Profilbild von o.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Roland PsennerSince my term as Vice Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching comes to an end on 29 February 2016, I would like to remind you of some of the things that have marked studying and teaching at the University of Innsbruck in the last four years.

Foto: www.mariorabensteiner.com


The influx of students is unwaning, numbers have been continuously rising by 1 to 2% annually and meanwhile more than 28,000 persons study at the University of Innsbruck despite numerous changes incl. admission regulations or StEOP exams. If all of them are actually studying is unclear, since just over 18,000 students are actually taking exams (They acquire 16+ ECTS-Credits per study year). Fortunately these numbers are also rising, since it is the students who are taking exams that are “visible” for the ministry to be able to assess the performances of universities. With 60% the University of Innsbruck heads all full universities (universitas litterarum) in Austria. It is well known that educating and training our students is what the universities are there for, but a visible sign of our achievements in the field of teaching and studying is that the University of Innsbruck is the only Austrian university to have received the ECTS- and Diploma-Supplement-Labels.

The introduction of new study programmes such as the Bachelor’s Programme in Economy, Health and Sports Tourism in Landeck, or the Bachelor’s Programme in Mechatronics in Lienz (both study programmes in cooperation with the UMIT), the Master’s Programme EMMA (Environmental Management of Mountain Areas) with the Free University of Bolzano, or the Bachelor’s Programme in Islamic Religious Education, are also all signs of changes. The biggest change certainly concerns the redesign of teacher training for secondary schools, which we conduct in cooperation with three Pedagogical Universities and the Mozarteum. At the moment this study programme is the longest and the most complex and demanding study programme offered at our university. Along the way we have changed almost all of over 100 curricula and under the term “Bologna revisited” “more university” returns to the study programmes, a change that is not as obvious as some others, but possibly more important. Bologna revisited simply means that the focus is on the students, this means individual responsibility, freedom of choice, and recognition of previously acquired competences.  

Besides “regular” study programmes, the field of continuing education has changed considerably. The “consecutive Master” is now a “normal” follow-up study programme for only about 50% of the Bachelor graduates. Many change over into other fields (other studies, other universities) or into the professional world, sometimes returning to the university to continue their education: for days, weeks, months or even several semesters, to obtain a Master title – part-time whilst working, something that was previously only possible in the field of continuing education.

Some things have been started; some things are in process and a lot more are still to be tackled. From 1 March Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernhard Fügenschuh will be the new Vice Rector and I am sure that the students will be in the best of hands with him.