Born in Bruck/Mur in 1965, he was awarded the title of Professor for Austrian and European legal developments, contemporary legal history and federalism research in 2000, after studying law. He was promoted to Associate University Professor and from 2003 to 2019, he was Vice Rector for Studies and Teaching. From October 2019 to December 2021, he was Rector of the University of Graz as well as spokesman for the Austrian Vice Rectors for Teaching. Polaschek conducted research, focusing on the fields of post-war justice, university law and municipal research. On December 6, 2021, he was sworn in as Minister of Education, Science and Research.