Austrian Student Union
Many students are unfamiliar with the role and responsibilities of the Austrian Student Union (ÖH - Österreichische HochschülerInnenschaft) and how the student union is structured. The Austrian Student Union is a legal entity representing students both on and off campus. Here is a brief overview of the Student Union's structure as taken from the official Austrian Student homepage.
Federal Representatives (Die Bundesvertretung)
Federal representatives are responsible for all of Austria and represent students’ interests to federal ministries, political parties, and state organizations. These representatives also organize the Student Union insurance at cost of just 36 cents which is included in the Student Union fees. Each student is automatically insured for any accidents or liability incurred on the way to the university or on campus. The Student Union also provides a number of information and service brochures (i.e. information on social services) that apply and can be utilized nationwide. For more information on the Federal Student Union, please see:www.oeh.ac.at.
University Representatives (Universitätsvertretung)
University representatives represent students’ interests to the university board (i.e. the Rector, university management, etc.), external non-academic institutions, and the public. They are responsible for various support services including the Office of Social Services, Office of Academic Advising, and Office for Migrants and Integration Work. Services provided by university representatives include: student union brochures, mensa (university cafeteria) discounts, editing and publishing the student union newsletter (ÖH Courier), social counseling services, event planning (such as the student Mensa fests), and more. At the forefront of the Student Union Linz, university representatives coordinate, manage, oversee and organize the Student Union.
Faculty Representatives (Fakultätsvertretung)
Faculty representatives at the Student Union are student representatives responsible for a particular area of study (Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and the Faculty of Law) at the JKU. Faculty representatives represent students’ interests in those areas of study, coordinate efforts between student representatives, and together they organize academic advising and counseling services for first-year students.
Degree Program Representatives (Studienvertretung)
Students who have questions regarding the degree program curriculum or who are experiencing problems with a professor or instructor can turn to a student representative for degree programs for assistance and advice. These student representatives represent students’ interests in each area of study. They have rights of co-determination in regards to the curriculum and credit transfer. All representatives have regular office hours and are available personally for students. You can also contact your representative by e-mail.