On 15 October 1669 Emperor Leopold I approved the levying of the "Haller Salzauschlag", a special tax to finance a Tyrolean state university. This was the beginning of the University of Innsbruck, because with this money the Jesuit grammar school was transformed into a university. Since then, the University of Innsbruck has been an important driving force for the social and economic development of the region of Tyrol. With around 28,000 students and 5,000 employees, it is today the largest educational institution in Western Austria, one of the country's leading research universities and shapes the region. "We see the anniversary as a milestone on our course into the future and want to set new impulses, live openness, expand the exchange with our partners and the public and thus shape the future together," says Rector Tilmann Märk.
A festival of science
Most events and projects in the anniversary year are the result of collaborations: Many members and partners of the university are involved with creative contributions and invite the public to participate, think and discuss. The fascination of research and science is made visible in many facets for all to experience. A major highlight will be the Science Festival, which will take place from 14 to 16 June 2019 around the Universitätsstraße in the inner city of Innsbruck. For a weekend, the scientists will come to the heart of the city and present their research at first hand. Here, people have the exciting opportunity to engage in experiments and workshops without any reservations or prior knowledge. As a place of astonishment, learning and experiencing, the Science Festival is intended to inspire people of all generations to take an interest in research and science. And because the university is part of Innsbruck, many neighbours associated with the university are also involved: Among others, the Haus der Musik, the Jesuits, the Volkskunstmuseum and the Hofburg will offer a diverse programme.
Talking about the future
From 20 to 22 November 2019, the Campus Universitätsstraße will become a discussion forum to think about the future of the region. Together with experts, the public is invited to discuss possible scenarios, approaches and perspectives for the future of our society. These include mobility, urban and regional planning, cultural and religious diversity, education and the labour market, climate change and energy. This call for greater cooperation between science and society will not only mark the end of the anniversary year, it will also have an impact far into the future, as this forum is to be continued every other year.
Multifaceted program with many highlights
The anniversary year will open on 31 January 2019 with a concert evening in the Congress Innsbruck, in which a commissioned work by Manuela Kerer will be presented for the first time. Around 15 October - the historic founding day of the University of Innsbruck - the festive week will be the highlight of the anniversary year. City and province celebrate their university with an extraordinary ceremony in the Tiroler Landestheater. The ensemble of the Landestheater will stage series of scenes, based on the ideas of the authors Erika Wimmer, Carolina Schutti, Klaus Rohrmoser, Christoph W. Bauer and Elmar Drexel, illuminating the role of the University of Innsbruck in the past, present and future. The University of Innsbruck, its achievements and concerns will be the focus of attention in 2019, with a special university ball, a festive concert, a presentation of the newly written history of the university, a multi-religious gathering, many exhibitions, public readings, an extensive tour programme and numerous projects in public space. The anniversary year will be celebrated academically with many international conferences and congresses, at which many outstanding scientists from Austria and abroad are expected - including a number of Nobel Prize winners.