Europe and us

9. May 2024 European ProgrammesOeAD
The OeAD’s activities are inextricably linked to European integration.

Every year 9 May is celebrated as Europe Day. Europe offers enormous added value for education, culture, science and research. The OeAD's agendas are also closely linked to the European Education Area.

The OeAD’s managing director Jakob Calice says:
"In recent decades European education policy has become an important field of European politics; the keyword is EU educational cooperation. It is part of our self-image to raise awareness as Europeans. As Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation the OeAD implements a wide range of programmes and initiatives with a focus on Europe, above all Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. With the national coordination points for the Bologna Process, EURAXESS, Euroguidance, Europass, eTwinning, EPALE and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) the OeAD also supports recognition and comparability as well as education and research initiatives in Austria and Europe. Other initiatives such as the multilateral CEEPUS programme complement the OeAD’s portfolio."

Europe at the OeAD
The OeAD is involved in international collaboration and cooperation at various levels. The programmes and initiatives implemented by the OeAD make a significant contribution to anchoring and strengthening the European dimension at all levels of education. Activities that promote the internationalisation of the Austrian education landscape and support the comprehensive use of the European Education Area while also making education systems and educational qualifications comparable play an important part in this.

The EU programme Erasmus+ plays a central part in this and opens up new horizons for people in many respects. It is possible to complete an internship, study, teach or work in another country. Initially a student exchange programme, Erasmus+ now includes schools, higher education institutions, vocational and adult education as well as youth and sports. The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) offers young people aged 18-30 the possibility to get involved in charitable projects and thus experience Europe. With a bit of luck young Europeans who are 18 years old at the time of travelling can discover Europe with a DiscoverEU travel pass.

The OeAD is also a partner in the EU initiative Euraxess, a Europe-wide network that supports mobility and careers of researchers. EU tools to promote transparency and recognition of skills, abilities and qualifications such as Europass or the National Qualifications Framework are also part of the OeAD’s portfolio. Last but not least, one educational policy objective is the development and harmonisation of a European education area through the Bologna Process.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important digital education is for the digital transformation that Europe needs. With its digital strategy the European Union wants to make the coming decade Europe's "Digital Decade" by 2030. The Digital Skills Office at the OeAD is part of the digital skills offensive.

Europe is of course more than just Erasmus+ & Co: in addition to the EU programmes, the OeAD is responsible for a wide range of offers in the European context. Since 1989 the OeAD has supported educational and academic relations with the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. These include the Central European network CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies), which enables study and teaching stays at universities in partner countries, and the programme for higher education and research cooperation with Kosovo, which is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

The OeAD in Europe
Educational Cooperation with Eastern and South-Eastern Europe also has its origins in the endeavours towards European integration. Educational Cooperation with Eastern and South-Eastern Europe facilitates exchange and cooperation between educational institutions in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Austria and in this way supports sustainable educational reforms in pre-university education. The OeAD has a network of co-operation offices in Eastern and South-Eastern European partner countries that are managed by Austrian educational coordinators.

Teaching assignments abroad bring experience from abroad into the Austrian education system. This is made possible within the framework of the weltweit unterrichten (teaching worldwide) programme, by teaching German as a foreign language or the lectureship programme.

As a member of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) the OeAD works closely with European partners to actively promote the internationalisation of higher education.

Education and internationalisation – working together for success
With our activities the OeAD contributes to strengthening European cooperation in education, science and culture, supports the vision of a united and diverse Europe and acts as a driving force for Austrian education policy.

Stays abroad contribute to the development of personal skills and strengthen the innovative capacity of institutions and entire education systems. Engaging with other people leads to a better understanding of other perspectives and an appreciative approach to diversity. International knowledge exchange and expertise strengthen Austria as a place for education, science and research. Internationalisation is therefore the best investment in the future.

Why Europe Day?
It was on 9 May 1950 that the then French foreign minister Robert Schuman gave a speech in Paris in which he presented his vision of a new kind of political cooperation in Europe – a cooperation that would make wars between European nations unimaginable. The declaration is considered a cornerstone of today's European Union. The Europe we live in today is a far cry from Schuman's Europe of the 1950s. The world has become more complex, more interconnected and, unfortunately, more unstable. Global challenges are difficult for one country to overcome successfully on its own. Together it is easier to strengthen peaceful coexistence in Europe. Exactly one month after the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration the next European elections are due. In the elections we can help decide which direction we want to take. Democracy is a collective achievement that we all have a part to play in preserving. "The contribution that an organised and living Europe can make to civilisation is indispensable for the maintenance of peaceful relations." Schuman Declaration (1950)