Vienna aims to halt influx of German students

Published on 28 May 2013 at 13:35

“Vienna has called on the EU to limit the number of German students,” reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper explains that, according to figures from the Austrian Ministry of Economy, one in every nine first year university students is from Germany. In certain courses and institutions, for example the psychology faculties at Salzburg and Innsbruck, which are close to the German border, they account for more than 80 per cent of students.

As the Austrian newspaper Kurier explains, the Minister for Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle now wants “to give priority” to Austrian students.

To this end, Töchterle has asked the Commission for permission to follow in the footsteps of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other European countries struggling with a large influx of foreign students, so that he can introduce measures “to prevent imbalances that create an anti-European atmosphere” in the country’s universities.

“As it stands, it is not clear what criteria will be used to distinguish between foreign and local students. To date, only the country’s medical schools have imposed a 75 per cent quota for Austrian students,” points out Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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Until now, any limit on the number of university places for foreign students has been viewed as an infringement of the free movement of persons within the EU, explains Kurier.

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