Habilitation

§ 1. The Rectorate is entitled, on application, to grant an authorisation to teach (venia docendi) for an entire academic subject (section 103, para. 1 of the 2002 Universities Act). The prerequisite for the conferral of the authorisation to teach is proof of outstanding academic qualifications and didactic abilities (section 103, para. 2 of the 2002 Universities Act).

Purpose of the habilitation

§ 2. The habilitation serves the purpose of formally assessing the excellent academic and didactic qualifications required for the conferral of the authorisation to teach (venia docendi) that is within the sphere of activities of the University of Vienna.

Application

§ 3. (1) The application for the authorisation to teach has to be submitted in writing to the Rectorate via the dean’s office or the office of the centre responsible for the applied-for habilitation subject (section 103, para. 4 of the 2002 Universities Act) and has to state an entire academic subject for which the authorisation to teach is envisaged (section 103, para. 1 of the 2002 Universities Act).

(2) The following has to be attached to the application:

a) a curriculum vitae with a description of the academic work carried out previously, particularly with reference to the entire academic subject for which the authorisation to teach is envisaged;

b) proof of graduation of completed university-based degree programmes;

c) a list of all written and published academic papers, which – or a selection of which – has to be submitted either electronically in a common file format on a common data medium or in five copies on paper;

d) proof of repeated teaching activities at recognised post-secondary educational establishments and a list of previous teaching activities, particularly also with reference to the entire academic subject for which the authorisation to teach is envisaged;

e) a habilitation thesis about a theme of the applied-for habilitation subject or several, thematically connected academic publications (each in five copies on paper or electronically in a common file format on a common data medium); a cumulative habilitation thesis has to be given a title and the thematic link of the publications has to be explained; the habilitation thesis has to deal with a theme that is different from the doctoral thesis or noticeably further develop the theme of the doctoral thesis by applying academic methods;

f) if several authors have been involved in the habilitation thesis or in the academic papers that are presented cumulatively as one habilitation thesis, a declaration of the applicant regarding his/her share in the habilitation thesis or academic papers;

(3) The habilitation applicant pays the fee for the application.

Admission requirements

§ 4. (1) The following admission requirements apply to the habilitation procedure:

1. proof of graduation of a university-based degree programme which, in terms of its subject area, is appropriate for the applied-for authorisation to teach;

2. proof of repeated teaching activities at recognised post-secondary educational establishments;

3. proof of a doctorate or an equivalent academic qualification of relevance for the subject;

4. proof of payment of fees (section 3, para. 3);

5. the clear name of the entire academic subject for which there is an application to be granted the authorisation to teach (section 103, para. 1 of the Universities Act);

6. inclusion of the applied-for authorisation to teach in the sphere of activities of the University of Vienna (section 103, para. 1 of the Universities Act).

(2) The dean or the head of the centre is obliged to examine the application to check its admissibility (section 4, para. 1, sub-paras. 1-6). Any incomplete applications (section 4, para. 1, sub-paras. 1-5) will be returned so they can be improved. Any applications that are complete or have not been improved within the specified period are passed on to the Rectorate via the service unit responsible for human resources. The Rectorate rejects any inadmissible applications, in particular if they do not relate to an entire academic subject or if the intended authorisation to teach does not fall within the sphere of activities of the University (section 103, para. 1 of the Universities Act).

(3) If all the prerequisites for admission specified in para. 1 have been fulfilled, the Rectorate informs the dean or the head of the centre about this. If the applied-for authorisation to teach is within the sphere of activities of several faculties or centres, their heads have to be informed and one of them has to be entrusted with the further organisational procedure. He/she has to pass on the application to the Senate.

(4) All applications for the conferral of an authorisation to teach which fall within the subject-specific sphere of activities of several faculties or centres have to be prepared by the dean or head of the centre in the form of related proposals for the Senate in a way that a habilitation committee can be established (section 5) and reviewers can be appointed (section 6) in an interdisciplinary manner.

Appointment of a habilitation committee

§ 5. (1) The Senate appoints a habilitation committee with decision-making power (section 103, para. 7 and section 25, para. 8, sub-para. 1 of the 2002 Universities Act) which consists of no more than 9 members. The Senate determines the total number as well as the number of members from the individual groups of university members. More than half of the members have to be university professors. The group of academic staff pursuant to section 94, para. 2, sub-para. 2 of the 2002 Universities Act and the group of students provide at least one member. The members from the group of students must be enrolled in a degree programme that is relevant to the subject (valid admission) and must have completed at least the first stage of the diploma programme or obtained at least 120 ECTS credits for compulsory modules or compulsory elective modules of a bachelor’s programme or be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral programme.

(2) The composition of the habilitation committee takes into account the particular structure of the faculty/faculties or centre/centres responsible for the procedure and the subject area as well as the special subject matter of the habilitation thesis. It must also be taken into account whether an applied-for authorisation to teach falls within the subject-related area of responsibility of several faculties or centres.

(3) The members of the habilitation committee are appointed by the Senate on a proposal of the representatives of the respective group of university members.

(4) The constituent meeting is convened by the oldest committee member from the group of university professors of the University of Vienna and he/she will chair it until a chairperson has been elected. The chairperson of the habilitation committee is elected by simple majority from the group of habilitated committee members.

Reviewers

§ 6. (1) The dean or the head of the centre obtains proposals for the appointment of the reviewers from the university professors within the subject area. If an applied-for authorisation to teach falls within the subject-related area of responsibility of several faculties or centres, the subject area within the meaning of section 103, para. 5 of the Universities Act is also deemed to cover more than one academic organisational unit. The university professors in the Senate appoint – on a proposal of the university professors of the subject area – at least three representatives of the desired habilitation subject, including at least two external ones or one external, to act as reviewers of the academic papers submitted. However, they may also delegate this task to the university professors of the subject area and of the related field (section 103, para. 5 of the 2002 Universities Act).
(Note: The words “or one external” are an editorial mistake. At least two external reviewers should be appointed.)

(2) The chairperson of the habilitation committee commissions the reviewers with the review of the academic qualification of the habilitation applicant based on the academic work submitted as his/her habilitation thesis and other academic work within a period to be agreed upon, but no longer than three months. If the habilitation committee is not constituted within one month of the notification of the convener, the convener commissions the reviewers. The reviewers’ task is to review whether the academic papers are of impeccable methodological quality, contain new academic insights and demonstrate the applicant’s command of the habilitation subject from an academic perspective as well as his/her ability for its advancement.

(3) Any academic papers not submitted by the habilitation applicant need not be considered in the habilitation procedure. Any subsequent changes or amendments to the paper(s) submitted as a habilitation thesis will not be considered in the procedure.

(4) As soon as all expert opinions are available, the chairperson of the habilitation committee notifies its members, the university professors of the subject area and of the related field as well as the habilitation applicant of the availability of the expert opinions and sets a time limit of at least two weeks for the inspection of the habilitation thesis, the academic publications and the expert opinions. The university professors of the subject area and of the related field are entitled to submit statements on the expert opinions and the applicant’s academic papers to the chairperson of the habilitation committee by two weeks after the end of the display period at the latest (section 103, para. 6 of the 2002 Universities Act). The habilitation applicant can also submit a statement on the expert opinions within this period. Before the end of the period, the habilitation applicant can also submit expert opinions he/she has obtained himself/herself.

Procedure before the habilitation committee

§ 7. (1) The habilitation committee examines the applicant’s academic qualification on the basis of the expert opinions obtained, any expert opinions submitted by the habilitation applicant on the applicant’s written academic work including the habilitation thesis and the statements submitted (section 6, para. 4). The habilitation committee holds a public discussion with the habilitation applicant about his/her academic publications, also taking into account the expert opinions and statements submitted.

(2) The habilitation committee examines whether the habilitation applicant has the appropriate didactic abilities. To this end, it instructs at least two members of the habilitation committee, one of them from the group of students and one of them from the group of academic university staff, to prepare written expert opinions or statements on the previous teaching activity or on the teaching activity as part of the procedure, on the basis of the habilitation applicant’s previous teaching activity or on the basis of the teaching activity as part of the procedure. The habilitation committee may obtain further expert opinions or statements. To provide evidence of his/her didactic abilities, the applicant can submit additional results of course evaluations, proof of completion of initial and continuing education and training programmes on higher education didactics, etc.

(3) The habilitation committee, by way of resolution, decides whether the habilitation applicant has provided proof, as required for the conferral of the authorisation to teach, of his/her outstanding academic qualifications in the applied-for habilitation subject. For this resolution, the majority of the members of the habilitation committee who hold an authorisation to teach (venia docendi) is decisive. Similarly, the habilitation committee will decide by way of resolution whether the habilitation applicant has provided the required evidence of his/her didactic abilities. The resolution on the habilitation applicant’s application will only be considered positive within the meaning of section 103, para. 9 of the 2002 Universities Act if both resolutions are positive. The habilitation committee has to state reasons for its decision.

(4) The habilitation committee has to carry out the procedure swiftly.

(5) If, during the procedure before the habilitation committee, the applicant changes the subject of the authorisation to teach he/she applied for, this is communicated to the Rectorate by way of a dean’s office or a centre office to which the habilitation committee is assigned for the purpose of a new examination of admissibility (section 4, para. 2). If the Rectorate affirms that the changed application is admissible, the Senate is informed. The latter has to carry out another examination to check if the composition of the habilitation committee is appropriate for the relevant subject (section 5, para. 2). Similarly, the university professors of the Senate have to examine if the reviewers are qualified for the relevant subject (section 6, para. 1). The habilitation committee will interrupt its procedure until the Rectorate and the Senate have made their decision.

(6) The resolutions of the habilitation committee are forwarded to the Rectorate together with all procedural files.

(7) The Rectorate has to reject a resolution by the habilitation committee in case of serious procedural defects (section 103, para. 10 of the 2002 Universities Act). In this case, the habilitation committee makes another decision, taking into account the legal opinion of the Rectorate.

Conferral of the authorisation to teach

§ 8. (1) The Rectorate issues an official notice on the application for the conferral of the authorisation to teach based on the resolutions of the habilitation committee. If both the academic and the didactic qualifications of the habilitation applicant are assessed positively, the Rectorate awards the authorisation to teach by official notice. If the academic and/or didactic qualifications of the habilitation applicant are assessed negatively, the Rectorate rejects the application for conferral of the authorisation to teach by official notice.

(2) Appeals to the Federal Administrative Court against such an official notice are permissible (section 103, para. 9 of the Universities Act as amended by the Federal Law Gazette I No. 79/2013).

(3) The authorisation to teach confers on the holder the right to free academic teaching at the University of Vienna, using the facilities available to the faculty or centre concerned, and to the supervision and assessment of academic theses (section 103, para. 1 of the 2002 Universities Act).

Entry into force

§ 9. (1) The “Habilitation” part of the Statutes published on 28 March 2014 in the University Gazette of the University of Vienna, 21st edition, no. 111 enters into force on 29 March 2014.

(2) With the entry into force of this part of the Statutes, the “Habilitation” part of the Statutes (2009 Amendment to the Universities Act), published on 24 November 2009 in the University Gazette of the University of Vienna, 5th edition, no. 26, amendment published on 28 November 2013, 7th edition, no. 39, ceases to be effective.

 

As of: 29 March 2014

The only legally binding version is the German version published in the University Gazette.