Presentation of the Austrian Exchange Service (ÖAD)

bridges vol. 18, July 2008 / Institutions & Organizations

by Ulrich Hoermann


The presentation of the Austrian Exchange Service comprises three parts:

  • a general presentation of the structure and activities of the Austrian Exchange Service
  • scholarship programs available for students and postgraduates from North America
  • the Cooperation Austria – USA / Canada in the framework of two programs of the European Union

 

1. The Austrian Exchange Service 

 

logo of the Austrian Exchange Service (ÖAD)

Mission statement
The Austrian Exchange Service is Austria’s leading non-profit-making service organization in the field of international cooperation in education and research. The ÖAD aims at stimulating and supporting international mobility and cooperation in all fields of education. It is the ÖAD’s ambition to keep and extend its position as leading service provider for international activities and to present these activities to the public.
 

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The ÖAD was founded in 1961 by the Austrian Rectors’ Conference with the purpose of supporting foreign students during their stay in Austria. Today the ÖAD is an association of Universities Austria, the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, Austria, and the University Colleges of Teacher Education. The General Assembly, the organization’s supreme decision-making body, elects from its members a “Presidium” and the President of the ÖAD.  

In the course of introducing a process and quality management system (the ÖAD has been awarded the certificate according to ISO Norm 9001:2000), the question of the structure and the owners of the ÖAD has also been addressed. After an intensive preparation period of almost two years in which all stakeholders of the ÖAD were involved, the Austrian National Council decided about the OEAD law by which the OeAD will be newly established as a limited liability company (OeAD-GmbH) in the ownership of the Republic of Austria on January 1, 2009. With the establishment of the OeAD-GmbH, the ÖAD will develop towards a powerful agency for international cooperation in education and research that will be recognized on a European and international level.

Staff, Funding
Approximately 125 employees (90 full-time); yearly budget of €37 million, mainly funded by the Federal Ministry of Science and Research; the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture; the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (through the Austrian Development Agency); the European Commission and further providers of funds.

Programs and activities
The ÖAD manages a wide range of projects and scholarship programs for students, apprentices, teachers, and researchers on behalf of several Austrian Federal Ministries, the European Commission, and other providers of funds.
Administration of programs:

  • European Union: National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Program, EU-Third Countries Programs
  • National programs: Ernst Mach, Franz Werfel, Richard Plaschka, CEEPUS, bilateral programs, programs of the Austrian Development Cooperation (North-South Dialogue Scholarship Program), programs of the Austrian Council for Research and Technological Development, Scientific and Technological Cooperation
  • Programs financed by third parties: Pakistan Program, Thailand Program, specific programs of enterprises and departments

Information and counseling:

  • Web site, grants database (www.grants.at)
  • Presentation of Austria as an attractive location for higher education and research
  • Entry and residence regulations, health insurance
  • Researchers’ Mobility Portal

Expertise, Think Tank, etc.

  • participation in studies, surveys, EU projects

ÖAD Housing Office

  • Administration of accommodations for foreign students, scholars, and professors

University Preparation Programs

2. Scholarship programs available for students and postgraduates from North America

Incoming grant programs for students, postgraduate students, and postdocs open to applicants from all over the world:  

Ernst Mach Grant – worldwide:
Eligible are graduates pursuing a doctoral/PhD program outside Austria and those who have already completed a doctoral/PhD degree (or equivalent degree) and are working at their home university.

Ernst Mach Grant for students from non-European countries for studying in a master’s degree program at an Austrian university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule):
Eligible for application are students studying in a master’s program at a university in a non-European country or those who have successfully completed at least six semesters of studies of a traditional diploma program at a university in a non-European country at the time of starting the grant.

Franz Werfel Grant:
Applications are open only to university teachers who are primarily engaged in Austrian literature. Those receiving a Werfel grant can work as visiting researchers at university departments and carry out specialist studies in libraries, archives, or at research institutions. To qualify for follow-up support, grant recipients must have completed at least twelve months of a Franz Werfel grant and must continue teaching at their home university. Follow-up support measures: invitation to a literature symposium each year, a yearly allowance for specialist literature on the occasion of this symposium, a one-month research grant every three years, subscription to a learned journal for German Studies, habilitation grant, publication allowance.

Richard Plaschka Grant:
Eligible for application are only university teachers whose main focus of interest is Austrian history. Recipients of Plaschka grants can work as visiting researchers at university departments and carry out specialist studies in libraries, archives, or at research institutions.
If the grant recipients have completed at least twelve scholarship months, they will qualify for follow-up support comprising the following measures: an invitation to a symposium on an historic topic every year, a yearly allowance for specialist literature on the occasion of this symposium, a one-month research grant every three years, subscription to a learned journal for history studies, habilitation grant, publication allowance.

General information:
Age limit 35 years; applications must be submitted online at www.scholarships.at
Scholarship holders are exempt from paying tuition fees at the Austrian institution.

Outgoing:
Schumpeter Grant for the MPA2-Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government/Harvard University

One representative of the ÖAD/ACM cooperates with the Fulbright Commission in selecting the candidates for the Fulbright grants.

Detailed information about the programs can be found at:  www.grants.at

3. ATLANTIS (EU-US) and TEP (EU-Kanada)

ATLANTIS (2006–2013)

The European Commission and the United States of America signed a new agreement on higher education and vocational training in June 2006. It aims primarily at promoting understanding between the peoples of the European Union and the United States of America and improving the quality of their human resource development. The program ATLANTIS covers the following “actions”:

  • Transatlantic Degree Consortia Projects:
    This “Action” provides support for consortia of EU and US higher education institutions to implement dual/double or joint degree programs. Transatlantic Degree consortia projects may apply for three types of funding: i) flat rates/fixed amounts for administering the project; ii) transatlantic mobility grants to EU and US students; and iii) transatlantic mobility grants to EU and US faculty. The overall amount of funding on the EU side for a four-year Transatlantic Degree Consortia Project cannot exceed a maximum of €408,000 – €428,000.
  • Excellence Mobility Projects:
    This “Action” provides funding for international curriculum development projects that involve short-term transatlantic mobility not directly related to the award of a joint or dual/double degree. Support includes mobility stipends for students and faculty and flat rates/fixed amounts for the consortia institutions. The overall amount of funding on the EU side for a 4-year Excellence Mobility Project cannot exceed a maximum of €180,000.
  • Policy Oriented Measures:
    This “Action” provides support to multilateral EU-US projects and activities designed to enhance collaboration in the higher education and vocational training field.


At the moment, the projects of the third call are in the evaluation phase. Unfortunately, and unlike the first two program generations, Austrian institutions did not participate in the last two calls successfully.

TEP (2007–2013)

In December 2006 the European Commission and Canada signed a new agreement on higher education and vocational training. Each call for proposals is launched by the European Commission together with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to fund joint study and/or training programs allowing transatlantic exchanges between European and Canadian educational institutions. The maximum amount of funding on the EU side will be €138,000 for a three-year consortium project. The Canadian partners will be funded directly by HRSDC.
At the moment the projects of the second call are in the evaluation phase. Two of the eleven funded projects of the first call had an Austrian contractor on the European side: FHW-University of Applied Sciences of WKW, Vienna, with the project “Expansion of Strategic Markets in Canada and the European Union,“ and the University of Graz with the project “Student Exchange Program in Human Security.”

For further information please see: http://www.oead.ac.at/_eu/3staaten/index.html

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The author, Ulrich Hörmann, is the secretary-general of the Austrian Exchange Service (ÖAD). {/access}