COVID transition achieved through monumental effort - now safeguarding the future remains imperative
During a press conference with Federal Minister Heinz Faßmann on May 7, the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences clearly demonstrated that despite the massive challenges posed by COVID19, the swift transition to Online & Distant Learning was achieved with great success. "Our highest concern is for the students to be able to continue and successfully complete their studies while ensuring the highest quality and without any loss of time. An incredible amount of work has been done here at these universities in the past weeks ", MCI Rector Andreas Altmann announced in a press release, expressing his thanks to all employees who have put all their efforts into making this enormous achievement possible.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Science, short-term measures are being prepared to help bridge COVID19-related financial shortfalls. "We greatly appreciate this, as it helps us in this current, extraordinary situation. We also acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of Federal Minister Heinz Faßmann to finally compensate for the real loss in value of the federal funding levels for study places in the past and to provide for an annual compensation for inflation in the future", Rector Altmann adds. "After all, the real loss in value since the funding levels were established in the academic year of 1993/94, taking the consumer price index into account, now represents 2,450 Euros or 25%. If we take the wage index, which in itself is even more accurate, the loss in value is even more than 35%.
With this in mind, MCI Rector Andreas Altmann emphatically supports the demand of the Ministry of Science and the Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences to make at least a 10% adjustment from 2021 within the framework of the federal budget planning and to establish an annual value guarantee based on this. "Otherwise, there will be a lack of planning security and financial stability to maintain operations in an orderly manner, to guarantee quality and to shape the future. We owe this to our students, employers and research partners and, last but not least, to our sponsors and financiers," Rector Altmann concludes in his urgent appeal to the Federal Government.