:

  • Extension of restrictions on student numbers to more subject areas
  • Introduction of institutional accreditation arrangements from 2012
  • New career paths for academic staff introduced from 2015
  • Part of the public funding received by universities was simplified through the 2012 reform introducing the ‘Higher Education Structural Funds’

Organisational autonomy: medium high

Universities can select and appoint their executive heads autonomously. The process for the dismissal of an executive head is stated in the law and the exact length of their term of office is also stated in the law. Universities must include external members in their board/council-type governing body and half of these external members are appointed by an external authority. Universities can decide on internal academic structures and create legal entities.

Financial autonomy: medium low

Universities receive a block grant as part of a three-year funding period. They control internal allocation, may keep surpluses and borrow money, as well as own buildings. Universities may not charge fees to national/EU students who complete their studies on time. An external authority sets the level of fees to non-EU students.

Academic autonomy: medium high

Student selection at Bachelor level is entirely regulated externally and based on free admission. At Master level admission criteria are co-regulated by universities and an external authority. There are some restrictions on student numbers in some subject areas which are agreed on between universities and an external authority. Universities must undergo mandatory institutional accreditation, for which they can choose the provider. Universities may design the content of their academic programmes freely and choose the language of instruction.

Staffing autonomy: medium high

Terms and conditions including salaries and dismissal procedures are regulated externally for those staff with civil servant status. Universities set salaries for private employees on the basis of collective agreements. All new recruitment is based on private employee contracts.

Organisational weighted 78% unweighted 77%

100

100% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority

100

100% Selection criteria for the executive head

The selection criteria for the executive head are not stated in the law

80

80% Dismissal of the executive head

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Hesse, Italy, Lithuania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Poland, Slovenia

0

0% Term of office of the executive head

The exact length is stated in the law

57

57% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

External members are partly appointed by the university and partly by an external authority

This applies to 6 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Iceland, Slovenia

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 59% unweighted 44%

100

100% Length of public funding cycle

More than one year

This applies to 2 other countries: Brandenburg, Luxembourg

80

80% Type of public funding

Block grant with other restrictions

This applies to 4 other countries: Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Poland

100

100% Ability to borrow money

Universities can borrow money without restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Wallonia, Latvia, The Netherlands

100

100% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept without restrictions

100

100% Ability to own buildings

Universities can sell their buildings without restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Denmark, Estonia, France, Wallonia, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: France, Spain

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: France, Spain

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: France, Spain

Staffing weighted 73% unweighted 72%

83

83% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

Other restrictions

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

58

58% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to one other country: Portugal

58

58% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 3 other countries: Italy, Portugal, Spain

40

40% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Portugal, Serbia

Dismissals are subject to other regulations specific to the sector

This applies to 8 other countries: Croatia, Flanders, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland

40

40% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Portugal, Spain

Dismissals are subject to other regulations specific to the sector

This applies to 5 other countries: Flanders, Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland

100

100% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

Universities can freely decide on promotion procedures

100

100% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Universities can freely decide on promotion procedures

Academic weighted 72% unweighted 72%

0

0% Overall student numbers

Free admission

This applies to 5 other countries: Flanders, France, Wallonia, The Netherlands, Switzerland

0

0% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admissions are entirely regulated by an external authority

This applies to 7 other countries: Flanders, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, Switzerland

60

60% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

This applies to 7 other countries: Croatia, Denmark, Flanders, Hungary, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden

80

80% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

This applies to 7 other countries: Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Other restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Hesse, Iceland, Latvia, Sweden

80

80% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

This applies to 7 other countries: Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Other restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Hesse, Iceland, Latvia, Sweden

80

80% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Estonia, Finland, Flanders, Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Sweden

60

60% Termination of degree programmes

The termination of degree programmes requires negotiation between universities and an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Brandenburg, Finland

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

100

100% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities can choose the quality assurance agency freely according to their needs (including agencies from other countries)

This applies to 7 other countries: Brandenburg, Estonia, Finland, Hesse, Hungary, North Rhine-Westphalia, Switzerland

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)