We want as many students as possible to get to know WU before deciding where to study. That’s where the WU@School program comes in: We organize campus visits for school classes, take the students on a tour of the campus and the library, and provide them with comprehensive information about the university and the available programs. Students also have the opportunity to check out our auditoriums and attend part of a typical class to get an idea of what to expect.
School classes interested in learning more about studying at WU can meet with a professor to learn more about our research, or talk with WU alumni about career opportunities after graduation. A workshop on academic writing rounds out the day’s program.
Schools that don’t have the opportunity to visit us on campus can request a visit from a WU Ambassador. These are higher-semester students who introduce high school students to WU’s programs and give them an impression of what it’s like to study at WU based on their own personal experience.
In 2018, 81 classes attended campus visits and 29 WU Ambassadors visited schools. In total, we reached 3,700 students, significantly more than in previous years.
Middle School Project Days
In the Austrian school system, basic decisions about a student’s later academic career are often made at the eighth grade level, and we try to spark kids’ interest in studying at WU already at this age. In 2018, we introduced Project Days at the middle school level and were able to reach 300 middle school students.
We organized additional campus tours for middle schoolers as part of the “Horizons by Teach for Austria” project, which gives young people a first taste of university life.
Women and Technology (FIT)
Diversity and the promotion of women are very important to us, and we are actively trying to get more young women interested in studying information systems. For this reason, we have been part of the Women and Technology (FIT) initiative for years. The number of women in WU’s information systems program has risen sharply in recent years, and has been over 50% since 2016.
WU’s participation in the FIT Initiative
- 15 school visits by FIT Ambassadors reached out to 488 female high school students
- 3 workshops at WU attended by 30 women
- WU booth at the FIT info fair with information about the information systems program
Learning to Study
The transition from school to university is a phase that not only brings about significant changes, but also has an influence on students’ long-term academic success. Since the fall of 2016, WU has been working with the Vienna City School Board on a project to make it easier for students to choose an academic program and help them master the transition from high school to university: “From secondary school to university: Designing, facilitating, and supporting educational transitions.”
Together with selected schools, we developed teaching materials for a voluntary course called “Fit for university.” In this course, students deal with six subject areas, three of which are taught directly at their schools: self-organization, preparing for and taking exams, and language and reading skills. For the remaining three – starting university, job descriptions and perspectives, and academic writing – students come to WU, giving them the opportunity to personally experience the university atmosphere.
In the 2017/18 winter semester, the course was offered for the first time at six business academies as pilot schools. In the 2018 summer semester, eight schools offered the program and 130 students attended the voluntary course.
Programs for Teachers
Upper secondary school students are required to write a pre-scientific thesis or diploma thesis as part of the Matura school-leaving exam. For this reason, academic writing is already an important topic at school. To help support teachers in this subject, WU offers introductory and in-depth workshops on the writing of a pre-scientific thesis. Workshops focus on the question of how teachers can best support their students during the writing process.
Talented Young Researchers
WU created the Research Talent Award to encourage tomorrow’s researchers. In 2018, we called on high school seniors to submit their pre-scientific and diploma theses on topics in the field of money and finance to compete for the second annual Research Talent Award. The expert jury was impressed by the high quality of the work submitted and selected 10 winners. The prize winners and their teachers were invited to Campus WU and presented with certificates and cash prizes at a ceremony in the Ceremonial Hall. Funding for the cash prizes was provided by our cooperation partner, the OeNB Oesterreichische Nationalbank.
Explore WU? Attend a class? Get a taste of student life? All this and more is possible at WU’s Open House Days. Potential students can visit our information stands to find out about our programs, international exchange opportunities, and job prospects after graduation. They can also take a guided tour to explore Campus WU, or attend sample lectures on topics like the skills entrepreneurs need, law and order, fighting poverty with education and development, and the effects of marketing to get an idea of what it’s like to study at WU.
The 2018 Open House Days were very well attended: approximately 1,500 visitors came to the March event and 1,400 in December.