Social Commitment

WU is a responsible university. This means that we as an institution act in a socially responsible manner in everything we do. Some of our activities in this area were honored with awards in 2019.

Global Startup Award

Nonprofit organizations play an important role in solving social problems. As a responsible university, WU supports social organizations in achieving their goals. In 2018, WU’s Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship in cooperation with UniCredit Bank Austria, and UniCredit Foundation launched the NEXT Award for Austrian nonprofit organizations. As part of this program to encourage social innovation, the 12 finalists received professional support for 3 months to further develop their nonprofit company. 3 companies were then selected for the NEXT Award, each receiving €30,000 in funding.

This WU initiative has now been recognized internationally: The NEXT Award was named Austria’s best support program and received the Global Startup Award in the category “Best Accelerator or Incubator Program.”

She made a difference Award

Women are still underrepresented in management positions, which is why European Women’s Management Development (EWMD), an international network for women in management, established the “She Made a Difference Award.” With this award, the EWMD honors women who have made important contributions to the cause of women’s equality throughout their careers.

WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-​Egger is the first Austrian woman to receive this award: As a role model, Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger encourages and motivates young women to follow their own career paths. In her capacity as rector of WU, she exerts a positive influence on the education of future leaders, and as a researcher, she has made important contributions in the field of gender and diversity research.

Decoration of Honor in Gold

2 members of the WU community were awarded the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for Services to the City of Vienna in 2019. In June, the governor and mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, honored professor emeritus and former WU Rector Herbert Matis with this distinction.

Michael Holoubek, professor at the Institute for Austrian and European Public Law, received the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for his commitment to the construction of Campus WU. With the award, Governor Ludwig emphasized Holoubek’s role in establishing Vienna as the largest university city in the German-speaking region.

Honorary doctorate

For her outstanding academic achievements and her status as a role model, Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger has received an honorary doctorate from UCLouvain, Louvain School of Management, Belgium.

At the conference where the honorary doctorate was presented, WU Rector Hanappi-Egger gave a lecture entitled “Enhancing the Place of Women in Company Boards and Management.” She addressed the fact that still only very few women hold senior management positions at the EU’s largest companies, even though 54.1% of tertiary education students in the EU are women. Rector Hanappi-Egger highlighted possible ways of achieving an equal gender balance in supervisory boards and senior management positions. She also explained WU’s diversity-oriented performance assessment approach, which plays an important role especially when recruiting senior faculty members for professorships. In 2016, this performance assessment system won a major diversity management award


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