The project would create all the prerequisites for strengthening the core competencies of the state of Upper Austria in education and innovation. The former President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce, Christoph Leitl, was pleased on Monday about the decision to set the course for a separate Technical University (TU) in Upper Austria. Linz has now been set as the location. In the course of the spring, the legal basis in parliament for the TU, which specializes in digitization, is to be created, Minister of Education Martin Polaschek announced on Friday together with Upper Austria’s Governor Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP).
The goal is more than ambitious. When fully developed, 5,000 students will be able to use the teaching at the TU Upper Austria. It is now being built on the site of the Johannes Kepler University, i.e. the University of Linz in the Auhof district north of the Danube. Study operations are planned for 2023/24, but full operation will not take place until a year later.
On Monday, Leitl, as President of the Initiative for Economic Locations in Upper Austria (IWS), called for the concept presented on Friday to be implemented quickly. Support came from the long-time manager of the Hagenberg software park in the Mühlviertel, Bruno Buchberger, for whom the concept is a “good shot”.
English becomes the working language
The concept provides for a bachelor’s degree for the focus on digitization, with all students learning the basics of digitization in the first three semesters. This is followed by a specialization in the fields of Digital Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Systems and Engineering. Working language is English.
The first thing on the schedule is the creation of the legal basis, because the TU in Linz is a new type of university that does not yet exist in this form in Austria. Work is in progress on the corresponding establishment law, which should come into force by the summer of this year.
The head of the university conference (Uniko), the rector of the Vienna University of Technology, Sabine Seidler, had criticized the plans for a TU in Linz, which were surprisingly announced under ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. But the project is now on track – obviously also because of earlier commitments to Governor Stelzer.
Polaschek: Significant development
Education Minister Polaschek, who inherited the project when he took office in December last year, now sees it as “one of the most important science-political development projects in Austria in recent years”. Governor Stelzer emphasized: “As a high-tech state, we also have the best conditions for creating new jobs, start-ups and business settlements in this future-oriented area.” The TU in Linz should become a “beacon for the whole of Austria” in the future. (ett).