This is the best service I have ever seen!

13. May 2024 ScholarsAlumni
Once again this year, there were very good results from the online survey among the incoming scholarship holders of the OeAD.

The OeAD stands for quality and reliability. Through a lived feedback culture and quality management, processes are continuously developed, which distinguishes us as a learning organization. For 15 years, there have been annual surveys among the incoming scholarship holders of the Mobility and Cooperation (MPC) and Science and Research for Development Cooperation (EZA) sectors in the International Higher Education Cooperation Department. The link to the online survey is sent out via the administrative database after the scholarship period has ended.

The scholarship holders were asked about the services of the OeAD (website, MPC/EZA, regional offices), their experiences regarding academic supervision or education at the host institutions, personal experiences during the stay, and - if used - satisfaction with the services of OeAD student housing.

267 people filled out the questionnaire in the academic year 2022/23, with most responses coming from individuals from Ukraine, the Czech Republic, followed by Pakistan, Croatia, Thailand, and Hungary.

Excellent evaluation of the service by the OeAD

After various questions about the individual services, the website, receipt of the award letter, advice and information before arrival (MPC and EZA), services and information during the stay, and personal support from the OeAD regional offices, a question was asked about overall satisfaction with the OeAD services:

89% are very satisfied with the overall services of the OeAD, 99% rate the competence and helpfulness of the staff as very good to good. The overall assessment is very good as in previous years, confirming the consistently excellent service provided by the OeAD. For the academic year 2022/23, the best value for satisfaction with the scholarship and funding process in the past 15 years was achieved.

Here are some examples of positive feedback:

“As I prepare to arrive in Austria, I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for the assistance I have received from the Unit MPC and the Unit Development Cooperation. Your support has been invaluable in making my transition to Austria a smooth one.”

“First and foremost, I would like to commend your team for the exceptional level of responsiveness and professionalism displayed throughout the process. From the initial inquiries to the coordination of logistics, the staff members at the Unit MPC have been prompt, efficient, and eager to address any concerns or queries I had. I truly appreciate their dedication and commitment to providing assistance to individuals like me.”

“I frequently contacted the EZA team for any questions, confusion, or help. They were always there for me without any hesitation.”

The support provided by the regional offices in the federal states is highlighted as outstanding and very helpful. 

“I have never seen hospitality like the OeAD staff in my life. They are so cooperative and positive which I always admire”

Experience at the host institution - Goals achieved

Many scholarship holders emphasized the close supervision by the supervising professors at the host universities and expressed the desire to continue cooperation in the future. Due to the inviting atmosphere, cooperation in the research groups worked very well, and successful projects were implemented that go beyond the scholarship period. 82% can imagine staying at the same institute again. Any problems mainly resulted from technical issues and language barriers.

85% rated the overall stay as a positive experience, and three-quarters of the people felt welcome at the host institutions. Negative experiences mainly stemmed from racist encounters, accommodation problems, language barriers, and bureaucracy.

Critical feedback and improvement potential

There were some critical feedback regarding entry and visa issues as well as the amount of the scholarship, which is no longer perceived as sufficient in view of rising inflation. Furthermore, there is a high need for social integration, with often the desire for more events on the part of the OeAD being expressed. Improvements were also suggested regarding information materials and websites.

As every year, the feedback will be thoroughly evaluated, and the critical comments will be internally reflected upon in order to continuously improve the services.

The OeAD staff are delighted with the extremely positive feedback from the scholarship holders, appreciating that their meaningful work is so highly valued by them and helps them to support them in one of their most important phases of life.