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Austrian students call for help with cost of living crisis

Image: CollegeDegrees360 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Student association also says government should help universities with energy bills

Austrian students have called on politicians to help them cope with living costs during this period of extreme inflation, saying that many of them are living “on the poverty line”.

The ÖH students’ association this week published a list of demands for the state to support students amid rising living costs.

“We students are particularly hit by the effects of the current crisis; many of us already live just on the poverty line, and our future is anything but promising,” the ÖH said in its call for an “anti-inflation package”.

It called for student grants to be expanded, residence costs to be capped and subsidies to be provided for energy bills.

The ÖH also urged the abolition of tuition fees and called for a ‘climate ticket’ to provide free public transport for students.

University funding

The association complained that some universities had announced staff cuts to cope with rising costs. It said: “The dismissal of employees cannot be an option—it’s the state’s duty to finance the universities fully.”

A few universities have announced that they will go back to distance learning during the winter semester because of rising heating and electricity costs, the ÖH noted. It said that these costs should instead be paid for by the government.

The association also called for student place financing to be adjusted for inflation and for a long-term solution to be found for state funding of universities.