ENOHE President Josef Leidenfrost has been awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen for his many years of outstanding services to the Austrian Higher Education Area in different functions.
Leidenfrost joined the Austrian Federal Civil Service in March 1988 and first worked as a policy adviser in the offices of three Austrian Ministers of Science during the late 1980s, early 1990 and early 2000s.
After ten years secondment to the Austrian Academic Exchange Service, during which he helped to build up Austria’s participation in EU education programmes, he became the head of the Students’ Ombudsman’s Office in 2001 and then of the legally established Ombudsman’s Office for Students in 2012. In these functions, he looked after students’ concerns and helped them with their problems in everyday study life.
His office annually reported to the respective Austrian university ministers and to the Austrian Parliament about cases and recommendations to change national laws and institutional regulations.
Leidenfrost was one of the founders of ENOHE and has served as ENOHE’s president since 2019. His term of serve runs until June 2023 and during this period he will be involved in preparing a first ENOHE training program and the 2023 annual conference in Prague, Czech Republic. As a retiree, he is planning to record and report about his long professional national and international experiences in a book, which he intends to write in his family’s house retreat in the Weinviertel, Lower Austria. Josef Leidenfrost is descendant of the Haugsdorf Leidenfrost Mill in Lower Austria.