Keynote #2

Development and Implementation of the National strategy on the social dimension of higher education (2017). Towards more inclusive access and wider participation.
Image of keynote speaker Maria Keplinger
21 Apr 2022
10:30 - 12pm

Keynote #2

This keynote adresses the Austrian National strategy on the social Dimension of higher education (published in February 2017). Its development was based on the shared goal on which the EHEA-member states agreed within the London Communiqué 2007: “The student body should reflect the diversity of the broader population at all levels of higher education, from admission, to participation and successful completion.” This commitment was transferred into two major fields of action in the Austrian context:

  • Raising quotas for underrepresented groups, e.g. non-academic vs. academic background
  • improving study conditions for groups with specific needs

To facilitate evaluation, nine quantitative goals were set. These goals act as indicators that illustrate implementation success, and help identify further fields of action. Now, after 5 years of active implementation, and an interim evaluation report published, quantitative and qualitative developments can be illustrated and contextualised. In the introduction, the keynote will illustrate the strategy development process. The main part will focus on the implementation, and the resulting quantitative and qualitative developments since 2017.

Find here further information on the National strategy on the social dimension of higher education.


Drin Maria Keplinger is head of department IV/13 Evidence based Higher Education Development in the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Austria; editor in chief of the Austrian strategy on the social dimension of higher education (2017); fields of expertise, e.g.: higher education research for policy preparation, evaluations.

Maria Keplinger was born in Linz, Upper Austria, studied history and political sciences at the University of Vienna, graduated with a doctorate in political science at the University of Vienna and completed a postgraduate education (political sciences) at the Institute for Advanced Studies; lives and works in Vienna, since mid 1990s as an official in the Ministry of Science and Research.