AAU, the Carinthia University of Applied Science and the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia have joined forces through the Kärntner University Conference to pool their strengths, harness synergies and “rethink Carinthia”. Carinthia’s universities are educational centres that make a significant contribution to overcoming the social and economic challenges of the future, and to the development and prosperity of Carinthia.
Central themes of the Kärntner University Conference
The international education market is becoming ever more competitive and transparent. It is therefore vital for Carinthia’s universities to share common aims so that the competitiveness and future of the region as an academic centre is secured.
Student expectations of university life are also changing. In order to compete successfully both nationally and internationally, universities must be able to adapt and specialise even more quickly. By working together, the challenges of internationalisation, infrastructure and teaching can be managed more efficiently and more successfully.
In a region with limited resources such as Carinthia, education is the key to success and forms a solid base for the future. The opportunities, quality of life and prosperity of generations to come and our ability to act proactively to find creative solutions to the “Grand Challenges” facing our society are determined by education.
The aims of the Kärntner University Conference
to devise development strategies for Carinthian universities in close co-operation with local government
to hone and strengthen a common profile for all universities in Carinthia to attract both Austrian & international students
to develop common positions on social and economic issues and issues relating to university strategy
to work together with politicians, business and society to develop a common strategy for “rethinking Carinthia” (Kärnten neu denken)
to undertake interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research and make advances that will help tackle the “Grand Challenges” defined by the EU
to secure investment in personnel and infrastructure for the region from the Austrian Federal Government by working together with local government, cities and universities.
By working together through the Kärntner University Conference, we aim to develop common concepts for a tertiary education strategy in Carinthia. A common approach will enable us to enhance the profile and competitive advantage of the region, deepen our common research profile and work better with each other and business.
Co-operation with local government in Carinthia: common concepts for a tertiary education strategy
Carinthia’s universities fulfil an important social task: they stimulate innovation and are a key source of talent for business. They help develop potential, all the way from basic skills through to key qualifications, and contribute to the training and employment of the qualified workforces needed to safeguard business in the region. Carinthia’s universities prepare the next generation for the future and offer a crucial insight into a human, socially coherent, centred, sophisticated, innovative and performance-oriented society based on a love of learning.
The requirements that Carinthia needs to fulfil to become an education, business and research hub are challenging yet full of promise. By safeguarding sustainability and adopting a future-oriented approach to development, local government has an important role to play: there is political will to collaborate with the Kärntner University Conference to devise workable plans for the future and to position Carinthia as a competitive research and education hub at federal level. Co-operation between the Kärntner University Conference and local government will therefore intensify in future. The more effectively all actors can pull together to embrace a common development strategy, the more successful they can be in securing the federal funding that will open up new areas of specialisation. Together we’re stronger: mentally, physically and as a higher education hub.
Within this context of co-operation, a shared campus for education, innovation and technology at the heart of Carinthia has been proposed in the medium term. As part of this proposal, the AAU university campus and the Lakeside Science & Technology Park will be extended to create a joint campus, the Lakeside District. This campus will bring together the expertise of universities, businesses and cultural organisations in one place to make them more efficient, visible and attractive. It may seem futuristic to speak of Carinthia as a region of research, innovation and technology now but of course, today’s future is tomorrow’s present. The Kärntner University Conference and the government of Carinthia will stand together to achieve this aim.