Monday, October 14, 2019:
Rector's Reception and Keynote speech by Prof. Pier-Luigi Sacco

On October 14th, 2019, the jubilee week in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the University of Innsbruck began. For this occasion the International Services, led by Dr. Barbara Tasser, organised a very special programme dedicated to the international representatives of the partner universities. Twenty-seven delegations from all over the word, from Canada to Brazil, from France to Italy, from Israel to Ukraine, from Russia to Thailand – just to name a few – took part in these events.

On this first day of the celebration, which took place in the historic Kaiser-Leopold-Saal of the Theology Building, the Rector of the University of Innsbruck, Tilmann Märk, gave a reception to officially welcome all attendees. This was followed by a keynote speech delivered by Pier Luigi Sacco, Professor of Cultural Economics at the IULM University in Milan, on the new European Agenda for culture and its new opportunities for research and policy design. Representatives of the partner universities and of the University of Innsbruck – such as Rectors, Faculty Directors, Deans of Studies, members of the Senate and of the University Council – as well as the Ambassador of Thailand, the Honorary Consuls of Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Luxembourg, Philippines, Poland, and Portugal were in the audience.

In his welcome address, Rector Märk underlined the importance of internationalisation in connection to research, student mobility and exchange: Out of over 27.000 students, around 11.400 students of the University of Innsbruck come from over 100 different countries. Moreover, from its approximately 300 partner universities, the University of Innsbruck hosts around 510 people as part of exchange semesters every year. Internationalisation is a key factor not only within the University of Innsbruck but also in the successful relationship between the university itself and the Region of Tyrol and the City of Innsbruck. Mag. Sophia Kircher, member of the Tyrolean Parliament, and Mag. Ursula Schwarzl, City Councillor for Cultural Affairs, represented both institutions at the opening ceremony.

A very central part of the evening was Pier Luigi Sacco’s keynote speech. In his talk, Professor Sacco presented the main characteristics of the New European Agenda for Culture and illustrated its potential as a source of new research questions and opportunities and as a policy document that can open up a new perspective for culture as a driver of social impact. In this sense the Agenda for Culture furthers meaningful problem solving on the basis of cultural ramification through active and inclusive participation. He also provided some examples from his own recent research work and discussed future perspectives and openings in the content of the inclusion of culture as a new thematic cluster in the forthcoming Horizon Europe programme.

In the end, a question and answer session followed by a mixer and a buffet gave the attendees time and space for interaction and exchange.

  Video of Prof. Pier-Luigi Saccos Keynote Speech (Youtube: Universität Innsbruck)

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019:
"Question the Future – Insights into the University of Innsbruck" with short presentations, Campus Tours and Reception and Commemorative Ceremony of the 350th anniversary celebrations of the University of Innsbruck


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019:
Individual Meetings with representatives of the University of Innsbruck and Unveiling of Project/Object in honour of our partner universities

"More than two years ago, when we were still only brainstorming about the 350-year celebrations of the University of Innsbruck, one member of staff of the International Services had a simple, yet brilliant idea", Dr. Barbara Tasser, head of the International Services reminisced at the beginning of the unveiling of the project. "At our Christmas brunch, which we traditionally only hold some time in spring, we were thinking about a way to represent the international networks of our University in a public space. Ludovic Milot had the idea to have a colourful signpost installed, showing the distance to the universities, we cooperate with worldwide."

Since then, the original idea has been taken to the Faculty of Architecture, where a professor opened up the possibility for students to participate in an ideas competition. Basis for their work was the signpost. Additionally, they were asked to think about ways of integrating digital media, the possibilities of exchange, and depicting the global network of the University of Innsbruck. Out of all the creative ideas, met these expectations the best. Konstantin Jauck and Fabian Venier presented their idea as a multi-facetted object, which is aesthetically pleasing and able to endure wind and weather to be a visible monument of our cooperation.

On October 16, 2019, the time to unveil the finished project had finally arrived. It was the grand finale to the celebratory week we were allowed to spend with 49 representatives from 27 Universities, at home in 14 different nations.

Rector Märk gave a heart filled speech for our international guests: "I really do hope you enjoyed the experience and that you leave Innsbruck inspired, with a backpack of full of ideas." Subsequently, he helped City Councillor for environment, energy and mobility, Mag. Ursula Schwarzl with the actual unveiling of the object. Both of them were declared patrons to, due to their continuous work for the internationalization of the City of Innsbruck, as well as its university.

Pharos means lighthouse in Greek and like the lighthouse of Alexandria, the youngest of the seven wonders of the ancient world, shines and signals our students the ways into the academic world. It also symbolizes a small home-port for our guest-students from all over the world. By means of analogue signposts as an interface to the digital world focuses on those partner institutions of the University of Innsbruck, with which there is a lively exchange of students and teachers. Two cubes represent the center of the earth and Innsbruck, while of the LED illuminated panels each represents a partner university. The length of each metal bar corresponds to the true-to-scale distance between the two universities. The lighting varies in color, depending on the current temperature at the respective location. If the University of Innsbruck or one of the partner universities is mentioned on the social media channels Twitter or Instagram the corresponding panel will also light up.

As tokens of commemoration of this day, a sign of our continued and strengthened partnership, and to take into the world, the delegates from the partner universities were presented with a gift-plate, which resembles the ones shining on They depict the logo and coordinates of the University of Innsbruck and were handed to our honoured guests by Rector Tilmann Märk and City Councillor Ursula Schwarzl.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019:
Trip to Nordkette

In the course of the 350-anniversary celebration, the International Services offered a cable-car excursion to the Nordkette in Innsbruck. On Thursday, October 17, a group of international guests from the Ukraine (Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University), the USA (University of New Orleans) and Austria went on a trip to the Nordkette up to the Hafelekar (2334m/7657ft).

Prof. Eva Lavric, accompanied by two employees of the University of Innsbruck, guided the trip. The group took the cable car (planned and designed by star architect Zaha Hadid) in the center of Innsbruck and made its first stop at Hungerburg where the guests could enjoy the view over Innsbruck. The weather was sunny and warm, a fact that made it a perfect day for a trip like this. After the first stop, the trip continued to the Seegrube (1900m/6350ft) where the guests were able to enjoy an even better view and had time for some walks and a coffee. After taking many pictures and relaxing in the sun it was time for the last part of the trip. Again the group took the cable car and went up to the very top, the famous Hafelekar. Up there the guests had the opportunity to not only enjoy the view over Innsbruck but also look north towards the impressive vista of untouched mountainous nature.

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