Equal Opportunities and Inclusion
WU is committed to equal opportunities and inclusion, and it offers various programs and services that address these topics.
Inclusion means that people with disabilities should not have to adjust their lives to the conditions that exist. Instead, it is up to society as a whole to find appropriate ways and means to make it possible for every person to be a valuable member of the community. Equal opportunities mean that all people should be able to live self-determined lives, in equality and without facing restrictions. Leading a self-determined life means being able to make one’s own choices in life without becoming dependent on others. It’s all about equality instead of discrimination. No one should have to face disadvantages because of their origin, culture, native language, impairments, gender, or age.
WU supports educational mobility
Socioeconomically disadvantaged students are still underrepresented at Austria’s universities. With the WU4YOU program, WU supports high-achieving bachelor’s students from low-income households to enable them to advance in their education. Students receive support for the duration of their bachelor’s programs, including a monthly scholarship, participation in WU’s mentoring program, and individual coaching provided by WU faculty.
BeAble makes everyday student life easier
The BeAblesupport program aims to improve the quality of the everyday student experience for people with impairments. The program is aimed at students with physical or mental impairments, chronic illnesses, reading and spelling difficulties, learning disabilities, and temporary impairments such as a broken arm. According to the Universities Act, degree and non-degree program students with impairments have the right to use alternative exam methods. BeAble helps to implement this right, and it allows the students to complete their courses and exams with the same contents and requirements, but in an alternative mode that is tailored to the needs of each individual student. In addition, the program also brings students together, making it easier to change perspectives and come up with new strategies for solving different challenges.
Student Counselling at WU
Stress, conflicts, and changes can cause students to lose focus and throw them off balance. In difficult phases of student life, WU’s Student Counselling is there to help students and offer support, for example in the form of confidential individual counselling sessions. At the same time, the program also offers a range of activities, including talks, workshops, peer group sessions, and skill sessions, which help students to activate their resources and develop creative solution strategies in difficult situations.
Barrier-free accessibility and beyond
Barrier-free accessibility is more than just building ramps or making doors larger. It’s about ensuring equal access to all important areas, for everyone. WU sees the diversity of all people studying and working at the university as an asset that deserves to be supported. The diverse potential that different people bring to the table, including different physical and mental abilities, is considered a resource at WU. To achieve equal opportunities for students and employees with and without impairments, the needs of people with disabilities are given special consideration. Campus WU is designed to be barrier free, and it offers ideal conditions for achieving equal opportunities. WU should be a place where everyone can feel at home and work and study at ease. Wheelchair spaces in all auditoriums, audio induction loop systems for people with hearing aids, and orientation and guidance systems for people with vision impairments are just some of the accessibility features available on campus. They are just as important as the inclusive mindset of WU’s faculty and staff, who promote equal opportunities on campus and thus ensure inclusion on yet another level.