Austrian Students' Association

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ÖH Logo 2013.jpg

The Austrian Students' Union by statutory body (German: Österreichische Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaft, ÖH') is the general students' representative body in Austria and serves as the students' government by federal law. The ÖH is member of European Students' Union.

Membership in the ÖH is compulsory for every university student in Austria, including PhD candidates.


The statutes of the ÖH are regulated in a federal law, the "Hochschülerinnen und Hochschülerschaftsgesetz" (HSG).

The Students Union is structured into:

  • Studienvertretung: board of representatives for each study (or group of related studies). It consist of typically 5 members. person-based direct election.
  • Fakultätsstudienvertretung
  • Universitätsvertretung: board of university students representatives. list based direct election.
  • Bundesvertretung: National Board of the ÖH. It is elected (mainly) by the university boards.

Biannually, there are general elections. Turnout declined from about 70% in 1965 to 28.29% in the elections of 2007.

The HSG also includes regulations on the funding of the ÖH and its parts and the duties and rights of the students representatives.


  • 1945: foundation of the ÖH
  • 1946: first general election
  • 1947: ÖH becomes a public statutory body
  • 1950: ÖH obtains the right to formally examine laws concerning education
  • 1952: first demonstration against student fees
  • 1959: the ÖH establishes the Austrian Student Aid Foundation (also: home4students)[1]
  • 1962: one week strike
  • 1973, 1975: strengthening of the position of the ÖH by new laws
  • 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004 and especially in 2010 and 2011: demonstrations against various steps of loss of social benefits for students and legal restrictions of students representation.

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