19 September 2017
In the context of the upcoming national elections in Austria on 15 October 2017, the Austrian Alliance of Science Organisations put a list of questions to the political parties currently represented in parliament and campaigning in the elections: SPÖ (Social Democratic Party), ÖVP (People’s Party), FPÖ (Freedom Party), Grüne (Green Party) and NEOS (The New Austria and Liberal Forum). The questions cover a wide area from measures benefiting Austrian universities and investments in basic research or the promotion of excellence to the dismantling of legal barriers in labour legislation and the tax code.
Questions to the political parties campaigning in the elections
- Considering the most recent results of international rankings: What are you planning to do to help Austrian universities get to top positions in international rankings? Should that be a priority at all for our country?
- Our neighbours Germany and Switzerland are investing massively in basic research and promotion of excellence. What has to be done to prevent Austria from becoming more and more of a laggard in this respect?
- Top researchers work in global networks. Austria has to remove legal barriers in its labour code and tax law that stand in the way of active academic exchanges by way of scholarships, fellowships and other forms of short- and medium-term quasi-employment. What are your plans to strengthen Austria's position in the international research community?
- What is a student worth to you? How do you plan to achieve the 2%-of-GDP goal for the tertiary education sector? Should the record number of students at Austrian universities – 300,000 at present – be allowed to rise further, or where to you see a ceiling?
- How are you going to ensure that Austria's research infrastructure will continue to meet international standards? What will be done to provide sufficient funding for construction projects involving universities and other research institutions?