University of Klagenfurt

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University of Klagenfurt
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
University of Klagenfurt, seal, 2014.png
MottoPer Aspera Ad Astra (Latin)
Motto in English
Through hardships to the stars
TypePublic research university
Established1970 / 1975 / 1993
Budget 62 million (2019, annual federal funding)
Vice-ChancellorOliver Vitouch
Academic staff
1,098 (2017)
Students11,934 (2019/20)
749 (2017/18)
CampusSuburban, 27 acres (11 ha)
ColorsShades of Blue
Universitaet klagenfurt logo.svg

The University of Klagenfurt (German: Universität Klagenfurt or Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, AAU) is a federal Austrian research university and the largest research and higher education institution in the state of Carinthia. It has its campus in Klagenfurt.

Originally founded in 1970 and relaunched in 1993, the university today holds faculties of humanities & social sciences, management & economics, technical sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. It is listed in the ARWU, THE, and QS global rankings and holds rank 48 worldwide in THE's Young University Rankings 2021.[1]

The university has defined two research priority areas, Networked and Autonomous Systems and Social Ecology (until 2018, transferred to BOKU Vienna), with the latter spawning three ERC Grants. It has launched a new initiative, Humans in the Digital Age (HDA), in 2019, hosting an ERC Grant on cybersecurity.

It also holds a number of central facilities such as the Robert Musil Institute (co-organizer of the Bachmann Prize), the Karl Popper Kolleg (an Institute for Advanced Study), the University Cultural Centre (UNIKUM), the build! Gründerzentrum (a start-up facilitation center), the University Sports Centre (USI), and the Klagenfurt University Library.

Oliver Vitouch, a cognitive psychologist and former faculty member of the University of Vienna and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, is the university's Vice-Chancellor. Larissa Krainer chairs the Academic Senate; Werner Wutscher, Secretary General of the European Forum Alpbach, is chairman of the University Council.

The University of Klagenfurt is situated 30 km from the Slovenian and 60 km from the Italian border and supports bi- and multilingualism, especially in the context of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia. Together with the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), it is among the three southernmost universities in the German-speaking world.


The University of Klagenfurt and the adjacent Lakeside Science & Technology Park (2019)
Main entrance (2019)
Foyer, main building (2018)
South Wing (seen from the West) with public art by Lawrence Weiner
Courtyard between Central Wing and North Wing (2018)
Lecture Hall A (South Wing)
Lecture Hall 1 (Central Wing)

With the Protestant collegium sapientiae et pietatis founded in 1552, Klagenfurt hosted one of the oldest gymnasiums in Austria (today's Europagymnasium), directed by Hieronymus Megiser from 1593 to 1601, but had no ancient university tradition.

In 1970, the Austrian parliament passed a federal law allowing the establishment of an Educational Science College in Klagenfurt. The first doctoral degree was conferred in 1972. In 1975, new laws on higher education came into force, with the name of the college being changed into Universität für Bildungswissenschaften (University of Educational Sciences).

In 1993, a fundamental relaunch took place: The institution's name was changed to Universität Klagenfurt (University of Klagenfurt), and a Faculty of Humanities and a (new) Faculty of Economics, Business Administration, and Informatics were inaugurated. The Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies was inaugurated in 2004.

The university adopted the official cognomen Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt in 2004 (with its legal name still being Universität Klagenfurt). It was extended with a fourth, technical sciences faculty in 2007 (with a focus on Informatics, Information Technology, and Networked & Autonomous Systems), engaging in research operations in collaboration with the Lakeside Science & Technology Park. In 2012, the number of students passed the 10,000 mark.

On occasion of the institution's 40th anniversary, a Boat Race was held on Lake Wörth in 2010. Klagenfurt's Eight won against the University of Vienna by a boat length on a sprinting distance from the rowing clubs to Maria Loretto castle.

In 2015, the university established commencement speeches at its graduation ceremonies. Among the speakers so far are Sabine Herlitschka, Josef Winkler, August-Wilhelm Scheer, and Johanna Rachinger. Presidents of Austria Heinz Fischer (formerly) and Alexander Van der Bellen (incumbent) are recurrent guests at doctoral graduations sub auspiciis Praesidentis.

In 2020, the university celebrated its institutional 50 year jubilee. This included a lecture series together with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Utopia! Is the world out of joint? Contributions to the art of Enlightenment opened by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger and the bestowal of an honorary doctorate to Rae Langton. Several further jubilee events were virtualized or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Nov 22, 2020, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation showed the TV documentary Humans in the Digital Age: University of Klagenfurt—50th Anniversary.

The jubilee exhibition ARTEFICIA was postponed to autumn 2021. It shows unique exhibits from honorary doctors Manfred Bockelmann, Michael Guttenbrunner, Maja Haderlap, Peter Handke, Maria Lassnig, Valentin Oman, Wolfgang Puschnig, Peter Turrini, and Josef Winkler.[2]

Technological developments of the University of Klagenfurt—leading contributions to the navigation system of the robotic helicopter Ingenuity—are part of NASAs Mars 2020 mission (Mars landing on 18 Feb 2021, maiden flight of the helicopter on 19 Apr 2021).[3][4][5]


With its suburban setting, the university campus is in walking distance of both the renaissance-dominated historic city centre of Klagenfurt (capital of the state of Carinthia) and the east bay of the Wörthersee, a renowned Austrian summer resort. Also hiking, climbing and skiing possibilities in the Austrian Alps are nearby. Together with the adjacent Lakeside Science & Technology Park,[6] a 60 acres start-up and spin-off park, the university campus forms the so-called Lakeside District.

From 2016 to 2018, the university's central and north wing (13,000 m2) were fully refurbished with a budget of €26 million. As a result, the university was shortlisted for the Prix Versailles – Campuses 2019 (under UNESCO patronage), together with buildings of the University of Chicago in Hongkong, Barnard College, Stanford University, SPA Vijayawada, and Skoltech, which won the competition.[7][8]

Faculties and departments[edit]

Faculty of Humanities[edit]

The Faculty of Humanities currently encompasses 11 departments and a faculty centre. Their common ambition, beyond doing discipline-specific research, is to foster multilingualism and intercultural education, with particular emphasis on the Alps-Adriatic region.

Faculty of Management and Economics[edit]

The Faculty of Management and Economics has a focus on applied business management while fostering interdisciplinary links with law, sociology, economics and application-oriented geography. Within these disciplines, the faculty concentrates on areas of research and development, teaching and consulting in fields where cultural, business and social factors interact.[9]

Faculty of Technical Sciences[edit]

The Faculty of Technical Sciences is dedicated to research and training in the fields of informatics, information technology and technical mathematics. The faculty was founded in January 2007 and superseded the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Informatics as well as a newly established Department for information and communication technology. The faculty is headed by Dean Gerhard Friedrich (informatics) and Vice-Dean Clemens Heuberger (mathematics). It is organized into nine departments and offers four bachelor's degree programs, four master's degree programs, two teacher training degree programs and two doctoral programs.

The research cluster "self-organizing networked systems" closely collaborates with the research institute Lakeside Labs.[10]

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies[edit]

The Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies develops, tests and evaluates innovative ideas in the academic fields of research, training and organization. The objective of the faculty is to tackle prevailing social problem areas by creating adequate research and learning processes.

University centres[edit]

  • Centre for Women's and Gender Studies
  • Digital Age Research Centre (D!ARC)
  • Karl Popper Kolleg
  • M/O/T – School of Management, Organizational Development and Technology
  • School of Education (SoE)
  • UNIKUM (University Cultural Centre)


As of 2021, the University of Klagenfurt has strategic partnerships with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the Fraunhofer Austria Society, and with Silicon Austria Labs (SAL).[11][12][13] It offers joint study programs with the Universities of Vienna, Graz, Udine, La Rochelle, and the Poznań University of Technology.[14][15][16][17]

Student mobility partnerships via Erasmus+ and other exchange programs exist with over 250 universities in more than 50 countries worldwide.[18]


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[19]901–1,000 (2021)
QS World[20]501–510 (2022)
THE World[21]351–400 (2022)
THE Young Universities[22]48 (2021)
Global – Business and economics
THE Business and Economics[23]251–300 (2022)
Global – Liberal arts
THE Social Sciences[24]151–175 (2022)
Global – Science and engineering
THE Computer Science[25]201–250 (2022)
THE Engineering[26]201–250 (2022)
THE Physical Sciences[27]201–250 (2022)

The THE World University Rankings 2022 list the University of Klagenfurt in the 351–400 group. This is the 2nd best rank of an Austrian university with a broader spectrum of studies, second only to the University of Vienna (137) and the Medical Universities of Vienna, Graz, and Innsbruck. THE uses the field-weighted citation impact, considering the different range of fields between universities.[28] In the THE Young University Rankings 2021, Klagenfurt holds rank 48 worldwide.[1]

From the STEM fields, the University of Klagenfurt has technology, engineering, and mathematics in its spectrum, but not any classic sciences or life sciences, which is a handicap in the other large global university rankings. Still, it is listed in the 501–510 group in the QS World University Rankings, which aim to rank the 1,300 best universities in the world (out of > 26,000), ahead of the University of Graz (651–700) and the University of Salzburg (801–1,000).

The University of Klagenfurt also ranks in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking) since 2019 (901–1,000), and in U-Multirank since 2017 (honorable mention in 2021[29]).

At the Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2021, provided by Studyportals, the University of Klagenfurt came off as global winner for the best COVID-19 Crisis Management.[30][31]

Honorary doctors[edit]


  1. ^ a b THE Young University Rankings 2021, retrieved 24 June 2021
  2. ^ "ARTEFICIA. Die Kunst der Ehrendoctores" (in German). Retrieved 9 Oct 2021.
  3. ^ "Der Austro-Anteil am Marsrover" (in German). February 16, 2021. Retrieved 11 Jul 2021.
  4. ^ "Heli-Flug-Premiere—Klagenfurter Forscher blickt 'gespannt' auf Mars" (in German). April 9, 2021. Retrieved 11 Jul 2021.
  5. ^ "Mars-Hubschrauber-Flug—'Wir haben Geschichte geschrieben'" (in German). April 19, 2021. Retrieved 11 Jul 2021.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Shortlist of Prix Versailles – Campuses 2019, retrieved 15 Aug 2019
  8. ^ Winner of the Prix Versailles – Campuses 2019, retrieved 15 Aug 2019
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ University of Klagenfurt: Institutional Partnerships, retrieved 30 Dec 2020
  12. ^ Silicon Austria Labs Research Network: SAL/Uni Labs, retrieved 28 May 2021
  13. ^ Silicon Austria Labs Research Network: Doctoral College (SAL-DC), retrieved 28 May 2021
  14. ^ University of Klagenfurt: Joint and Double Degrees, retrieved 28 May 2021
  15. ^ Master's Program Wirtschaftsrecht (in German), retrieved 30 Dec 2020
  16. ^ University of Graz: Entwicklungsbund Süd-Ost (in German), retrieved 30 Dec 2020
  17. ^ Master's Program Articifial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, retrieved 30 Dec 2020
  18. ^ University of Klagenfurt: International Office, retrieved 30 Dec 2020
  19. ^ "University of Klagenfurt at the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021 – Shanghai Ranking". Retrieved 22 Aug 2021.
  20. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2022". Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  21. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022". Retrieved 16 Sep 2021.
  22. ^ "THE Young University Rankings 2021". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  23. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Business and Economics". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  24. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Social Sciences". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  25. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Computer Science". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  26. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Engineering". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  27. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Physical Sciences". Retrieved 22 Oct 2021.
  28. ^ THE World University Rankings 2021: Methodology "The data are normalised to reflect variations in citation volume between different subject areas. This means that institutions with high levels of research activity in subjects with traditionally high citation counts do not gain an unfair advantage." Retrieved 2 Sep 2020.
  29. ^ U-Multirank 2021: Country Report Austria. Retrieved 22 Sep 2021.
  30. ^ Global Student Satisfaction Awards: 2021 Winners per Category, retrieved 21 Oct 2021.
  31. ^ U-Multirank: Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2021, retrieved 21 Oct 2021.
  32. ^ Awarded 1999, accepted 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°36′59″N 14°15′54″E / 46.61639°N 14.26500°E / 46.61639; 14.26500