Award-Winning Teaching

WU’s excellent performance in rankings and its resulting good reputation are in part thanks to the high quality of WU’s research-led teaching. Course contents are based on current research findings, meaning they are always up-to-date. WU’s faculty are committed to teaching and enjoy using innovative teaching methods, and national and international awards each year are the reward.

Ars Docendi

The Ars Docendi state award for excellent teaching at Austria’s public universities has been presented annually since 2012. WU’s teachers featured prominently in 2018, as they have in previous years.

Johannes Steyrer and Silvia Mille, faculty in the Master’s Program in Management, were awarded the Ars Docendi in the category “outstanding supervision of academic theses (master’s and diploma theses, dissertations).” Master’s students at the Department of Management start learning how to write their thesis early in their studies; they start writing in the third semester of the program, accompanied by intensive coaching and support.

Two additional courses taught by WU faculty members were shortlisted for the award: “Interdisciplinary Socioeconomic Research Lab,” held by Katharina Miko-Schefzig and Karin Sardadvar, and “Climate Change Strategy Role Play,” taught by Clive Spash and Viviana Asara.

“We’re very pleased about this year’s Ars Docendi successes. These awards are a good indicator for the importance of teaching at WU and we hope that this positive trend will continue in the upcoming years.”
Edith Littich, Vice-Rector for Academic Programs and Student Affairs

Best of Austria

The WU Institute for Managing Sustainability’s project “Humor and Sustainability” was awarded the Education for Sustainable Development – BEST OF AUSTRIA prize by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism in November 2018.

In this WU educational project, humor is used to increase young people’s interest in sustainable development, magnify learning effects, and raise awareness for sustainable lifestyles. Instead of writing seminar papers, students created texts and story boards in American late-night-comedy style. Topics included eMobility, fast fashion, bee mortality, tourism, and the sharing economy. Support was provided by the faculty of the Institute for Managing Sustainability, improv trainer and actress Anita Zieher, and stand-up comedian and actor Florian Scheuba.

CEMS Course of the Year Award

In December, Günter K. Stahl was presented with his fifth CEMS Course of the Year Award for excellent teaching. His course “Managing People, Teams and Organizations across Cultures” provides students with behavioral strategies and skills that allow them to act in an interculturally effective and responsible manner in a variety of different contexts (for example in global teams or international joint ventures).

Excellent Teaching Award

For the Excellent Teaching Award, students have the opportunity to nominate the teachers that impressed them the most in the past year. 2,934 students participated in the 2018 vote, and the jury then had the challenging job of selecting ten award winners from the 639 nominations submitted.

Excellent Teaching Award Winners 2018

  • Karin Burger-Ehrnhofer Austrian and European Labor Law and Social Security Law
  • Francisca Bremberger Economic Policy and Industrial Economics
  • Harald Eberhard Austrian and European Public Law
  • Johanna Hofbauer Sociology and Social Research
  • Susanne Kalss Civil and Business Law
  • Lauren Landsmann English Business Communication
  • Andreas Lengger Management Accounting and Control
  • August Österle Social Policy
  • Johannes Steyrer Interdisciplinary Institute for Management and Organizational Behavior
  • Julia Szoncsitz Business Education

Innovative Teaching Award

WU’s faculty members are not only committed to excellent teaching, they also develop new and innovative learning formats. This creates a stimulating learning environment for students and makes it easier for them to grasp the concepts presented. Particularly creative courses are eligible for the Innovative Teaching Award. Courses that include especially progressive uses of new technologies can be nominated for the eTeaching Award.

The award-winning concepts emphasize practical applications and real-life scenarios. In inverted-classroom settings, students work on course materials independently and discuss them critically with teachers in class. Multimedia elements and digital media are integrated into the syllabus in innovative ways.

Innovative Teaching Award Winners 2018

Florian Schuhmacher, Stefan Holzweber: Antitrust Law Seminar

In this small-group seminar, students work on legal assessments and discuss them critically in their groups. The final exam is conducted on a take-home basis: Students have five days’ time to work on the exam’s essay questions. In the last class of the semester, students work on a real-life case study in a joint workshop together with the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.

Tobias Kaloud: International Macroeconomics

Students learn how short-term to medium-term economic developments progress in this bachelor’s-level course. As background information, students are given a review of the past week’s economics-related news, which is then analyzed in class using state-of-the-art scientific methods. Students also record short videos on countries with different economic structures. While researching their film projects, students analyze medium-term developments in different economies.

Gerhard Geissler, Ilse Pachinger, Rosanna Steininger: Business Education Methods II

This course is taught in an inverted-classroom format. During a preparatory independent study phase, students work with Lecturecasts, texts, and case studies to learn how to plan syllabi and create teaching materials. In class, teachers give them feedback on their concepts. The classroom phase is then followed by a further independent study phase, in which students implement their own projects and document the skill development process in a journal.

Gerhard Furtmüller: Personnel Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior

“Personnel Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior” is a large-scale course. During class, students come up with discussion questions about the information being presented, and send their questions to the instructor by text message. In the second class, students discuss the questions in smaller groups and try to answer them. Bonus points are awarded for questions that particularly encourage reflection.

Michael Soder, Florentin Glötzl: Special Topics in Economic Policy

The objective of this course is to give students a comprehensive overview of current economic policy discussions in Austria, while focusing on students’ individual interests. Students work in small groups, concentrating intensively on one selected topic. Then they write a blog post, and in the process learn how to express and defend their own position on economic policy issues.

Karin Dobernig, Karin Schanes: Environment and the Economy I – Agents of Sustainable Consumption

Students learn the skills to recognize ecological challenges and see them from a political, business, and consumer perspective in this course. The course design combines many diverse didactic elements, for example creating a website, preparing information for a presentation, pro and contra debates, peer feedback, chat stations, video analysis, and calculating the students’ ecological footprints, all intended to encourage active students’ participation and keep students motivated.

Karl Brindlmayer: Global Markets – Industry Evolution and Firm Strategy

Der Lehrstoff wird mit unterschiedlichen didaktischen Formaten wie Fallanalysen, Gastvorträgen, Diskussionen und Coaching aufbereitet. Das Ziel ist, dass die Studierenden ihr Wissen auch in der Praxis und in neuen Kontexten anwenden können.


Claudia Katnik, Sabine L. Petrasch: Foreign Language Business Communication I – Italian

A variety of online tools are used in this course to encourage student participation and increase motivation, both during the independent learning phase and in the classroom. These include Lecturecasts, online chats, an online assessment test, an Italian online grammar tool, a forum, video and audio files on Learn@WU, and the external tools,, and

Groundbreaking Research