Here you can find informations about the novella of the Universitätsgesetz.
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask them on Discord.
Minimum of 24 ECTS in two years, otherwise involuntary de-registration
For newly admitted students it will be compulsory to make at least 24 ECTS-points within their first two years. This also implies that you have to make it through the introductory and orientation phase within your first year, otherwise you will have significant problems with your further studies. Since there will not be any exceptions to those rules, unless you have taken a semester off, you might be thrown out over something simple like a record, that arrived too late or exams with late exam dates.
Especially at TU Wien, where a lot of professors take over four weeks to correct exams, and make-up exams are often necessary in order not to fail certain subjects, a law like this would turn out to be fatal. Furthermore, there might not be any exams during summer anymore, so that professors will not be troubled by the before-mentioned four-week-rule, since the number of compulsory offered exam dates is supposed to be reduced from three to two.
It is also unclear how the university is going to be held responsible in case a student fails, because e.g. an exam is not corrected within four weeks. Due to the pandemic, this topic is now more relevant than ever before, since a lot of exams are being postponed or do not take place at all. This makes planning a lot harder.
Reduction of exam dates
Per semester, there will only be two instead of three possible exam dates, which will lead to slowing your progress, since it’s usually not possible to take all the exams you should at the end of the semester, due to the sheer amount of knowledge you would have to work through.
Another problem is overlapping exam dates. With less dates to choose from, it will thus be even more difficult to actually take all the exams you want to, especially when some of your exams take place on the same day.
This is made even more problematic by the fact that it is nowhere stated anymore for when the exam dates are supposed to be set. For that, teachers may even set both compulsory dates on the same day but different times. It is even possible that all exams take place during holidays that many use for e.g. work so that they can afford living expenses.
Furthermore, like this it is no longer ensured that you can even finish a subject by the end of the semester since the exam dates might all be set for the beginning.
Combined with the moving of the deadline for finished exams from 31.11. to 30.9. this will lead to even less exam dates during the summer and will prove to be fatal.
Abolition of the registration grace period
It will no longer be possible for students to pay either the ÖH-Beitrag or study fees after 30th of September, which is followed by an automatic de-registration for the following semester unless the rector sets an extra grace period.
Up to now the fees would simply be raised by 10% after 30th September, but now even students, who are in financial troubles, will be deregistered. For that, a re registration would only be possible the following semester and you could not take any exams, which means that you would lose up to a year of your lifetime.
Those who wanted to get admitted post-registration period could get admitted, when they had a valid reason. This would now no longer be possible.
Especially students from other countries will be troubled by this new regulation, since they have more obligations to fulfill than Austrian students, e.g. language certificates etc.
Furthermore, it is unclear whether you can continue to save yourself from paying study fees when you graduate during this“grace period” mentioned above.
Abolition of consecutive Master's admission
It will no longer be possible to get admitted to your Master’s right after finishing a fitting Bachelor’s degree outside the regular admission period.
This will lead to delays in the study period, especially at our university, as many students complete their Bachelor’s degree in the middle of the semester. For that, the easy procedure of switching from Bachelor’s to Master’s programme is going to be lost.
It is supposed to become possible for students in their final year(s) to meet an agreement with the university about their further studies without a lawyer or any other sort of representative. For that, it is unclear whether the university is going to meet you half-way or will just simply force you into an unfair contract. Yet it is unclear how much consideration would be given to the individual circumstances of students. Although this is intended to make it possible to be exempted from tuition fees, the obligations imposed for this purpose can easily become excessive and completely destroy a free course division.
Overall, we are very critical of the great legal uncertainty that prevails in the area of Learning Agreements, especially since the new UG only imposes obligations on the students when entering into such an agreement, while the university has virtually no obligations at all.
Guidelines for curricula
It is supposed to become possible for the rector and vice-rectors to highly impact the creation of the curriclulas, which until now has been the task of the study-commission.
Thus, students’ voices will be heard even less when it comes to issues directly affecting them. Even the senate, which has students among its ranks, will only be allowed to voice an opinion to changes issued by the rector. Whether that opinion will be heard is questionable.
Leave of Absence
With the new UG amendment, it will no longer be possible for the university to allow its own additional reasons for a leave of absence. Unfortunately, the regulation of the Technical University of Vienna, according to which you can also take leave on the basis of “other equivalent reasons for impairing your studies”, has to be abolished. Students who are affected by problems, that do not fall into one of the predefined categories, will therefore remain on the sidelines in the future.
From now on, a leave of absence within the first semester should no longer be possible, unless there is a good reason. A performance of military or civil service obligations or in this case, the voluntary social year is no longer regarded as a reason for leave. Since the extension period is also to be deleted, you can then only apply for leave for the winter semester until 31 October, and in the summer semester until 31 March.
However, in the case of the extension period, activities such as extraordinary civil service, similar to that of the last summer semester, are no longer possible.
Recognition of university exams
The burden of proof for recognition is going to be reversed, which means that the responsible dean of study has to prove that a course is not equivalent to a course at the Technical University of Vienna.
However, a recognition of course achievements from previous studies can now only take place within the first semester, which is why the time of recognition will suddenly be very important in the future, as otherwise recognition can be rejected beforehand.
Curricula are going to be evaluated based on their ECTS-fairness. We welcome this project and have long wished for such an evaluation. The question is whether they will carry out the project and if there will be a change after the results are in.