Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
The Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU Wien) or Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration is the largest University focusing on business and economics in Europe and, in terms of student body, one of the largest universities in Austria. Its current rector is Christoph Badelt.
The WU was founded on October 1, 1898 as k.u.k. Exportakademie to provide professional training to future businessmen and thus stimulate the Austro-Hungarian economy. From humble beginnings as a professional school, it quickly grew to become an important institution, which was awarded the status of a fully-fledged Hochschule (an educational institution equivalent to a university, but specializing in a certain field such as technology or business) in 1919. At that time, it was renamed to Hochschule für Welthandel. The course of studies leading to the academic degree of Diplomkaufmann provided training preparing for the export and banking businesses and was very practical, comprising courses in business administration, economics, law and others.
After World War II, the Hochschule für Welthandel increased its breadth in research. It started to become a very important institution in Austrian society at that time; most Austrian managers and many politicians received their university education here. From 1966 onward, it began to offer a more theoretical course of studies in economics. In 1975, it was renamed to Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. At the same time, the number of students began to increase dramatically. In 1983, it moved to its current campus in Vienna's 9th district.
The WU Today
Today, the WU has more than 20,000 students and over 400 researchers and teachers, among those about 80 full professors. It increasingly draws students from outside Austria, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe. Most of the faculty are Austrian or German, but there are a some exceptions.
As the legal regulation of universities in Austria has changed dramatically during the last years, forcing university to compete with each others, the WU, as other Austrian universities, is attempting to tailor its curricula to the needs of the market and to streamline its research program.
Researchers at the WU work in the following fields:
- Business administration and all its branches
- Linguistics, focusing on business communication
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Economic history and geography
It should be noted that the WU is not associated with the School of Austrian Economics which developed at the University of Vienna in late 19th and early 20th century. While the University of Vienna's economics department remains particularly strong in analytical research, the WU's economics department today exceeds it both in terms of faculty size and number of students. With students in Austria being free to choose at which university they enroll, the WU has become the most popular business and economics university in Vienna and in Austria.
Currently, the following basic courses of studies are offered:
- Business Administration
- International Business Administration
- Management Science
- Business and Law
- Business education
- Management information systems
Those programs take at least four years to complete and lead to the Magister der Sozial- and Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Master of Social and Economic Sciences) degree, except for the program in management information systems, which is divided into a bachelor and a master stage with separate degrees. Beginning in Fall 2006, the WU is planning to convert all oft its programs to the British system of differentiating between Bachelor and Master, as required by the Bologna process.
Due to its large size, the WU is able to offer a very broad range of electives which is probably unparalleled anywhere in German-speaking countries.
Furthermore, the WU offers the following advanced degrees:
- Doctoral Program in Social and Economic Sciences
- International MBA (in English; jointly with the University of South Carolina)
- Executive MBA (in English; jointly with the University of Minnesota)
- LL.M. in international tax law (in English)
Furthermore, several courses in continuig education are offered (e.g. in advertising and sales, tourism management etc).
As at any Austrian or German university, scholars can also achieve a Habilitation at the WU.
Notable faculty members
- Hannes Androsch
- Christoph Chorherr
- Ferdinand Lacina
- Thomas Klestil
- Dietrich Mateschitz
- Madeleine Petrovic
- Karin Scheele
- Franz Vranitzky
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