News from our network and partners

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The 2024 Annual Meeting of the Danube Rectors' Conference takes place at the University for Continuing Education Krems, Austria, on 13–15 November 2024. The conference will be part of the official calendar of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). As always you can expect high level discussions, space for young academics as well as the Danubius Awards Ceremony.


Registration form for the Annual Conference as well as further information can be found here.

DRC delegation attended a High-Level Meeting in Uzhhorod

DRC President Friedrich Faulhammer and DRC Secretary General Sebastian Schäffer attended a High-Level Meeting in Uzhhorod titled "Development perspectives in higher education cooperation between Austria and Ukraine". Organised by the OeAD together with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research, the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science as well as the National Erasmus+ Office of Ukraine, the event brought together representatives from the ministries as well as a variety of universities from both countries. Several crucial aspects were discussed, including working groups amongst others on „The role of universities in reconstruction“. Heartfelt accounts of destruction, displacement and death caused by the unjustified Russian aggression against Ukraine were inevitable also on the agenda. 


As the meeting was hosted by our long-term cooperation partner and active member the Uzhhorod National University, this was also a good occasion to catch up with Rector Volodymyr Smolanka. We are convinced that we will return to our friends soon, either for an annual conference or with our summer school. Until then we will continue to support especially our members in Ukraine! 


© Sebastian Schäffer

DRC President met with Ukrainian Ambassador in Austria





Friedrich Faulhammer, DRC President and Rector of the University for Continuing Education Krems, met for an exchange with Vasyl Khymynets, Ambassador of Ukraine to Austria.

The DRC works closely with Ukraine through its network, events, publications and scholarships and stands firmly at the side of Ukrainians. Thank you for the conversation!


© Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Austria

DRC President Rector Friedrich Faulhammer at the 9th EUSDR conference in the Austrian Parliament

Friedrich Faulhammer, President of the Danube Rectors' Conference (DRC), Chairman of the Board of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), and Rector of the University for Continuing Education Krems, held a keynote speech on the topic “The Danube region as a cultural, natural and scientific area” on the occasion of the 9th Conference of the Speakers of Parliament of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), which took place in the Austrian Parliament on 18 and 19 March 2024. 

Faulhammer emphasized the important role the DRC is playing in the Danube Region while fostering scientific exchange and mobility of ideas and persons for more than 40 years. He also pointed out on the successful cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research within the Danubius Awards, particularly concerning the Danubius Young Scientist Award which is awarded to 14 young scientists – one for each country that is part of the EUSDR. The Award represents one of the most significant recognitions of young scientific talents coming from the Danube Region. 

In his keynote, he also explained the mission of the IDM as the permanent secretariat of DRC: transnational cross-border cooperation in the Danube Region stands always at the forefront. In the last year under the motto “Locating the Future”, with an exceptional programme of 20 organized events in all of IDM's 19 target countries as well as one dedicated to the river itself, the IDM demonstrated in practice how cross-border cooperation works and how important professional network facilitation along the Danube River is. A. As a result, this is where according to the Institute – which is also one of the oldest think tanks not only in the German speaking world – future is located: in the Danube Region. 

From left: President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP), Chairman of the Danube Rectors’ Conference Friedrich Faulhammer, President of the Federal Council Margit Göll (ÖVP) 

Copyright: Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner


Session 3: The Danube Region as a Cultural, Natural and Science Area. Keynote. Chairman of the Danube Rectors’ Conference Friedrich Faulhammer 

Copyright: Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner 




AEMS and GBS Summer Universities 2024 | DRC is offering full scholarships!


The interdisciplinary summer programs “Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS; 5 ECTS)” and “Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS; 7 ECTS)” will again take place in Vienna. At AEMS, international participants deal with the limits to growth and the instabilities of our financial system, before discussing alternative approaches and reform ideas! AEMS takes place from 15 July to 2 August. GBS welcomes international students and professionals from architecture, urban planning, energy technology and similar fields to expand their knowledge on sustainable building technologies and ecological design! GBS takes place from 13 July to 4 August.


IDM and DRC are offering 2 full scholarships for each program! | Application deadline: 5 May 2024

Apply now at:


Next Online Info Session on 18 April at 2 pm: Registration via Eventbrite

Merger of Two Universities Creates National University of Science and Technology POLITEHNICA Bucharest

On August 1, 2023, University Politehnica Bucharest merged by absorption with the University of Pitești, leading to the creation of the National University of Science and Technology POLITEHNICA Bucharest. We express our appreciation to the University of Pitești for its collaboration with the DRC.

DRC Annual Conference 2023 — 19-20 October 2023 at the West University of Timișoara

The Danube Rector's Conference met the DRC representatives of all its member universities for the DRC Annual Conference 2023, from 19 to 20 October 2023, at the West University of Timișoara in Romania. This year, the discussions of the conference focused on the current and future developments of higher education in the EU and especially in the Danube Region. The main topic was 'Forty years of overcoming academic divisions: importance of higher education for democracy and culture"' as the DRC celebrated its 40th anniversary. It was an opportunity for DRC members to celebrate and connect with experts and scholars from the Danube Region.

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40th DRC Anniversary Publication




The 2023 Annual Meeting of the Danube Rectors' Conference was hosted at the West University of Timisoara, Romania, from October 19 to 20, 2023. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Danube Rectors’ Conference in 1983, the DRC Permanent Secretariat presented the 40th DRC Anniversary Publication.



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Welcome to Four New Member Universities

During the General Assembly 2023, the applications for membership for four more universities in the Danube Region were approved. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that the DRC network is welcoming four new member universities:


"Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati


Academy of Music, Dance and Visual Arts "Prof. Asen Diamandiev" - Plovdiv


Central European University


University of Applied Sciences - Public Management and Finance Ludwigsburg


The DRC Permanent Secretariat wishes them a warm welcome to the network and is looking forward to our future cooperation!

Danubius Awards 2023


On October 19, 2023, the IDM, together with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, awarded exceptional scientists, whose work contributed to the Danube Region.




The Danubius Awards 2023 Ceremony took place in a hybrid setting. You can find the recording of the ceremony on the IDM Youtube channel.

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DRC Annual Conference 2023 on 19-20 October at the West University of Timisoara




The Danube Rectors' Conference meets this year to discuss the current and future developments of higher education in EU and especially in the Danube Region. The speeches and debates with international experts and scholars will focus on the European cohesion through higher education, as well as its condition in times of war.  Plans to foster research possibility for youth will be discussed with the recipients of the DRC Initiative Fund, and the participants will attend to the Ceremony for the Danubius Awards 2023. 


More information on the Annual Meeting can be found here:  2023 Annual Conference of the Danube Rectors' Conference

18th DRC Summer School - A Successful Achievement of Three Host Universities Collaboration

We are delighted to announce the successful culmination of the 18th DRC Summer School, held in the picturesque city of Cluj-Napoca and hosted by three esteemed Romanian universities. This year's event saw the convergence of 13 young scientists, university students, and emerging researchers hailing from 10 countries across the Danube Region and Central Europe. The week-long 18th DRC Summer School, themed "Transformation of post-war Europe: Challenging universities and research in the Danube Region?," took place in Cluj-Napoca from 16 to 22 July 2023.


Babeș-Bolyai University, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, and the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine hosted this year's edition. Amidst the charming backdrop of Cluj-Napoca, participants engaged not only in insightful dialogues with experts on the designated theme but also in the exchange of their expertise from diverse research domains.

The core theme of the Summer School was rigorously explored through four focal points, namely democracyinclusivitydigitalization, and European strategies during periods of conflict. These topics provided an enriched platform for comprehensive discussions and intellectual exploration.


The Summer School involved cultural aspects, allowing participants to engage in local traditions through group activities. This created a friendly atmosphere, deepening connections among attendees and offering a taste of Transylvanian life and cuisine. Guided city and botanical garden tours, alongside traditional dinners, enriched the week. A highlight was a field trip to Salina Turda, highlighting Romania's natural beauty. The experience concluded with a meaningful final gathering.

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Committed to the Danube Region - Introduction of the new DRC President Rector Friedrich Faulhammer

Friedrich Faulhammer (*1963) studied law at the University of Vienna. He worked there from 1985 to 1990 at the Institute for Legal History as well as in the legal department of the University Directorate and moved to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research in 1990. In 2005, he became Section Head of the Higher Education Section in the Federal Ministry of Science and Research and served as its Secretary General from 2009. During his more than two decades as a civil servant of the Republic of Austria, Faulhammer has been instrumental in shaping Austrian and European higher education policy, including the implementation of the Universities Act 2002.

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DRC Presidency 2023-2024 elected!



Following the elections of the new presidency during the DRC General Assembly on 11 November 2022, we gladly announce the new DRC Presidency for the period 2023-2024. 


Beginning with 1 January 2023, Mag. Friedrich Faulhammer, Rector of the University for Continuing Education Krems, takes over the position of DRC President. The role of the new Vice-Presidents will be assumed by former DRC President Prof. Dr. Zdravko Kačič, Rector of the University of Maribor, and Prof. Dr. Daniel David, Rector of the Babeş-Bolyai University.

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Ivanka Popović elected as Acting Honorary President

Following the decision of DRC General Assembly on 11 November 2022, the DRC is pleased to announce the election of former DRC President and Vice-President Ivanka Popović as DRC Acting Honorary President. We would like to thank Prof. Popović for all efforts and valuable contribution in her previous roles within DRC Presidency and look forward to continuing the successful cooperation in the upcoming years!

We are also glad to announce that Ivanka Popović has also been nominated for the position of EUA President. The DRC Presidency fully supports her nomination as it is convinced that her election as EUA president would not only strengthen the voice of universities from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, but she would firmly represent and promote the interests of the EUA members.


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Expression of gratitude to the Acting Honorary President Miroslav Vesković


With much esteem, we would like to thank Miroslav Vesković for his work and contribution during his term as Acting Honorary President. With a feeling of gratitude and appreciation, we look back on all his valuable insights and ideas that shaped the developments of DRC in the past years. On behalf of DRC Presidency, we wish Miroslav Vesković all the best in his future and a successful continuation of his dedicated support of higher education and research in the Danube Region and beyond!

IDM/DRC Ukraine Fellowships

The Russian invasion on Ukraine had devastating consequences for the higher education. The IDM together with the Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC) decided to grant two Ukrainian students or early-career researchers a fellowship.


The fellowship gives the recipient the possibility to complete research on their MA or PhD thesis. If necessary, IDM/DRC supports the fellow in finding a supervisor. The fellowship holder also has the opportunity to gain insights into the work of IDM as a non-university research institute.

The IDM therefore provides a workplace and invites the student to participate in the activities of the Institute as well as to contribute to the work of IDM team members.


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From Fictional to Functioning Democracy Developing Concepts and Strategies for an Inclusive and Participatory Europe (FIFUDEM)

“From Fictional to Functioning Democracy Developing Concepts and Strategies for an Inclusive and Participatory Europe (FIFUDEM)”

Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) in cooperation with Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC)

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Call for DRC members to nominate candidates for the new DRC Presidency

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DRC Annual Conference 2022 from 9th - 11th of November 2022 at the University of Maribor

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