Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (AAU) strives for academic excellence in research and teaching and is guided in these endeavours by the very highest international standards. The motto inscribed in the university’s official stamp, per aspera ad astra, is a vivid expression of the university’s constant pursuit of excellence. Here at AAU, we believe that acting in a responsible, proactive manner and adhering to good academic practice are central to university life.
Research: seeking new boundaries
Research at AAU stands in the great European tradition of the Enlightenment. We are committed to the classical academic principles of knowledge acquisition, openness and exchange, and have close research links with national and international research communities in the relevant fields. Co-operation and competition are not mutually exclusive. They can complement one another in a productive fashion. Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt’s objective is to help our researchers gain visibility and recognition for their research worldwide. To achieve this aim, researchers at the university, and young researchers in particular, should receive the support and assistance that enables them to conduct impactful, world-leading research and compete successfully at a global level for research positions and funding, which in turn leads to the acquisition of new knowledge and solutions to the problems of the modern age.
As a “university of short distances” (proximity), AAU is perfectly positioned to encourage developments in interdisciplinary research. We promote relevant co-operation projects, both within and across our faculties, without neglecting subject standards or compromising on performance. The university’s dynamic development is driven by the curiosity, activities and commitment of its young researchers. We have therefore created an open, co-operative environment that offers special support to our young researchers.
Teaching: shifting the boundaries
The AAU campus is a meeting point for ideas, nationalities and languages. A multilingual place for exchange, personal development, group development and progress. The boundaries between teaching, learning and research are fluid. The university culture is based upon the thirst and search for knowledge, creativity, critical thinking and constructive scepticism. As well as being a mechanism for communicating knowledge, quality teaching demands and promotes independent academic thinking.
The university is the “region’s academic backbone” and takes advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities afforded by its geographic location, campus structure and diverse community of staff and students. We are constantly expanding our national and international links and offer excellent support to outgoing students going on study and work abroad placements, as well as for incoming international students and lecturers. Using teaching that challenges yet supports our students, we create the academic conditions that will enable as many of our students as possible to continue or consolidate their studies with us or at another international university. We also work continuously to improve upon our high standard of student supervision and infrastructure.
Our research-oriented teaching is a flagship feature of our course offering and in line with the lifelong learning strategies of the EU and Austrian government. This position is consolidated through our commitment to quality assurance and by focussing our course offering on key social issues and social goods, particularly in the fields of business and management, teacher training and psychosocial and demographic change.
We support the success of our students and provide them with the best possible preparation for their future. We therefore place great value on the personal development of our students and on helping them to become open-minded, responsible, reflective critical thinkers who embody the principle of sapere aude.
Society: sweeping aside the boundaries
AAU is an organisation with around 1500 staff and 10,000 students who work, research, teach and learn together. Respect and mutual support are the principles that underpin a productive community of lecturers and students and provide a solid basis from which to achieve our ambitious goals. AAU is an independent, confident institution that reflects critically on itself and its environment. In addition to its core mission, the university provides an open platform for dialogue, exchange and think tanks and is keenly aware of its unique role as a transmitter of knowledge and culture that encourages participation.
According to Section 1 Universities Act 2002, the mission of universities is to “contribute to the personal development of the individual, and to the welfare of society and the environment” and “help a society in transition to master the challenges it faces in a humane and gender-equal fashion”. AAU is committed to the principles of sustainability, gender mainstreaming and diversity, the compatibility of family and career, the health of our students and staff, embracing an entrepreneurial, innovative, reformative attitude and rising to meet the social, cultural, economic and technological challenges of the 21st century. The university sees its international research and teaching responsibilities through the prism of developing the region of Carinthia within a united Europe and an interconnected world, taking advantage of its historic location at the intersection of three cultures.