Europe and us

The OeAD’s activities are inextricably linked to European integration.

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:
"European education policy has developed into a significant field of European politics in the last few decades, the keyword being 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 cooperation and collaboration at various levels. The programmes and initiatives implemented by the OeAD contribute significantly to anchoring and strengthening the European dimension at all levels of education. Activities that promote the internationalisation of the Austrian education landscape and support people in using the European Education Area as much as possible 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 do an internship, study, teach or work in another country. Initially a student exchange programme, Erasmus+ now includes school education, higher education, vocational and adult education as well as the youth and sports sectors. 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 they want to travel can discover Europe with the DiscoverEU travel pass.

The OeAD is also a partner in the EU initiative Euraxess, the 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 portfolio. Last but not least, one educational policy goal 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 up to 2030 Europe's "Digital Decade". The Digital Skills Office set up 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 Exchange Programme for University Studies (CEEPUS) network, which enables study and teaching stays at universities in partner countries, and the programme for cooperation in higher education and research with Kosovo that 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. This educational cooperation promotes the 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 maintains a network of cooperation offices in Eastern and South-Eastern European partner countries that are managed by Austrian educational coordinators.

Teaching abroad brings experience from abroad back to the Austrian education system. This is made possible within the framework of the programmes weltweit unterrichten (i.e. teaching worldwide), when teaching German as a foreign language or as part of 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 the Austrian educational 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 different perspectives and an appreciative approach to diversity. International exchange of knowledge and expertise strengthen Austria as an attractive country for education and research. Internationalisation is therefore the best investment in the future.

The origins of the 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 – 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 countries to successfully overcome on their 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 will take place. In the elections we can help decide which direction we want to take. Democracy is a collective achievement that we all contribute to preserving. "The contribution that an organised and living Europe can make to civilisation is indispensable for the maintenance of peaceful relations.“ Schuman Declaration (1950)