The Akademikerhilfe student support associationAbout us

For around 100 years, our employees and voluntary officials have been dedicated to ensuring that students throughout Austria have affordable housing and to retaining this accommodation over the long-term.

Our guiding principle

Akademikerhilfe aims to support students as they begin student life and promote good study progress through affordable living conditions.

Akademikerhilfe sees itself as an organisation that wants to give its residents the opportunity to develop in a pleasant living environment. Besides protecting individuality, the observance of certain limits (no violence, no drugs) is important to us in order to protect and promote harmonious togetherness. All residents are invited to assume responsibility, get involved in the community, and thus help shape their environment.

The association

Akademikerhilfe is a charitable association with around 40 members from civil, church and economic backgrounds. Nineteen of these members are currently on the honorary board, which bears responsibility in all legal and financial matters.

Dr. Christian Sonnweber was elected as chairman of Akademikerhilfe on 28th June 2017. In this voluntary role, he succeeds Mag. Dipl.-Ing. Roderich Regler, who held the position for 36 years. Christian Sonnweber has been a member of the board since 1990 and on the board of directors since 1998. His deputies are Mag. Michael Jungwirth and Mag. Dr. Gerald Scheidl.

The tasks of the treasurer are assumed by Mag. Dr. Christoph Lehner LL.M and Dipl.-Ing. Georg Feith. The secretary is Mag. Theresa Philippi, her deputy Mag. Alexander Preyer.

All members of the board of directors can be contacted via the secretary general:
Pfeilgasse 3a, 1080 Wien
E-Mail: generalsecretary@akademikerhilfe.at

The operational level of the association is managed by secretary general Mag. Bernhard Tschrepitsch, supported by his employees. Around 90 people are currently employed permanently by Akademikerhilfe. Many of them can already look back on a long-standing employment relationship as it is important to the organisation to retain reliable, loyal employees in the company.

The history of Akademikerhilfe

Akademikerhilfe was founded on 21st November 1921 on the initiative of Prelate Karl Rudolf, pastor at the Viennese universities. The association was intended to take on tasks from the welfare department at the Catholic German Academics’ Committee, above all supporting students with clothing campaigns, awarding scholarships and creating accommodation. The inaugural meeting was also attended by the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Piffl, who assumed the protectorate for the association. The Archbishop has been the protector of our association ever since.

The first student residence places were created in monasteries, institutes and private households. In 1924, Akademikerhilfe already had over 150 residential options, which were extremely in demand. The first of the association’s “own” student residences was opened in 1927 (Viennese Home), followed by the residence at Pfeilgasse 6 in 1932. 

Akademikerhilfe acted as a trustee for other student residence organisations in the years 1934 to 1938. On 13th March 1938, just after what was known as the “annexation” of Austria to Hitler’s Germany, the residences were taken over by the NSDAP, with the mandatory dissolution of Akademikerhilfe following this in May 1939. 
After the end of the war in October 1945, former association members submitted an application to annul the association dissolution that took place in 1939, which was approved. And so it was possible to once again hold a constituent assembly for the association on 11th November 1946.

As in the period after the 1st World War, Akademikerhilfe attempted to alleviate the severest needs of students with accommodation in private quarters, arranging secondary employment, and food and clothing campaigns in the years 1946 to 1949. The association already once again had around 300 residential places in Vienna, Graz and Leoben in 1949.

It was possible to continually increase the number of student residence places on offer. Akademikerhilfe currently manages 4,335 residence places in 35 residences in eight Austrian cities.