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About the University of Innsbruck
The University of Innsbruck (German: Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck; Latin: Universitas Leopoldino Franciscea) is a public university in Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol.
The University’s main mandate is to focus on research and development, teaching and continuing professional education and training. In all these fields its regional status is to be deepened and its high ranking in the European academic area is to be guaranteed. This is laid down in the Mission Statement of the University of Innsbruck. The University is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and students, irrespective of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, and religious belief, and membership of the travelling community.
Founded in 1669, the University of Innsbruck looks back to a long and variable history. The University has always been a supporting pillar of the Tyrolean society and has influenced the region tremendously. The importance of its status as a research and educating institution can be seen in the numerous award winning alumni and current and former scientists teaching and researching at the University. Many scientific cutting-edge discoveries have been made at this institution.
Today the University comprises of 16 faculties and 79 institutes. For more information on the structure and size of the University visit our sites University in Numbers, Student Numbers and Organisational Structure. You find relevant numbers on last year’s performances at the Intellectual Capital site, and strategies and plans for the next few years at Development Plan. For finding the location of the various faculties, departments and other university institutions go to Maps and Directions. The site University Lifegives you information on academic and cultural activities and events at the University.
Faculty of Architecture
Teachers at the Faculty of Architecture are experts in their field. Both students and professors enjoy success in architecture competitions, while the core teaching staff is complemented by numerous international lecturers and guest professors.
The infrastructure available also meets international standards and includes the very latest hardware and software. The Faculty’s drawing rooms, for example, are designed to offer the best possible conditions and to encourage students to share ideas and work together. Run by professional model makers, the on-site modelling workshop enables budding architects to create scaled-down versions of their designs using wood, plastic and metal, while the libraries offer access to the latest publications on architecture and other disciplines from around the world and in a range of languages.
Faculty of Biology
The University of Innsbruck’s location means that the Faculty of Biology looks closely at many aspects of the Alpine habitat, primarily as part of the research platform Alpine Space – Man and Environment. Another of the Faculty’s areas of focus is the Center for Molecular Bioscience Innsbruck. Much of the research work carried out is multi-, inter- or transdiscipline, a fact reflected in the strong networks that have been developed with other research projects such as Ecology of the Alpine Region, Environmental Research and Biotechnology and the Mountain Agriculture Research Unit. This interdisciplinary approach also extends to partnerships with other Faculties and institutions at the University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck Medical University and many research facilities in Austria and abroad. One of our Faculty’s main strengths is its combination of fundamental research and application-oriented research.
The Faculty’s Institutes offer a bachelor’s programme in Biology, a secondary school teacher training accreditation programme for Biology and Environmental Protection, master’s programmes in Botany, Microbiology, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity and Zoology as well as a PhD programme in Biology.
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy
The Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy covers two dynamic, molecule-oriented sciences that are closely linked in terms of both content and methodology. It carried out interdisciplinary, chemical and pharmaceutical research in the fields of life sciences (natural and active substances, biomacromolecules), material science and nanoscience at the very highest international level. Such research also forms an important foundation for the work conducted at the Center for Molecular Biosciences (CMBI) and in the Advanced Materials research group. The Faculty is divided into seven Institutes, each of which has strong links to a number of research networks.
In 2011/2012 the Faculty moved to its new home, the Centre for Chemistry and Biomedicine (Innrain 80/82). This brand new building forms a meeting point for natural sciences researchers from the University of Innsbruck and research groups based at Innsbruck Medical University, offering lecturers and students alike the conditions and facilities necessary to achieve excellence in teaching and research.
Natural sciences are booming. With its excellent body of teaching staff and researchers, the University of Innsbruck offers clear advantages over other educational institutions.
Faculty of Economics and Statistics
The Faculty of Economics and Statistics is Austria’s centre for empirical and experimental research in the field of economics.
The Faculty’s research teams are characterised by a high level of external funding, mutual appreciation and an open working climate.
The staff’s expertise and methodological competence are reflected in the range of study programmes available. As well its bachelor’s programme in Management and Economics, master’s programme in Applied Economics and a PhD programme in Economics, the Faculty also plays a leading role in the diploma programme International Economic and Business Studies. Methodological and problem-solving skills lie at the heart of all of these study programmes.
Faculty of Education
The Faculty of Educational Sciences consists of two Institutes: Educational Science (EZW) and Psychosocial Intervention and Communications Research (PsyKo). It deals with socially relevant issues concerning education, raising children, communication, learning and socialisation. In addition to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes in Educational Sciences, the Faculty offers university and further education courses as well as a number of apprenticeship programmes open to students from all Faculties.
Faculty of Engineering Science
Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences
The Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Innsbruck comprises four Institutes. Each of these Institutes focuses on issues that are of growing importance to the relationship between humans and the environment and, as such, for a sustainable development of our modern society. Thanks to its unique location, research into mountain regions plays a key role in the work of many Faculties at the University of Innsbruck, not least the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences.
With a total of around 1600 students enrolled at the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences, students enjoy excellent teaching, research and administration. The Faculty’s is responsible for a large number of widely respected international publications. As well as the research projects and centres mentioned above, researchers are also active in the interdisciplinary projects Alpine Space – Man and Environment and the research platforms Advanced Materials and Scientific Computing. Through its innovation and high-quality research the Faculty has become an important partner for businesses and public institutions.
Faculty of Humanities 1 (Philosophy and History)
The subjects taught at the modern-day Faculty of Humanities 1 cover the entire spectrum of human development and its intellectual and cultural contributions, from prehistoric times through to the modern day. Teaching and research work focuses primarily on the pressing issues of the modern day.
Proof of the efficacy of this approach can be seen in the Faculty’s success in attracting external sponsors and convincing them of the importance of research projects, resulting in annual financial support running into the millions that can be used to create positions for highly qualified young researchers.
At the same time, the Faculty plays a key role in promoting the new humanities research group Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts (created as a result of the excellent evaluations given to the research platforms Cultural Encounters and Transfers and Politics – Religion – Art. Platform for Conflict and Communication Research) and the research platform Gender Studies: Identities – Discourses – Transformations. Both focus on cutting edge questions and discussions in politics and society, albeit from different perspectives.
Faculty of Humanities 2 (Language and Literature)
The Faculty of Humanities 2 (Language and Literature) at the University of Innsbruck offers a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s programmes as well as secondary school teacher accreditation programmes and PhD programmes covering languages, literature, culture and media.
The Faculty cooperates closely with the School of Education and the following institutions at the University of Innsbruck:Italy Centre, France Centre, Centre for Canadian Studies, American Corner Innsbruck, Center for Inter-American Studies (ZIAS), Centre for Russian Language and Culture.
Faculty of Law
Law is one of the oldest research and teaching disciplines in the world. At the same time it remains more relevant than ever as an instrument to solve conflicts in society. Particularly in this modern age of globalisation, the legal system finds itself faced with new challenges when it comes to establishing norms and standards.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Innsbruck recognises and reacts to these chalenges, on the one hand by strengthening basic research and its application to new legal problems, and on the other hand by offering a range of studies that does equal justice to the requirements of a classical academic training and to the multifaceted needs of legal practice.
Research work extends to all fields of law covered by the Faculty, especially to coordinated research fields such as European integration, federalism and the field of sport and law.
The choice of study programmes ranges from the traditional diploma programme and doctoral programme in Law to a diploma programme in Business Law, an integrated diploma programme in Law and a PhD programme in Italian Law offered jointly by the universities of Innsbruck and Padua. Through this joint study programme the Faculty also fulfils its central role as an important educational institution in the Tyrol - South Tyrol - Trentino Euroregion. As well as the many study courses designed for students, there is also a wide range of training courses available for qualified legal practitioners.
Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics
The Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics comprises three main fields that share many similarities when it comes to both content and methodology. As such, the Faculty acts as an organisatonal framework drawing together a wide range of research and teaching potential.
Excellent, forward-looking research combined with state-of-the-art teaching methods make the Faculty attractive for students and researchers at a national and international level. Research focuses primarily on physics and scientific computing, in particular on quantum physics, astrophysics and particle physics, ion physics and applied physics, information technology and high-performance computing. Thanks to their groundbreaking projects and pioneering work, Innsbruck’s researchers in the fields of mathematics, information technology and physics are among the world’s best.
The Faculty offers a bachelor’s programme, master’s programme, secondary school teacher accreditation programme and PhD programme in each of the three fields of mathematics, information technology and physics. Every one of these study programmes is internationally competitive and meets European standards. The Faculty also offers the AstroMundus master’s programme culminating in an internationally recognised qualification in astronomy and astrophysics as well as the Doctoral Programme Plus in Computational Interdisciplinary Modelling, which is an excellent stepping stone to a career in the international research community.
The Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics has a team of experienced lecturers and offers spacious computer rooms and laboratories with modern equipment. As well as a solid education in the most important basic knowledge, students also receive the chance to apply this expertise in a practical way. Students enrolled in one of the master’s or PhD programmes are invited to work in the Faculty’s research teams.
Faculty of Psychology and Sport Science
Teaching and research work at the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science focuses on physical and mental wellbeing and performance. The main aim is to produce excellent fundamental research that can be applied to everyday situations, an objective pursued as part of the research projects Alpine Sport, Emotion – Cognition – Interaction (EMKONT) and Psychology of Everyday Activity (PsyAll).
Innsbruck University School of Management
In our School, up-to-date management education and research meet more than 300 years of academic tradition of the University of Innsbruck and the breathtaking landscape of the Alps. Therefore we feel that University of Innsbruck School of Management is truly located in the heart of Europe. You are cordially invited to explore the opportunities for studying in our Bachelor-, Diploma-, Masters- or PhD programs, to visit the homepages of our research centres, and to take a look at the areas of expertise of our staff.
School of Catholic Theology
Around 700 students study at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, which is one of the University of Innsbruck’s flagship Faculties for teaching and research and has been a pillar of the academic community since the university was first founded.
“Religion – topic of the future!” Driven by this motto, the Faculty of Catholic Theology shapes its research to meet the need in society for guidance, religious dialogue and a strengthening of religion’s role in sociey. Instead of excluding the church from this research, a conscious effort is made to involve the church in the work carried out at the Faculty. The study programmes on offer range from philosophical and theological programmes to high-quality PhDs leading to qualifications recognised by the church.
The Faculty also plays an active role in intrafaculty research and teaching cooperation. The philosophy courses available in Innsbruck are almost unique in the German-speaking world, primarily thanks to their broad philosophical education and critical reflection on the Christian view of the world.
Students at the Faculty of Catholic Theology enjoy state-of-the-art facilities and modern libraries. The student-friendly atmosphere and excellent ratio of students to lecturers make it possible to complete an internationally recognised study programme in a short space of time.
School of Education
The School of Education coordinates and helps design teacher training at the University of Innsbruck. In close cooperation with eight other Faculties, it offers high-quality secondary school teacher accreditation programmes. This teaching activity is complemented by research in the fields of education theory and classroom practice as well as into subject-specific teaching techniques. This close cooperation with the Faculties specialising in the subjects the students are training to teach ensures that they stay up to date with the latest developments in each field and form an important basis for developing teaching methods. Furthermore, the School of Education looks to cooperate closely with all institutions involved in the training and further education of teachers, in particular the regional education authorities and teacher training colleges.
School of Political Science and Sociology
The Faculty of Political Science and Sociology is one of the University of Innsbruck’s centres of excellence and comprises the Department of Political Science and the Department of Sociology. It has strong internal and external research networks, including its membership of the Mountain Agriculture Research Unit, the Organisations and Society research platform (see above) and the Gender Studies Research Platform (see above).
History of the University of Innsbruck
The history of the University of Innsbruck starts about 100 years before its official foundation in 1669, when in 1562 a Jesuit school/college was established. Emperor Leopold I used this school as a foundation to establish a university on 15 October, 1669. He guaranteed its financing by introducing a new extraordinary tax on salt extracted in Hall, the so called "Haller Salt Surcharge". Eight years later in 1677, the founding certificate was issued, which mentioned four faculties.
In the following years, the University had to endure challenging times – it was dissolved and reopened twice. In 1826, Francis I Emperor of Austria finally founded the Faculty of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law and, thereafter, other faculties were established step-by-step. In 1969 teaching started at the Faculty of Civil Engineering Sciences and Architecture, and in 1976 the Faculty of Sociology and Economics was established, which used to be integrated into the Faculty of Law and Political Science. Under the University Act 2002 the University was re-organized into 15 faculties and the Faculty of Medicine became a University in its own right – the Medical University of Innsbruck. In 2012 the School of Education has been established and became the 16th faculty of the University of Innsbruck.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft, Österreich
- Times Higher Education World University Ranking of 2010/2011 the University of Innsbruck was Austria’s best university with an overall worldwide rank of 187. In 2011/2012 and 2012/13 Innsbruck University was ranked in the cluster of positions 201-225, which was the second-best ranking among Austrian universities.
- Leiden Ranking: the University of Innsbruck is ranked 77th in Europe, which is the best position among universities in Austria.
- The Academic Ranking of World Universities (also known as „Shanghai-Ranking“), which uses six indicators from the fields of research, teaching and staff to evaluate international universities, ranked the University of Innsbruck in the cluster from positions 201-300 (2011, 2012 and 2013, World) and 74-121 (2011, 2012 and 2013, Europe), which again is the second best position among all Austrian universities.
- QS World University Ranking, which was introduced in 2010, shows similar results like the THE Ranking. It is based on a comprehensive set of key indicators that focus on research, education and institutional conditions. In the last three years Innsbruck University was ranked 278th (2010), 290th (2011), 276th (2012) and 289th (2013) worldwide.
- The web application "Excellence Mapping" visualizes worldwide research excellence in 17 subject areas. For each institution (university or research institution) with at least 500 papers per subject area in Scopus, the estimated probability of publishing papers which belong to the 10% of most-cited papers is calculated. Within the subject area "Physics and Astronomy" the University of Innsbruck is ranked 24th worldwide with a probability of 0.250.
Student Life at the University of Innsbruck
Members of the University – students and professors alike – are welcome to participate in the University Orchestra, University Choir or the Uni-Big-Band with regular concerts being held for the general public:
- University Choir
- University Orchestra
International cultural centres offer diverse events:
- Canadian Studies Centre
- Centre for Inter-American Studies
- Focus France
- Italy Centre
- Russian Centre
The University of Innsbruck also accommodates museums, archives and a Botanical Garden:
- Archaeological Museum Innsbruck - a collection of casts and originals
- Archive of Architecture
- Botanical Garden
- Show room of Art History
Here are a few typical student bars:
- La Copa – La Cabana
- Restaurant Elferhaus
- Das Stadtcafe
- Cafe-Music-Bar Zappa
- Hofgarten Cafe & Restaurant
- Limerick Bill’s Irish Pub
In Innsbruck there are over 130 restaurants - from typical Tyrolese/Austrian cooking to Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Greek, Turkish and Italian – the list is never ending. A restaurant-guide is available at the Tourist Information Office, Burggraben.
- Tiroler Landesmuseen
- Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum
- Ambras Castle / Schloss Ambras Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Imperial Palace / Museum Hofburg
- Tiroler Landestheater
- Innstanz Theater an der Sill
- Swarovski Kristallwelten
- Cineplexx World
- Metropol Multiplexx
- Leokino 1
Services of the University of Innsbruck
There are double and single study-rooms; kitchen and bathroom are usually shared. Rooms are allocated after arrival of both application and reservation deposit. Rooms are let by complete semesters only and cannot be quit during the semester.
If you have made no arrangements for accommodation in advance, you may choose to stay at a youth hostel for the first few days.
You can choose a contractual doctor yourself or go to the hospital (Universitätsklinik, Anichstraße 35). During the night / Sundays / holidays please contact the medical emergency service (Tel: 141) and in emergency cases the ambulance service (Tel: 144)
There are approx. 30 pharmacies in Innsbruck. Opening hours are usually: Mon-Fri. 8.00–12.30 and 14.30–18.00, Saturdays 8.00–12.00. The pharmacies in the city centre are open all day. During the night / Sundays / holidays a restricted number are open. Each pharmacy has a notice outside with the name of the next pharmacy open in urgent cases.
Good meals at reduced prices are offered by:
- Uni Atrium, Main Building Innrain 52
- Uni Café 80/82, Innrain 80/82
- New Mensa, Herzog-Siegmund-Ufer 15
- UBI-Chat, Innrain 52f
- SOWI Lounge: Universitätsstr. 15
- Mensa Technik: Technikerstr.13
- Uni-Tech Café ICT, Technikerstr. 21
- M-Café USI, Fürstenweg 185
- M-Café im BTV Atrium, Langer Weg 11.
The cost of a meal lies between E 4,50 and E 6,50.
The central University Library (UB), Innrain 50 is free of charge for all students. To borrow a book you need your student ID-card. The Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences library (1st floor) is equipped with a computer supported literature research programme.
Computers for the use of students:
- at the EDV-Subzentrum, Innrain 52, basement of the Geiwi-Tower, entrance in the passage behind the University car park
- at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Universitätsstrasse 15
- at the Faculty of Architecture, Technikerstr. 21, basement
- at the Faculty of Theology (Faculty library), Karl-Rahnerplatz 1
In the University book shops STUDIA Bruno Sander Haus, Innrain 52f, and SOWI, Universitätsstrasse 15a you can find a full range of academic literature and stationery.
Sport and Recreation
Sport is an important part of life in Innsbruck. The University Sports Centre, USI, Fürstenweg 185 offers various sports facilities for students in over 60 sports – in the summer semester 2013 over 850 courses are offered!
Why choose the University of Innsbruck?
Located in the heart of the Alps, the University of Innsbruck offers the best conditions for successful research and teaching, and international rankings confirm the University’s leading role in basic research.
In such a productive environment 16 faculties provide a broad spectrum of programs in all fields of study. In order to promote international exchange in research and teaching, the University collaborates with numerous international research and education institutions.
The Universitys main mandate is to focus on research and development, teaching and continuing professional education and training. In all these fields its regional status is to be deepened and its high ranking in the European academic area is to be guaranteed. This is laid down in the Mission Statement of the University of Innsbruck. The University is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and students, irrespective of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, and religious belief, and membership of the travelling community.