Austrian National Student Union
The Fachschaft Doktorat consists of many commited predocs, five of them are also the official students' representatives for doctoral programmes at the Vienna University of Technology - elected in a direct election by all doctoral candidates. These five represantatives are the study representation according to the HSG. The law not only provides for the representation on programme level, but also on university and federal level. The students' representations are organs of the representation at university level, the national representation is an organ of the ÖH. In everday language, "ÖH" is used to summarise all the representations on different levels according to the HSG. The word will be used accordingly in the following.
The ÖH is a democratically elected representation. Every two years there are elections in May, the last were held from May 14 to 16 in 2013. During this elections one can vote for three of altogether four levels of the ÖH: The programme (or students') representation, the representation at university level and the representation at national level. The representations at faculty level (not existing for doctoral programmes) is delegated by the representations at study level. Doctoral candidates, who enroll on a doctoral programme for the summer term 2015 until 31 March, 2015 are entitled to vote.
If you ever wondered what this fee for the ÖH is you pay each semester, that is because all students are members of the ÖH. 15 % of the fee remain at national level. The rest of the money is transfered back to the local representations, in our case the HTU. The latter distributes the money according to certain rules to the students' representations, the departments of the HTU, representations at faculty level, etc. The money is spent to maintain the infrastructure of the programme representation, used for financing projects of students, training of members, and many other stuff.
In the following you find a brief synopsis of the responsibilities of the different levels of the ÖH that are relevant for doctoral candidates.
The students' representation for doctoral programmes represents the interests of doctoral candidates at the Vienna University of Technology. This comprises the counselling of doctoral candidates, participation in the curricular commission, contact to professors and the works council (Betriebsrat). The election for the programme representation is a personal election, there are five persons to be elected. Last election Alexander Grill, Walid Hetaba, Wolfgang Müller, Bianka Ullmann und Patrik Zips were elected.
The students' representatives are at the same time members of the Fachschaft Doktorat, which is open for all doctoral candidates. Decisions are made by everyone participating in the Fachschaft, not only by the elected representatives. The elections legitimise the representatives, which makes the described decision making process possible.
The representation at university level represents all the students of the Vienna University of Technology. This comprises participation in the university senate, the counselling regarding topics like scholarships, contact with the rectorate, and the ministry responsible for science and research. The election for the representation at university level is a partisan election. According to the result the currently 17 seats are proportionally distributed to different lists.
The representation at national level represents all sutdents in Austria. This comprises counselling, communication with the Austrian government and political commitment. The election for the representation at national level is a partisan election. According to the result the 55 seats are proportionally distributed to different lists.