Education and inclusion

In the National Austrian University Development Plan 2019-2024, Austria’s universities, including the music and art universities, have committed themselves to

Improving social inclusion and establishing a diversity-oriented culture of equality:

On the basis of their legal mandate, the universities work towards a diversity-oriented and inclusive organisational culture, social equality of opportunity and consideration of the needs of persons with disabilities. Universities act all while being aware of possible disadvantages and take measures to remove barriers for disadvantaged groups (e.g. reducing educational selection). Depending on individual living and working situations, researchers and teachers may also face structural advantages or disadvantages at the universities. It must be ensured that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education without discrimination and on an equal basis with others (Art. 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

National Austrian University Development Plan 2019-2024, p. 36-37

In actual fact, the plan is implemented very differently by the different universities and universities of music and art. Private institutions are not bound by the University Development Plan, but must comply with Austrian framework legislation. With publicly recognized institutions, the scope of potential support and grants for persons with special needs or specific impairments also applies to their students during education:

Support granted to persons with special needs and/or specific limitations

In general, there are various grant and support schemes for persons with special needs and/or specific limitations.

Detailed information on grants and support for persons with disabilities in Austria

Support for persons with special needs and/or specific limitations during education

In general, persons with special needs and/or specific limitations are entitled to the following additional financial support during their education, some of which must be evidenced by submission of an official certificate confirming limitation of at least 50% or nursing level 3 (resp. nursing level 5).

Support may include

·        higher family allowance

·        education allowance

·        nursing allowance

·        personal assistance

·        reimbursement of therapy costs (partly with a deductible)

·        contribution to technical and orthopaedic-prosthetic aids (party with deductible)

·        grant towards the adaptation of homes to meet the needs of residents with disabilities

·        grant towards the purchase of guide dogs or hearing dogs

·        orphan’s pension

·        invalidity, incapacity and disability pension

·        rehabilitation benefits

·        re-training allowance

·        social compensation

·        support fund for persons with disabilities


·        tax benefits

·        mobility grants (general mobility, student mobility)

·        exemptions from fees and reliefs.


Whenever artists with special needs who receive one of the above benefits carry out a project, it is necessary to check in each case to what extent benefits will be disbursed even if the artist generates earnings or additional earnings from the project. Eligibility for individual benefits or groups of benefits is partly linked to one another or to a certain condition - such as the receipt of nursing allowance.

Check in advance that the artists concerned can carry out their artistic work with full insurance cover throughout the project.

At the same time, you ought to check on a case-by-case basis whether the conditions of artistic work lower their eligibility for funding or disqualify them altogether. Be careful to make sure that the conditions of artistic work are designed in such a way that the artists concerned are not negatively affected in their livelihood regarding their social and labour law situation.

Essentially, the social and labour law situation of the artist needs to be looked at beforehand, in particular whether a person receives needs-based minimum benefits (“Mindestsicherung”) or benefits from a recognised occupational disability pension.