Staff who are not employed in teaching and research are generally assigned to the general university staff of a university. The admission requirements are determined based on the tasks of the organisational unit which are shown in the university’s organisation plan and also based on the specific call for job applications. Employees are in an employment relationship with the university which is subject to the collective agreement for universities. The specific wages are based on the classification according to the collective agreement. Depending on the specialised area of employment, special training requirements (such as for library staff) may be demanded. This is not a mandatory legal requirement, however. Although this scheme is being phased out, there is still a larger group of employees employed by the federal government (civil servants) who are assigned to the universities for service purposes. The general university staff includes administrative, technical, library and nursing staff as well as physicians exclusively fulfilling their tasks in a public hospital. They must have the required professional qualifications. They are employed by the university, and work part time or full time.
The training of library staff for universities is regulated in a decree. This standardised training for the library, information and documentation service comprises lectures and seminars in the form of training modules and a subject-specific work placement which – depending on the area of activity – is for between 50 and 100 days. At some universities the university course “Library and Information Studies” is offered: successful completion of this course is compulsory for the library staff of all universities according to the Universities Act 2002.
Counselling of students
At higher education institutions students help and support prospective students by providing them with information on the studies (e.g. enrolment, organisation, academic calendar, etc.) Most universities and higher education institutions have set up special career centres to inform and advise their graduates on entering professional life.
Psychological Counselling Service for Students
A service run by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the psychological counselling service is aimed at both prospective students and students. The offer includes advice on choosing a course, support during the course with course-related and personal problems as well as assistance in the final phase. Information, counselling, and psychological / psychotherapeutic support are provided both personally (depending on the problem in an individual or group setting) and partly online (e-mail, chat counseling). The employees in the psychological counselling service for students hold a qualification in psychology and/or psychotherapy.
Office of the Austrian Student Ombudsman
The Office of the Austrian Student Ombudsman at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research was established under the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in 2012 (with a predecessor organisation since 1997). It serves as a central contact and information point for students, prospective students and former students from the entire Austrian tertiary sector and from abroad. Its tasks include ensuring that all incoming complaints about problems and shortcomings at institutions of higher education are handled professionally. The office provides information, advice, and conflict management, but also mediation in individual cases. It also supports measures to improve or remedy deficiencies and indicates system deficiencies. The Austrian Student Ombudsman is a member of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE).