Minister post finally filled
Vienna – With the naming of Beatrix Karl as the new Minister of Science, the Austrian government is complete. The 42 year-old legal scientist will follow predecessor Johannes Hahn, who has accepted a position as European commisioner for Regional Policy. Karl is an expert for employment law and a professor at the University of Graz. With the appointment, a lengthy search for the right candidate for the post comes to an end. The department is regarded as a sensitive one, as Austrian universities once more face protests by students against unfavourable conditions. Last year, the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BoKu) in Vienna was the target of protesting students, who occupied an auditorium. The former Science Minister was unable to ease the situation, and refused to visit or talk to the students. His successor is regarded as more student-friendly, and is expected to enjoy wider acceptance among the clashing parties. As the number of students continues to rise, educational institutions in the country are under strain. The BoKu opened its doors to 10,000 students last fall term – and movie theatres in Vienna have begun leasing space to the university.