International collaboration and international exchange in education, science and research are essential prerequisites for assuring Austria’s qualities as a location for activities in these fields over the long term. They also help the country to position itself in Europe and globally in this regard. Austria can maintain its international competitiveness and help to bring about joint solutions to global societal challenges only through knowledge transfer and by collaborating with and learning from the best.
To this end, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) runs several cooperation programmes and initiatives with countries and regions of strategic relevance to Austria and Europe and is also highly active at EU level and within international organisations (e.g. OECD, European Council, UNESCO). This strategic relevance results from geopolitical preconditions, thematic priorities in education, science and research as well as the historical context of cooperation activities, among other factors. All the while, the BMBWF creates and supports framework conditions and platforms that enable successful collaboration between and with the players in the countries concerned.
New types and constellations of collaboration and networking are emerging alongside traditional bilateral collaborations. Multilateral initiatives or regional and macroregional approaches (Danube Region, Alpine Region, Mediterranean, etc.) that support national strategies and reform efforts are gaining steadily in significance.
All in all, international collaboration in education, science and research contributes greatly to the promotion of the EU integration process and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as well as to cooperation on development policy and in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals till 2030.