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Austrian students protest budget cuts

Austrian students protest budget cuts
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Students in Austria have been joined by their university professors and deans to protest a budget freeze for higher education.

They say mass staff lay-offs and even university closures are inevitable if more money is not made available.

Rallies involving around 15,000 people were held yesterday and today in Vienna, Salzburg and Graz.

One medicine student taking part in the protest said that a lack of money would mean a lack of students and lack of doctors in future.

The students held similar protests last autumn, but this year, their teachers have joined them. The University of Vienna, once one of Europe’s elite institutions has fallen lower in international rankings in recent years.

The rector of Vienna’s Technical University, Peter Skalicky, said Austrian establishments will keep slipping down the rankings if no money is found.

By some estimates, Austria’s state-run universities will face a 300 million euro per year shortfall if the budget freeze goes ahead as planned in 2013.