What field do I want to work in? How do I find the job of my dreams? Teens and young adults have to make many decisions that will affect the rest of their lives for years to come. This is why schools already start providing students with information about different careers and educational options in eighth grade.
WU is also very active in this area: We invite high school students to visit our campus and introduce them and their whole class to WU. Workshops give the young people an idea of what it’s like to study and how a university works. Ideally, some of these kids will enroll as new students at WU after graduating from high school.
WU@School is a service we offer to schools. School classes can sign up for a campus tour, where they will learn useful information about WU and its programs. After the tour, the kids have an opportunity to check out one of our auditoriums or attend a workshop about academic writing. Upon request we can also put classes in touch with professors or alumni who are happy to talk to the teens about their experiences at and with WU.
Classes that are unable to visit the campus can book a visit from a WU Ambassador: WU students who talk to the class about university life and answer questions about WU’s academic programs.
In 2017, WU welcomed 67 high school classes on campus and sent WU Ambassadors to 26 further classes. We are especially pleased that demand for these informational services is growing. The workshop on academic writing, where members of the library staff give the students helpful tips on writing pre-academic papers or theses, is particularly popular.
We also actively seek out cooperations with educational counsellors throughout Austria: In September, WU hosted the conference of the educational counsellors’ association ARGE Bildungsberatung for commercial schools in Vienna, and in October, the branch of the association representing upper secondary schools in the province of Carinthia sent a delegation to visit Campus WU.
Middle School Project Days
Because the social diversity of our student body is especially important to WU, we reach out to potential first-generation students early, starting in eighth grade. In 2017, we held six middle school project days. 280 middle school students visited WU and attended workshops on business, economics, and entrepreneurship. During a tour of Campus WU, the students learned how a university works and listened to alumni talk about the career opportunities open to WU graduates.
Fit for University
The transition from school to university can be challenging, and first-semester students are already expected to have advanced organizational skills. This is why we start preparing our future students for life at WU before they even leave school, showing them how to get off to the best possible start. A specially developed program helps students get their bearings at university.
“Fit for University” is offered as a free elective and is available to commercial academy (HAK) students in their last two years of school. The program was launched in the fall of 2017, and 90 students from six schools signed up. The students attend workshops on academic writing, career options, and getting started at WU.
Research Talent Award
A cooperation between WU and the Austrian central bank OeNB was formed with the aim of improving financial literacy in Austria. As part of this project, a call for applications for the first Research Talent Awards was issued in the spring of 2017. Students from upper secondary schools and vocational secondary schools were invited to submit their pre-academic theses or diploma theses on finance-related topics to compete for the award. The best theses were selected and the authors were presented with the Research Talent Award at a formal ceremony. 20 students from all over Austria received awards of up to € 800.
Open House Day
Our Open House Days give potential students the opportunity to get an idea of what it’s like to study at WU – strolling across campus, checking out auditoriums and classes, and chatting with WU students in a relaxed atmosphere. We also offer informational lectures about WU’s programs, applying for admission, and getting off to a good start in the first semester. And whoever is still not sure if WU is right for them can take our Fit4WU test to see if they have what it takes to be a WU student.
The 2017 Open House Days in March and December were attended by around 2,500 people interested in finding out more about WU and its programs.