In 1961 the Austrian Foreign Students Service was founded as an association by the Rectors' Conference and the Austrian Students' Union (ÖH) and later renamed Austrian Academic Exchange Service.
Until 2008 the ÖAD operated in the legal form of an association.
The OeAD-GmbH was established on 1 January 2009 by the “OeAD-Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung Establishment Act” (in short: OeAD Act) (Federal Law Gazette I No. 99/2008).
The OeAD is 100 per cent owned by the Republic of Austria. The owner representative is the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.
Tasks: The OeAD-GmbH’s purpose is the implementation of national, European and international cooperation measures in science and research as well as measures in fostering of the arts, higher education, school education, and education and training.
The OeAD-GmbH shall in particular fulfil the following tasks (§ 1 para. 1):
1. implementation of national, European and international education, training, framework, science and mobility programmes as well as internationalisation measures,
2. support and advise the federal government
3. provide information for and advise institutions, in particular educational institutions as well as Austrian representative authorities, on the entire range of services offered by the OeAD-GmbH,
4. provision of mobility-relevant services for national, European and international cooperation,
5. presentation of Austria as a location for cooperation,
6. public relations activities,
7. implementation of cooperation measures within development cooperation programmes, in particular on behalf of the federal government,
8. representation of Austrian interests vis-à-vis the relevant European and international institutions on behalf of the federal government,
9. providing information on and raising public awareness of the importance and role of national, European and international cooperation,
10. administrative and organisational support of university courses preparing students for supplementary examinations (University Preparation Programmes),
11. supporting national bodies for international networks and for European networks and transparency tools,
12. participation in shaping school education,
13. evaluation of the achievements and analysis of the systemic effects of cooperation programmes,
14. further education measures, as well as
15. establishment and operation of a central mobility and cooperation database pursuant to § 10a.