Your message to the Minister of Science
On Monday, 7.11. at the TUW Day of Action, we jointly sent a strong signal with great media coverage. Many thanks to all those involved! The "collection of letters" started by the student representatives on the day of action was expanded and sent to the Minister of Science on Tuesday, 15 November. See HTU Facebook post, opens an external URL in a new window.
© TU Wien, Foto: Matthias Heisler
Commitment to STEM under pressure
The fact that the sum of € 500 million available to all universities plus the additional budget now announced does not even cover half of the expected additional costs hits the TU Wien particularly hard. "No one could have foreseen in 2020, when the budget for the current performance agreement period was being negotiated, that we would slip from one global crisis into the next and that these would overlap," explains Rector Sabine Seidler and continues: "50 per cent of our additional needs result from the rising prices for electricity alone, and a TU cannot work without electricity."
Rector Sabine Seidler, her rectorate team and the designated rector Jens Schneider (note: taking office 01.10.2023) are backed by the deans, the senate, several hundred students, researchers, young academics and the administrative staff. They all support the "TUW Action Day" at the Karlsplatz/Resselpark campus on 7 November 2022 from 8 am. As a warning signal and to highlight the effects of the acute financial situation, 30 courses and lectures and 1,400 study and learning spaces will be moved outdoors in front of the main TU building. From 12 noon onwards, a "competence march" formed from Karlsplatz across the Ring with more than 9,000 participants with an intermediate rally in front of the parliament to the BMBWF at Minoritenplatz in order to show which scientific competences will no longer be imparted if no common solution to the existing financial problem is found.. Programme: www.tuwien.at/aktionstag, opens an external URL in a new window
"We cannot simply go back to business as usual in this acute crisis situation," warns TU Rector Sabine Seidler, "because especially as a STEM university, the TU Wien bears great responsibility towards its members and society."
The agenda must therefore include the discussion about covering the budget deficit:
Scientific and engineering research and teaching depend on the operation of energy-intensive infrastructures and equipment that cannot be easily switched off. 60 % of the TU Wien's electricity consumption is generated in the laboratories and their infrastructure. Developments on the energy market result in additional costs of about € 90 million.
Inflation-related index jumps increase rental costs by about € 10 million.
The STEM sector is in dire straits on both the university and business sides. An adequate conclusion of the collective agreement negotiations will lead to further additional costs of about € 35 million.
Scientific and engineering research and teaching are also dependent on consumables and small equipment. Even with highly efficient use, additional costs of approx. 29 million € will arise over and above calculated price increases.
- CONTRIBUTION TU Wien
The TU Wien has been running an energy-saving programme for months now, which all university employees support. This will keep electricity consumption constant in the current performance agreement period. This alone is expected to save a total of € 20 million.
- CRISIS SUMMIT
The situation of the TU Wien shows that the additional financial requirements of the universities for the years 2022 - 24 must be reviewed again. The universities are therefore once again calling for a crisis summit to look for a joint solution in view of the dramatic situation. This is the order of the day.
Consequences of the funding gap
Without sufficient additional federal budget funds for the TU Wien for the years 2022 - 2024, the operation of the university is at risk and the TUW research teams and university teachers cannot fulfil their tasks in research (innovation, knowledge and technology transfer) and teaching (STEM student education).
Members of the TU Wien will not be able to continue researching and teaching at the highest quality and thus STEM students will automatically be undersupplied, the number of graduates will decrease, research cooperations will no longer be possible. Austria as a country of innovation cannot afford such a shortage.
The university students' association at the TU Wien (HTU):
"Inflation is also hitting the universities, which have already been cut to the bone, hard. Due to rising heating and electricity costs, among other things, the TU Wien alone is facing additional costs of over 170 million euros. Even under the toughest austerity measures, the additional budget of almost 60 million euros promised by the Ministry of Education is not nearly enough to plug the budget hole. The consequences are already becoming apparent: cut laboratories, hiring freezes and reduced teaching and research budgets, but also cold lecture halls, closed study rooms and more online semesters.
We only have until 11 November to convince the Ministry of Education to adjust the currently planned budget to reality. To remind those responsible once again of the importance of the TU Wien for society and not least for us students, we are organising the TUW Action Day on Monday, 7 November. Together with the university management, teachers and the entire TU Wien, we will demonstrate for an adequate education budget that guarantees our livelihood.
We look forward to seeing you all there ;)"