World University Service Austria (Austria)

World University Service (WUS) Austria is a politically independent, non-governmental organization committed to academic freedom and the right to education.

Akronym: WUS Austria

World University Service (WUS) is an association committed to the promotion of the human right to education on the basis of academic freedom and university autonomy. WUS is organized as a loose federation of more than forty independent country committees presently chaired by WUS Canada. It has consultative status with the United Nations and the UNESCO. Since its establishment as a non-governmental organization in Graz in 1983, World University Service (WUS) Austria has been working on the promotion of higher education in various countries all over the world, thereby mainly in Africa and Latin America. Since 1994, following the conflict in former Yugoslavia, WUS Austria has developed a regional focus on South Eastern Europe (SEE). WUS Austria implements its activities mainly in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, while some programs have been extended to many other countries, mainly in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Therefore, WUS Austria has set up local offices in Belgrade, Podgorica, Prishtina and Sarajevo. Today, WUS Austria employs approximately 35 permanent staff and administers an annual budget of 2,5 million EUR. Through its continuing efforts in the field of higher education in South-Eastern Europe, WUS Austria has been playing an integral part in the reconstruction and advancement process of higher education in this region.Following the emergency and reconstruction phases in the 1990s, efforts concentrated on reforming the higher education system in the target countries,with particular emphasis on the Bologna Declaration. In the course of this process, the context of WUS Austria’s activities shifted from one of there construction to that of medium term EU-expansion, which now forms the framework of cooperation in the field of higher education in South-Eastern Europe. WUS Austria focuses on four core areas: Higher Education Development, Linking Higher Education & Economy, Arts & Culture and Higher Education & Human Rights. While higher education and South-Eastern Europe remain at the center of WUS Austria’s work, the organization is now looking to extend the scope and geographic focus of its services. This refers particularly to an enhanced knowledge transfer between universities, the business world and society at large, and to WUS Austria’s efforts to revive its activities in Africa and Latin America. Within the scope of these projects, WUS Austria cooperates above all with the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research, the European Union and other (inter) national organizations, as well as with universities in South Eastern Europe, Austria and the EU.


Lichtenfelsgasse 21
8010 Graz


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