Our Programme

We are your independent and critical voice at the University of Salzburg

To ensure that student concerns and rights remain secure, we need a strong, independent and critical ÖH at all levels. We stand for such an ÖH! We will remain critical and solution-oriented even in the case of strong winds. You are in the foreground and not a party program.

Independence

Whether it’s AG (ÖVP), GRAS (Die Grünen), VSSTÖ (SPÖ), JUNOS (NEOS), they all share the funding from federal political parties, the influence of party political interests, or belonging to an ÖH federal list. This creates a dependency on parties, companies, or the federal level. We are an independent list, free from parties, companies, other lists, and sponsors, and we measure ourselves solely on what we can achieve for you at our University of Salzburg.

We are an active listener for student issues, problems, and concerns, and we work as a critical voice with sobriety, competence, and determination with the faculties, the rectorate, city politics, and the state government to find solutions for you.

Decisions without Political Party Dependence

We stand for a strong school policy free from the influence of political parties. Through our own lengthy experience in various student representative roles, and as students just like yourselves, we know far better which improvements are most necessary, and demand immediate attention. We are convinced that this is the only way an honest and critical implementation of the interests of all students can be achieved!

Strengthening of a General Political Mandate through Independence

As the ÖH, we have a social responsibility to ensure all students can have their say on themes regarding social and educational policy, and a general political mandate provides the opportunity to achieve this. Not only the University administration imposes an influence on our studies, but also the law amendments imposed by the government. Our task is clear: to ensure a fair and equal study environment for every student- regardless of disability, responsibilities incurred through duty of care, first- generation students, employment or LGBTQIA*.

Expertise before Party Affiliation

We are committed to ensuring that the positions in the departments and boards, especially in the University representation, are not passed purely based on personal connections or registry affiliation, but rather through experience and commitment. For this reason, with consideration of the social dimension, we support a transparent application process and a fair selection procedure.

More space and collaboration at the PLUS

We as students make up the largest part of the university. Therefore, the university should not only be a space for lectures and exams where you only enter for 90 minutes per lecture, but a space for students, for staying, for collaborative learning, for exchange. This also means that the PLUS should be an inclusive and transparent place for all students, which we as students can help shape and where diversity, collaboration, and democracy are lived.

More space for students at the PLUS

We as students make up the largest part of the university. Therefore, the university should not only provide space for learning, but also opportunities to meet with fellow students and realize projects.

Therefore, we demand:

  • Making the ÖH-Free: Rooms, that are more comfortable and attractive as a space for students.
  • Extending library opening hours, especially during the summer.
  • Implementing/allowing 24/7 access with a student ID card.
  • Providing learning spaces at all faculties.
  • Establishing consumption-free common rooms at all faculties.
  • Creating cooking and meeting facilities where students can eat together.
  • Opening/making available unused seminar rooms for students, even if there are only 2 hours between classes.

 

Inclusive and modern restroom and sanitation facilities at the university
  • Creating modern and hygienic restroom facilities (e.g. NLW/Hellbrunnerstraße, GesWi).
  • Providing free menstrual products at all faculties for everyone.
  • Establishing all-gender restrooms at all faculties.
  • Providing shower facilities at all locations so that you don’t have to go to class all sweaty after cycling to the university.
(Re)building our community at the PLUS

With the pandemic, university life has disappeared. The rectorate has created new faculties, but the networking among students across different university locations is often too low. Now is the time to bring new life to the university and bring us students together.

Therefore, we demand:

  • Strengthening identification as students of the PLUS.
  • Creating more community projects between faculties/locations/on a university level.
  • Providing more interdisciplinary and faculty-crossing courses.
  • Promoting student engagement.
  • Strengthening the sense of belonging (e.g. university merchandise).
  • Organizing shared celebrations and social events at all university locations instead of a culture of prohibition.
  • Especially at the start of studies, strengthening networking among students from different degree programs.
Increased student participation in decision-making

As the largest group of people at the University of Salzburg, with 18,000 students, we demand a greater say in decision-making. Currently, decisions are often made by small groups that do not fully represent the diverse student body. This must change, as without students there would be no university, and we deserve to be heard and included in decision-making.

Therefore, we demand:

  • Students and academic staff should have equal participation and voting rights in all study-related committees (e.g. in curricula, appointments, habilitations).
  • In all other committees, students, academic staff, and general staff should have equal participation rights.
  • No appointments of lecturers should be made without student participation.
Promoting transparency and participation for students at the university

To promote transparency and participation for students at the university, we demand:

  • Regular student assemblies to be held.
  • Making university processes more transparent.
  • Holding regular student meetings with university management to address specific issues and report on what has happened and what will happen in the coming months.
Promoting inclusion for everyone

To promote inclusion for everyone at the University of Salzburg, we demand:

  • Accessibility in all buildings/lecture halls.
  • Awareness-raising and sensitivity training for lecturers and staff.
  • More personnel to provide support.
  • Providing sign language interpreters for lectures and events to enable participation of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
  • Offering training for university staff to promote the conscious use of technical language and to make communication more accessible for all students.
  • Establishing and promoting courses for students in plain language and sign language.
Promoting diversity and inclusivity

To promote diversity and inclusivity as guiding principles for university management, we demand:

  • Supporting Uni55+ and promoting intergenerational exchange.
  • Ensuring childcare facilities at the university, including for short-term needs (e.g. during exam periods).
  • Creating clear guidelines for handling discrimination incidents.
  • Conducting sensitivity training for university staff.

 Getting through your studies with greater ease!

We are clearly against a competitive and performance-oriented education policy that aims for mass appeal and solely vocational training. We understand the university as an inspiring place for education, science, and research. As students, we have the opportunity to network for joint projects that will shape our future careers. To strengthen the diversity of knowledge and incorporate different perspectives in research and society, the university must be a place for everyone. Organizational and structural challenges should not hinder a degree. For this, it is necessary:

Equal opportunities for everyone

To ensure equal opportunities for all students, especially for those from families without an academic background or with a migrant background, we demand:

  • Empowering students by providing sufficient information about their rights in the university.
  • Increasing visibility and awareness of available resources and support services.
  • Reducing the over-regulation of study plans and promoting more self-directed learning.
  • Ensuring open and free access to higher education and sufficient university funding as central prerequisites
Mental health should not take a backseat to lectures and exams

We demand:

  • Continuing the Mental Health Fund to support students.
  • Breaking down the stigma around mental health issues.
Ensuring sufficient course offerings every semester to make the standard period of study feasible

Many of us know the struggle: getting a spot in the necessary courses to advance in our studies can be uncertain or even impossible at the beginning of the semester. This often results in students being unable to complete their studies within the standard period and having to pay additional fees. To ensure that the ability to study is not dependent on financial means, the university must guarantee sufficient course offerings every semester.

Ensuring ECTS fairness

The workload for courses with multiple assignments is often much higher than for courses that only require an exam at the end of the semester. Moreover, the ECTS points awarded do not always reflect this increased workload. It is essential that the workload is reflected in the assigned ECTS points and is regularly evaluated through student feedback

Improving the compatibility of studying with work, caregiving responsibilities, and other obligations

From many counseling sessions, we know that the realities of students‘ lives are extremely diverse, and therefore, the compatibility of studying with a job, caregiving responsibilities, as well as physical and mental impairments is crucial.

Therefore, we demand:

  • Reconsideration and reduction of mandatory attendance
  • Elimination of prerequisite chains
  • Timely notification of course information before the start of the semester
  • Timely announcement of grades within 4 weeks after the exam and at least two weeks of study time between exam dates must be guaranteed
  • Exam dates and their contents must be determined at the beginning of the semester
  • Conditions for papers and seminar works should be established and discussed at the beginning of the semester
  • Better coordination of course schedules to eliminate overlaps
  • Increased predictability of course schedules and times, especially for courses taken across multiple faculties (e.g., in teacher training)
  • More options for exam dates
  • Repeatable partial exams in exercises, seminars, and other examination-related courses
  • Recognition of non-university achievements (validation)
The IT administration must function properly

For a university in the 21st century, sufficient IT equipment is of great importance. However, it is evident that at the University of Salzburg, there is still a lot to do to provide good conditions for studying.

We therefore demand:

  • An independent Vice Rectorate for Digitalisation with IT competence
  • Improvement of the university’s WLAN
  • The university should acquire the latest version of PLUSonline to be up to date with room bookings, etc.
  • Training for students on platforms
  • The university’s email policy must be revised so that students are not inundated with emails
  • Ensuring the accessibility of teachers
Study law workshops for teachers

To ensure that teachers give exam grades in a timely manner and provide sufficient course information, having sufficient knowledge about students‘ rights is essential. It is necessary to focus on this aspect and provide more training to teachers at the university in this area. Therefore, we demand the implementation of study law workshops for teachers to help them understand the rights and concerns of the students better.

Do not forget international students

Around 36 percent of students at the University of Salzburg are not from Austria and have a different nationality. This is a benefit for the university as well as for the city and the country, as different perspectives and backgrounds enrich academic and personal exchanges. Also, one or more semesters abroad are a benefit for personal and professional development. The concerns of international students and of PLUS students who decide to study abroad must not be forgotten.

Therefore, we demand:

  • Documents/regulations/processes should not be available only in German language but also in English language
  • No German requirements for international students in English-language master’s programs
  • Establishment of a central online platform for recognition of study achievements to promote transparency
  • No double tuition fees for students from non-EU/EEA countries or at least appropriate increased financial support.

Your ÖH must be your strong and critical representation during your studies!

We are active and long-time members of the student councils, faculty councils, and university representation. From counseling sessions to various committee work and negotiations with the rectorate, we bring a lot of experience. This is complemented by new faces from various fields of study and faculties. As such, we are also convinced: Only if your student union is networked and focuses on constructive dialogue and knowledge retention instead of conflict and disputes, can we improve your study time at the University of Salzburg. Therefore, we want to achieve the following points for you:

Promote a transparent and visible ÖH

The past two years have shown that good public relations are essential to inform students comprehensively and well. However, internal processes must also be communicated transparently and simply. Because every student should have the opportunity to participate in the discourse informed.

Therefore, the following is necessary:

  • increased visibility of the possibilities and offers provided by the ÖH
  • introduction in introductory lectures
  • the opportunity for everyone to participate and contribute, e.g., through open working groups for all students
  • regular opportunities for students to contribute their own positions to university policy work by, for example, conducting short surveys.
More non-partisan and reflective work in your student representation

Achieving improvements for students is often like drilling through thick boards. It takes a lot of perseverance and commitment to focus fully on the concerns and interests of students. Political competition has no place in this.

Therefore, the following is important to us:

  • Independent and reflective personnel decisions in the ÖH: commitment before partisan appointment
  • Promoting reflective work in the ÖH
Strong student representatives (StV), strong faculty representatives (FV)

Therefore, the following is necessary:

  • Train StV and FV for their daily work – introduce more training for new members in StV.
  • Network StV and FV more closely.
  • Stronger involvement of StV and FV in the work of the university representation.
  • Surveys for StV and FV.

A modern teaching approach is needed!

The COVID-19 pandemic forced teaching to switch to remote learning from one day to the next. Despite the challenges, digital teaching has brought many opportunities for a good education and greater compatibility with work, caregiving responsibilities, illnesses, or other life situations. After the end of the restrictions, little remains of online teaching for many of us. Something has to change here, because digitalization, adequate quality assurance, and a student-centered approach are essential for modern teaching.

Course evaluations with more consistency and transparency.

Almost everyone knows it: dozens of evaluation forms are filled out, but usually very little comes of it. For us, it is clear that evaluations must provide an accurate picture of the study situation and be transparently taken into account.

Therefore, we stand for:

  • Results must be more transparent, for example, for curriculum committees and student representatives.
  • Results should have consequences.
  • Ongoing evaluation of courses/teachers, not just every few semesters.
  • Strengthening feedback culture.
  • Making good teaching more visible.
The digital and hybrid form of teaching must continue.
After the end of the Corona restrictions, many teachers have returned to pure face-to-face teaching, which has a negative impact on the compatibility between studying and work, caring obligations, etc. In order to enable a successful degree completion, the life realities of students must not be forgotten and digital and hybrid teaching elements must be central to future teaching at the PLUS.

Therefore, we advocate for:

  • Recordings of lectures, or at least a streaming option, for remote participation
  • Implementation of a unified communication and collaboration platform, instead of multiple different online platforms, for information distribution to students
  • Support for teachers, for example with necessary equipment and in the use of technologies
  • Equipment of hybrid-capable seminar rooms and lecture halls at all university locations
  • Strengthening and institutionalizing the didactic and media competencies of the teachers
  • Expansion of support options for teachers in lectures through more student assistance and tutoring positions
Creating a framework for a more modern and student-oriented education

Lecturers who just read from a script, lack of practical orientation and university rooms that don’t have enough outlets for you to charge your laptop? Unfortunately, not uncommon.

That’s why we advocate for:

  • More interactivity, student-oriented teaching and practical relevance instead of just reading from a script
  • Generally strengthening the focus on teaching
  • All seminar rooms/lecture halls must have enough power outlets distributed throughout the room
  • Equipping all university locations with hybrid-capable seminar rooms and lecture halls.
Strengthen media literacy: critical handling of ChatGPT, AI & Co.

Currently on everyone’s lips: Artificial intelligences such as ChatGPT. But what does this mean for teaching? How should the university deal with these new technologies?

We stand for:

  • not a culture of prohibition, but targeted and reflective use
  • training for teachers in dealing with new technologies
  • handling of tools should be part of courses on scientific work
  • promoting ongoing discourse on opportunities, challenges and risks in the interplay of different disciplines (computer science, ethics, law, etc.)
  • strengthening media and IT competence

For a sustainable and affordable life at the university and in Salzburg!

We need to tackle the challenges posed by the climate change and the significant cost increases, which are not only major challenges for us as students, but for society as a whole. Only together and with consistent measures can we counter these challenges and ensure that everyone can continue to afford a sustainable life and education at the university, in Salzburg, and on our planet.

 

More sustainability at the university and in the ÖH

Accordingly, the university, especially as an educational institution for the decision-makers of tomorrow, can play a significant role in addressing, mitigating, and tackling the consequences and challenges of climate change, and thus setting a good example in the field of sustainability. The ÖH, as an organization, must also contribute to this effort.

Therefore, we stand for:

  • Implementation and targeted promotion of Green ÖH events at all levels of the student union: reusable and deposit systems (also for the university, if necessary with university merch/cups/dishes) combined with „bring your own dishes/cups“.
  • Intensification of waste separation at all locations.
  • Promotion of sustainable energy and heating supply for the university, so that we don’t have to freeze even in winter.
  • Integration of sustainability in teaching and making courses more visible in PlusOnline, and strengthening it in all programs.
Affordable and sustainable food at the university

Affordable and sustainable food at the university

Comparing the prices of the canteens at our university with other locations, one must realize that the lunch menu is becoming less and less affordable, especially in times of massive price increases, or the price-performance ratio is no longer right. However, the sustainability of the food is also important when we recharge in the canteens between classes.

Therefore, we stand for:

  • Affordable canteens/food options at all locations through smart cooperation between ÖH, university, and companies
  • Vegetarian as well as vegan and regional food must be offered daily
  • Promoting a diverse range of food options that taste good and are not just banal or substitute dishes.
Wind turbines for Salzburg 😉

More wind turbines and renewable energies are needed for Salzburg. The university itself could, for example, advocate PV systems on its buildings

Ongoing development and adaptation of the funding instruments of the ÖH in view of the current cost of living.

The ÖH Uni Salzburg already offers some financial support for students with the Social Scholarship, Childcare Support, Travel Cost Subsidy, Mental Health Fund, Free Legal Advice for Tenancy Matters, and the Meal Subsidy, as well as the Cultural and Project Scholarship, and the Environmental Funding Pot, in order to help students succeed in their studies and implement their own ideas and projects. Especially due to the current price increases, we need to examine the effectiveness of these support instruments in terms of their target audience and, depending on the situation, further develop and adapt them, as well as consider new forms of support.

Sustainable and affordable transportation management

If you take the trolleybus, for example, to get from the student dormitories to the university, it often happens that the bus is stuck in traffic and you would have been faster on foot. In addition to the frequency and travel time, the price is also of great importance for an attractive offer, as it may lead people to choose their own car.

Therefore, we advocate for:

  • Promotion of the climate ticket for students by the university, city, and state
  • Introduction of a discounted climate ticket for students, including those over 26 years old
  • Utilization of scientific expertise in traffic problems in the city (e.g., Mobility Lab)
Expanding Bike Mobility

One of the simplest ways to get from one university location to another is by bicycle. As an affordable and sustainable means of transportation, bicycle mobility should be further strengthened.

Therefore, we stand for:

  • More covered bike parking spaces at all faculties
  • More visible and frequent bike repair events
  • Free rental bicycles for students, even for short periods of time.
Emergency accommodation for commuting students
Affordable Housing and Energy for Students

With around 15 percent, the proportion of students living in student dormitories in Salzburg is particularly high. Still, prices are also rising rapidly here. Living in student dormitories must remain affordable.

Therefore, we stand for:

  • Particularly the expansion & densification of student dormitories to create more places
  • Strengthening and networking of dormitory representatives.

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