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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.

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)
Students11,664 (2017/18)
749 (2017/18)
CampusSuburban, 27 acres (11 ha)
ColorsShades of Blue
Universitaet klagenfurt logo.svg

Founded in 1970, the university today holds faculties of humanities, management & economics, technical sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. It ranks among the 150 best young universities worldwide (under the age of 50 years) in the QS World University Rankings.[1]

The university has defined two areas of research excellence, Networked and Autonomous Systems and Social Ecology (until 2018, transferred to BOKU), with the latter spawning three ERC Grants. It is going to launch a new excellence initiative, Humans in the Digital Age (HDA), in 2019.

It also hosts 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 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.



University of Klagenfurt and the adjacent Lakeside Science & Technology Park
South Wing (seen from the West)
Main entrance (2015)
Courtyard between Central Wing and North Wing (2015)
40th anniversary celebrations, 2010, auditorium maximum
Auditorium maximum
Auditorium maximum
Lecture Hall B

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, the university's name was changed again to Universität Klagenfurt, and at the same time, a Faculty of Humanities and a 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.

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


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,[2] 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.[3][4]

Faculties and departmentsEdit

Faculty of HumanitiesEdit

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 EconomicsEdit

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.[5]

Faculty of Technical SciencesEdit

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 special research area "self-organizing networked systems" closely collaborates with the research institute Lakeside Labs.[6]

Faculty of Interdisciplinary StudiesEdit

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 centresEdit

  • 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)


University rankings
ARWU World[7] 801–900
THE World[9] 301–350
QS World[8] 601–650

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 large global university rankings. Still, it is listed in the 601–650 group in the QS World University Rankings, which aim to rank the 1,000 best universities in the world (out of > 26,000), between the University of Graz (541–550) and the University of Salzburg (751–800).[10] Since 2018, it features in the QS Top 50 Under 50 / The Next 100 Under 50 ranking of the best 150 universities worldwide under the age of 50 years, in the 101–150 group.[11]

It is listed in U-Multirank since 2017, and in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking) since 2019 (801–900).

Honorary doctorsEdit


External linksEdit