Institutional Autonomy Versus Government Control The New University Act in Austria

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Following prolonged discussion, the Austrian government has passed a new University Act which will provide universities with a semiautonomous status. The reform is the most incisive change of the university system for the past 150 years and has been preceded by an equally momentous change in the status of the teaching faculty and staff, all future appointments no longer providing civil servant status any more. Major points in discussions between the Rectors Conference, the organizations representing the professoriate and staff, and the Ministry have been the balance of power between the institutions, representatives from outside, and the Ministry, as well as the amount of control to be exercised by the Ministry. In the view of the institutions, the legislation is heavily weighted towards the latter leaving too little room for initiatives from the faculties and participation in the central steering groups....

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