The Rectorate of TU Vienna weighed up the evidence and decided that this year was not the time to introduce a selection or admission procedure for Architecture/Planning or Information Technology. The decision follows TU Vienna's refusal (the only university to do so) to sign the addendum to the performance agreement put forward by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF). This addendum stipulates the number of places the university must offer in certain academic areas. "I have not signed because we could not guarantee that we have the necessary resources to support the mandatory number of places. It was the only fair choice for our future students," explained Rector Sabine Seidler.
This decision means that TU Vienna will continue to offer free access to courses, but not unlimited places. "We must devise and implement plans for both academic areas to ensure student intake numbers are realistic and that we are able to offer a good student-teacher ratio," explained Adalbert Prechtl, the Vice Rector responsible for teaching. Any preliminary work already undertaken to devise an admission procedure and any ideas developed internally will not go to waste, as they will form the basis for the preparations for future academic years. The current entry and induction procedures (STEOP) will continue as usual.
The minimum number of student places that TU Vienna must offer under the proposed BMWF regulations is much too high, unrealistic and not in line with the university's actual capacities. The figures are simply not acceptable. The members of the Rectorate were all in agreement, "If the figures had been in line with our capacities, we would have signed." The new limits do not bring any relief in the oversubscribed subject areas. On the contrary, they make the situation worse for students and teaching staff alike. According to the BMWF, the projected additional 95 teaching staff should improve the student-teacher ratio. However for TU Vienna, the sums simply don't add up. "It's a sham that they are trying to sell to the unis," commented Rector Sabine Seidler. "The relationship between the number of students starting courses (student places) and the number of students who are "prüfungsaktiv" (i.e. have completed 16 ECTS credits over an academic year) is not taken into account. This is key, because the improvements in the student-teacher ratio that are so often cited, are calculated based on the number of students who are "prüfungsaktiv"," she continued.
Architecture/Planning at TU Vienna has an intake of around 535 students, which is already above capacity. The figure proposed by the BMWF is 1030. Likewise, a realistic student number for Information Technology is 509, but the BMWF suggested 980. The fact that these proposed intake figures are well above the university's teaching capacity means that the situation will not get any better for students, because resources will not increase at the same pace. The addendum is also designed to help redistribute student applications between the universities. However, this will not work because the starting point for calculating the target figures has not been properly thought out.
Vienna University of Technology
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