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Earlier this month Austrian Vice Chancellor and Minister of Science Reinhold Mitterlehner together reached an agreement with the Minister of Finance regarding the future university budget. The agreement consists in making available additional EUR 615 million for the period 2016-2018 to allow Austria “to strengthen its knowledge society and create predictability and transparency in the coming years".
The total university budget allocated amounts to EUR 9.72 billion, a 6.75% increase with respect to the previous period 2013-2015, when the budget was EUR 9.11 billion. The 615 million will be divided into two different sets of funding: EUR 315 million will go to 22 public universities while other EUR 300 million will be awarded competitively among higher education institutions. Additionally, there will be EUR 200 million for the construction of universities’ infrastructure made available by the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft, the Austrian Federal Real Estate Company. Overall, therefore, universities will receive extra EUR 815 million compared to the previous period.
On top of the budget increase for universities, there will be also new funding for Universities of Applied Science. Additional EUR 60 million will be available starting from 2016 Winter semester, until the academic year 2018-2019. This amount will be added to the EUR 56 million agreed in April for the further expansion of the instrument of the Fachhochschulen.