Annual Report 2016
Researcher of the Month
The topics investigated at WU are as diverse as the 1,600 researchers working at our university. Many of their findings are not only academically outstanding but also highly relevant to society. This is why we select one researcher and their research findings to introduce each month.
Being selected as Researcher of the Month is intended to show the university’s appreciation for our faculty members’ research performance.
WU Pin of Honor Awarded to Kathryn and Craig Hall
During the celebrations for the 65th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Austria, WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger awarded the WU Pin of Honor to Kathryn and Craig Hall, in recognition of their long years of generous support to the Fulbright Program and the foundation of the Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship in Central Europe at WU.
The Fulbright Program is one of the most well-known and renowned mobility programs for US scholars. WU has two Fulbright Chairs, the Fulbright-WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) Visiting Professor and the Fulbright-Kathryn and Craig Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship in Central Europe. The support of the Hall Foundation allows respected US professors to spend a semester at WU so students and faculty can benefit from their expertise and teaching experience.
Internships for Refugees
WU has been active in refugee aid programs for years. With the support of the Berndorf Private Foundation, WU was able to offer eight internship positions for academic staff in 2016. With these internships, WU wants to help refugees with an academic education get off to a good start in Austria.
Seven men and one woman from Syria, Iraq, Gambia, and Afghanistan were able to contribute their expertise as interns at WU. The internships gave them the opportunity to gain work experience in Austria and start building up an academic network.
Friedrich Rödler Named WU Honorary Senator
Friedrich Rödler was named a WU Honorary Senator on April 26, 2016. Aside from purely academic distinctions, the title of Honorary Senator is the highest honor awarded by WU.
Friedrich Rödler was awarded the title in appreciation of his efforts to bring together academic research, teaching, and business practice. Even during his time as an auditor and tax consultant, Friedrich Rödler was always in close contact with numerous WU researchers, supported research projects, and shared his expertise and rich experience with WU’s students. In his capacity as Erste Group’s supervisory board chairman, he took important steps to further strengthen the close ties between WU and Erste Group.
Art on Campus
WU hosted the travelling exhibition ART ON CAMPUS from May 23 to July 1. The ART ON CAMPUS project, run by the University of St. Gallen, offers young, up-and-coming artists a platform to show their work. Eight selected works from the collection of 15 artworks are on tour to some of the university’s international partner schools, and WU was very pleased to be the first stop on the ART ON CAMPUS itinerary. The artworks, in the form of video installations, photography, sculpture, and paintings, were displayed in the public areas of the D2 building and gave our students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to experience art in their everyday work and school life.
When planning our campus, it was important to us to make sure that it could be run in an environmentally friendly manner. Our campus is built based on “Green Building” principles. To help us identify and rectify environmentally relevant problems in our daily operations, we have introduced an environmental management system. This system allows us to constantly monitor our resource usage and shows us potential areas for conserving more water, energy, and material resources. The environmental management system also includes guidelines for more environmentally friendly and sustainable purchasing.
We are proud that our environmental management system was granted Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and ISO 14001:2015 certifications in early 2016.
WU Awards and the Summer Celebration
On June 16, the WU Awards ceremony honoring the best bachelor’s and master’s theses, outstanding research performance, and excellent and innovative teaching was held at the Summer Celebration.
Towards the end of the semester, WU held the first annual Summer Celebration on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni with their family and friends as well as area residents came to spend a relaxed summer evening enjoying cold drinks, good food, live music, and trial bike shows. Families came early to have fun with their children at the kids’ activities, and the soccer match Germany vs. Poland was broadcast live so soccer fans wouldn’t miss any important goals. Around 3,500 people came to the Campus WU Sumer Celebration to say goodbye to the semester and welcome the summer break.
Eighth Place in Financial Times Ranking
Every year, the British business daily Financial Times (FT) publishes a ranking of the best business schools. WU was included in three categories and did sensationally well in 2016. WU’s English-taught Master’s Program in International Management placed in the top ten for the first time, coming in at eighth place among European programs and second place in the German-speaking region.
WU alumni are particularly well prepared for the labor market: 94% of WU students find a job within three months of graduation. A further factor in WU’s favor is its comprehensive foreign language program, its international environment, and the wide selection of opportunities for gaining international experience – WU took first place for the indicator “international course experience.”
WU4You Scholarship Program
In Austria, social background often determines a person’s educational career. The scholarship program WU4YOU was launched at five pilot schools in Vienna in early 2016, and is intended to allow talented young people to study at WU, regardless of socio-economic background.
A total of eight students were selected to receive the grant and enroll in a WU bachelor’s program for the 16/17 academic year. In addition to the scholarship grant, scholarship recipients are automatically enrolled in the Mentoring@WU program, allowing them to benefit from the experience of more advanced students. Mentors are on hand to help these first-generation students get through difficult situations and support them in successfully completing their studies.
Welcome to WU
Finding your way around a large university as a new student can be hard. To help these students get off to a good start, we welcome the newest members of the WU community with posters and messages painted on the sidewalks directing them to important information online on the WU website, the WU Blog, and our social media channels.
The Welcome to WU networking event was a special highlight. Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and Vice-Rector for Academic Programs and Student Affairs Edith Littich personally welcomed the new students and provided an entertaining introduction to the university including an interactive quiz.
Günter Thumser Named WU Manager of the Year 2016
With the WU Manager of the Year Award, WU honors executives who have shown exemplary management behavior both within their companies and in society. Henkel CEE President Günter Thumser was selected to receive the award in recognition of his achievements in opening new markets in Eastern Europe and in keeping the Henkel production facilities in Vienna, thus securing workplaces in Austria.
After the award ceremony, Günter Thumser, Arnold Schuh, head of WU’s Competence Center for Emerging Markets & CEE, and Georg Wailand, editor-in-chief of the business magazine Gewinn, discussed the opportunities and challenges involved in participation in Middle and Eastern European markets at the first event in the lecture series WU matters. WU talks.
WU matters. WU talks.
As a public university, it’s important to WU to do its part to help solve today’s social and economic problems. To this end, we launched a new series of public discussions in the fall: WU matters. WU talks. – a lecture series intended as a platform for the intensive exchange of ideas and active discourse between science and society. Regularly scheduled discussions and lectures put socially and economically important topics in the spotlight. In 2016, we focused on the topics “Going East, Growing East,” “Why Managers Become Corrupt,” “Beauty: An Ideal Between Culture, Commerce, and Career,” “Brexit: Bogeyman or Real Threat?”, and “Back to the Future: Education as an Opportunity for Austria.”
The hochschuleundfamilie audit, a certification offered by the Austrian government, is awarded to universities who create the best possible conditions for balancing family life with work or studies. WU earned the basic hochschuleundfamilie certification for its support for faculty, staff, and students in combining professional or academic obligations with the demands of a family. But far from resting on its laurels, WU has continued to develop further strategies to make WU even more family-friendly. These efforts were rewarded with full hochschuleundfamilie certification in 2016. The certificate was presented to WU by Sophie Karmasin, Minister of Families and Youth, in November.