Research power along the Danube

Confluence of Sava river and Danube in Belgrade (c) Wikipedia


Between its source in the Black Forest and its mouth on the Black Sea, the Danube traverses 2,872 kilometres and shares shores with ten countries. The Danube Rectors' Conference (DRC) is a strong network of almost 70 universities in this region. Our aim is to improve higher education in teaching and research, and the advancement of our member universities by establishing sustainable contacts.


The DRC is Affiliate member of the European University Association (EUA)

© European Union, ECDC
© European Union, ECDC


We are experiencing extraordinary and difficult times. All European countries and their institutions, including universities, are currently tackling with the spread of the COVID-19 disease.


How are the DRC member universities responding to the current challenging situation? They share with us their experience, know-how and good practices regarding distance learning and E-learning. Click here for more information on the measures introduced at the universities.


News from our network

See below the latest news and browse in our archive.


For news from our Presidency, please click here.

Urgent message to EU Institutions: rescue and protect Afghanistan's scholars, researchers and civil activists

DRC along with the European and global academic community strongly ask European governments and EU institutions to protect and secure the lives of scholars, students, and civil society of Afghanistan. 


They urge the EU to:

  • Keep the flights to the country in order to evacuate all the people who wish to leave the place;
  • Increase resettlement quotas;
  • Create legal pathways for those who demonstrate an existing host institution, job, or sponsor, including for families, that would facilitate their arrival and earliest adjustment;
  • Avoid any intent-to-return and home residency requirements that may apply to visa applications for Afghan scholars and researchers for the foreseeable future;
  • Create a dedicated EU fellowship scheme for researchers and scholars under threat from Afghanistan, especially women and ethnic minorities;
  • Establish dedicated national fellowships for researchers and scholars at risk, including scholars, students, and civil society actors from Afghanistan.

The moral leadership of the European Union and its commitment to human rights are required now more than ever before, due to the sad and dangerous situation that is continuing in Afghanistan and that threatens to destroy its future.  If we move immediatly and act quickly enough, we can still mitigate the situation to achieve the best way out of it for the country, only by doing so we can demonstrate the true value of our commitment to the principles of democracy, rule-of-law and multilateralism.  

OEAD Summer Schools are launched!

Both AEMS and GBS OEAD Summer schools were opened during an hybrid kick off event on Monday, July, 19th


As both summer schools were dealing with sustainability, in architecture for the "Green.Building.Solutions" (GBS) summer school and economics for the "Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems" (AEMS) one, it was natural to launch them with a Grand Opening Event entitled "Climate Change - is there a new dynamic?". This event featured climatologist Helga Kromp-Kolb, Fridays for Future-activist Anika Dafert and architect & urban planner Gabu Heindl! The hybrid event took place online and at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). 


Around the globe, climate change drives crowds onto the streets to protest, calling for a change of mindset and more responsibility to be taken, politically and socially. The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly noticeable and awareness of the problem is rising. Does this point towards a new dynamic in the environment and climate change debate? Speakers tried to answer the question during this session. 


You have more information on the Grand Opening Event here!


The following weeks will be dedicated to both summer schools. The AEMS summer school will welcome 50 participants from 26 countries and 11 different time zones and the GBS summer university will be attended by 51 participants from 31 nations! Both groups of students and professionals involved in the programs will get to expand their knowledge on sustainability in their field of studies, during a unique experience enriched by different perspectives and cultures.


This year again, the DRC allowed four international students to participate to one of the two OEAD Summer School by financing their participation. We hope that all of them will learn about how to green our society and develop themselves in this international environment. 


To get more information and follow the latest news of AEMS, click here. You can find more about GBS here.  We also encourage you to check the Expert Talks regurlaly organised by OEAD on green building and sustainable economics here!

JRC Open Access

The European Commission‘s Joint Research Centre (JRC) gives leading researchers from across Europe and beyond access to its world-class facilities and laboratories, enabling state-of-the-art experimental research, collaboration and capacity building with a European dimension. It does so through the programme for open access to JRC research infrastructures.


The JRC is the science and knowledge service of the European Commission. The JRC employs scientists to carry out research providing independent scientific advice and support to EU policy, tackling the big challenges our societies are facing today.


EC DG Joint Research Centre  has issued  4 open access calls for their EUFRAT research infrastructures for outstanding researchers to apply to. Here are the 4 calls, to which you can apply until the 15th of September 2021


  1. MONNET, Tandem accelerator based fast neutron source (EUFRAT)
  2. RADMET, Radionuclide Metrology laboratories (EUFRAT)
  3. GELINA, the JRC Neutron Time-of-Flight Facility (EUFRAT)
  4. HADES, Underground laboratory for ultra-low level gamma-ray spectrometry (EUFRAT)

Scientists granted access calls see their scientific needs fulfilled. Inded, they have access to JRC research infrastructures through a competitive call even if they are not familiar with European initiatives. Moreover, such calls attract talent and stimulate innovation, development and competitiveness. Furthermore, it contributes to the dissemination of knowledge, improves related methods and skills, provides education and training and fosters collaboration at European level.


The call is open until the 15th of September 2021. To find more information on eligibility and the selection process, visit this page



Save the Date : DRC Annual Meeting

We kindly invite you to our next Annual Meeting to be held at the Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine, on 11-12 November 2021.


This year's edition of the DRC Annual Meeting will have as a leading theme `The role of University and its Resilience in the Age of Global Challenges'


A detailed programme including the registration form as well as further information will be published on the DRC Website in the upcoming months closer to the date of the Annual Meeting.


We are looking forward to seeing you in Uzhhorod!

Danube Salon Europa - Forum Wachau 2021

The Danube Salon Europa-Forum Wachau is around the corner!


Since its launch in 1995, the Europa-Forum Wachau and its salons offer participants the opportunity to commit to the future of Europe and to shape it through discussions on current challenges in a common and united Europe.  This year, the leading theme is the future of the EU and this edition of the Europa-Forum Wachau is entitled “Heading for New Horizons”. Further paths for the EU will thus be discussed in Göttweig Abbey (Krems district) by top politicians, entrepreneurs and experts


The Europa-Forum Wachau will this year take place from June 10th to 12th, 2021. It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Forum, which means that 25 years of dedication to the future of the EU will then be celebrated. 


In the framework of the Europa-Forum Wachau, the Online Danube Salon will be held on the Friday the 11th, at 6pm, at the Campus Krems. This will be an ideal opportunity to discuss in depth the intensive cooperation work in the Danube region.


The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is mostly based on the promotion of the cross-border and transnational cooperation in the Danube Region. This framework of cooperation serves as a great plateform for the co-shaping the European future and has been implementing a macro-regional strategy focusing on the most international and most diverse river in the world for 10 years now. This salon will present the crucial elements to co-design a European future in matters of regional cooperation, science, youth and education.


The Salon will be moderated by Sebastian Schäffer, IDM Managing Director and DRC Secretary General.

The speakers will include:

  • Martin Eichtinger, President of the Europa-Forum Wachau, Minister of Housing, Labour and International Relations in the Government of Lower Austria
  • Vidosava Enderic, Assistant Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, Inter-Regional Cooperation and Local Self-Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Serbia  (ARGE Donauländer)
  • Rudolf Schicker, Vice chairman of the board IDM, former Coordinator EU Strategy for the Danube Region, former Deputy Mayor City of Vienna
  • Harald Stranzl, National Coordinator EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
  • Stefan-Razvan Rab, National Coordinator Romania EUSDR
  • Verena Winiwarter, Univ.Prof. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna and project coordinator for Danube:Future
  • Zdravko Kačič, Rector of the University of Maribor and President of the Danube Rectors‘ Conference, Slovenia
  • Katka Krejcova, International relations in the Department of Art and Culture in the Office of the Lower Austrian Government
  • Robert Lichtner, Coordinator Danube Strategy Point Vienna

Participation is only possible online - there is no possibility to be present on site at the event but further information on the event and registration can be found here.


Join this inspiring online event and discussion at the Europa-Forum Wachau 2021!


OeAD Summer Universities Scholarships



The Green Building Solution - GBS Summer University is back online from July 17 to August 08, 2021, for its 11th edition! Here is an opportunity to get first-hand ecological knowledge and engineering expertise in a three-week program, hosted from the capital of energy-efficient building, Vienna.





Participants will earn 7 ECTS university credits while learning about sustainable buildings in an intercultural environment. They will also benefit from the insight of experts from various background. Those will share the latest developments from research and practice in ecological building. Especially during these challenging times, we must develop knowledge on sustainable buildings, passive houses and renewable energies to an ever expanding international audience of students and professionals.


Applications for the scholarships possible until July 1, 2021. Registration to the summer university can be done here.




OEAD is also hosting a unique online summer school on the economy of the future, the Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems summer school, from July 19, 2021 to August 6, 2021


Do you want to explore different approaches and new ideas with regards to the current growth-based economy and unstable financial system? The AEMS will be back in an upgraded online version in 2021 to discuss alternative approaches! AEMS focuses on ways to restructure economic systems to embody sustainable use of resources and a more collaborative society overall.




With this summer school, you can get an official certificate worth 5 ECTS from BOKU University upon completion of the program. The summer school is organised by the BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Economy for the Common Good, and OeAD student housing.


Applications for the scholarships possible until July 1, 2021. Registration can be done here.


You can take advantage of an Empowerment Scholarships! Indeed, OEAD is offering outstanding and highly qualified applicants from low-income economies the chance to participate in a life changing online learning experience, entirely free of charge for the participant, all tuition costs and program fees will be covered by our new Empowerment Scholarship Program! 10 Empowerment Scholarships are now available to participate in either GBS or AEMS.


To find the eligibility conditions, just visit this webpage


Additionally, OEAD has another offer: there are two free scholarship available for a Social Media Tutor for each program to support the summerschools via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! 


You will find all the information you need here.

The application deadlines for both, the “standard” scholarship programs, as well as the empowerment scholarship programs have been extended to 1st July, 2021! Would you like to join too?


And last but not least, OEAD is launching its next Expert Talk. It is taking place on 16th June, 2021 at 4pm and will deal with “Low Tech vs High Tech” with speakers Thomas Gamperl (Viessmann) and Edeltraud Haselsteiner (Urbanity). Both will talk about approaches for a lower carbon footprint of buildings. The discussion will be moderated by Doris Österreicher (BOKU University).


More information and registration to the free event here.


Here is the program:

16:00 Welcome address from organizers

16:10 “Low Tech – High Effect! Sustainable low-tech buildings - a concept for resilient cities of the future!

16:30 “Ice Storage Systems - Heat pumps combined with solar energy and innovative exergetic storage

16:50 Q&A Session with Public and Panelists

From 17:30 Open End Networking Session


This talk will help you understand low tech approaches and potentials of realized buildings and climate adaptive and sustainable architecture and urban planning with an emphasis on energy and resources