The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






University of Vienna

The University of Vienna (German: Universität Wien) was founded in 1365 by Rudolph IV and hence named Alma mater Rudolphina. It is the second oldest German speaking university. The University of Prague was founded in 1348, the university of Heidelberg in 1386. To distinguish it from other Viennese universities it is also very often called Hauptuni ("main university"). With 63,000 students, it is the largest university in the German speaking world.

Famous scholars

Nobel-prize winners who taught at the University of Vienna include Robert Bárány, Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Hans Fischer, Karl Landsteiner, Erwin Schrödinger, Victor Franz Hess, Otto Loewi, Konrad Lorenz and Friedrich Hayek.

The University of Vienna was the cradle of the Austrian School of economics. The founders of this school who studied here included Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.

Organizational Structure: History and Present Developments

The University of Vienna (as all universities and academies in Austria) featured an innovative system of democratic representation. Power inside the university was shared equally among the three pressure groups: students (the largest), junior faculty and full professors. All groups had the right to send representatives to boards that then took votes on almost all issues. While guaranteeing that all groups had equal chances to bring up changes in the university, some argue that it led to corruption, especially in the nomination of people into prestigious positions.

The present government of Wolfgang Schüssel enacted a reform of the university system in Austria, leading to a concentration of power with the full professors, the introduction of a board of governors (with a government majority in electing it) and tuition fees (currently €387/semester). Another element of these harshly criticised reforms was the creation of separate medical universities out of the Austrian medical schools, one of them being the Medical University of Vienna -- in the traditional sense, the University of Vienna is therefore not any longer a full university.

See also: Studying in Vienna, Education in Austria

External links

Last updated: 05-12-2005 23:46:16
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04