President Karl Wöber on 10 years of MODUL University Vienna and plans for the future

This year, we mark ten years of MODUL University Vienna, and ten years with President Prof. Karl Wöber at the helm. Under his leadership, MUV has grown from a tourism-specific, research-oriented private university to an international business school with various specializations in the fields of international management, new media, sustainable development, and tourism and a continuously expanding portfolio of academic programs. 

In 2007, MU offered two study programs for 80 students; today, 800 students study in twelve different programs in Vienna, Dubai, and Nanjing. All degree programs are accredited by AQ Austria, the national accreditation board, and all programs offered on our global campuses are additionally certified by their respective national bodies. In addition, all tourism-related degree programs are certified by the TedQual certificate of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Prof. Wöber was a key figure in realising the developments over the years, and we trust in his excellent leadership. So much so, he has recently been re-elected for the second time to serve another five-year term as President until 2022.

As we applaud the remarkable achievements of the university, we asked Prof. Wöber himself: What has made this possible?

“I believe an important reason for the university’s success is our unique international character and generous support by our owner.

Since the foundation of the University, MODUL University Vienna has made it a core strategic aim to establish close ties not only within Vienna or Austria, but also to cherish long-term relationships with international universities, as witnessed by our 21 exchange programs around the world. Only recently, MODUL University Vienna reached a new milestone in our development. We were the first university in Austria to open locations outside Europe, with the vision to spread Austrian know-how and culture in other parts of the world and to take our slogan ‘Expanding Horizons’ one step further.

The immense support by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and their huge courage to offer research-oriented university programs in English only, was crucial for the success we celebrate today. It was and still is possible to maintain the difficult balance in maintaining a strong research orientation, high levels of qualification of its students, and clearly defined economic goals with their financial support.”


What have been some of the major academic successes in the past ten years?

“More than 600 publications by our faculty, 14% third-party funded researchers, 32 awards and prices in only 10 years are incredible facts and figures and proof of the university’s strong research orientation.

The accreditation of our PhD degree in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences after only six years of operation is seen by many people as the most significant achievement by our faculty.

For me it was not a surprise that people who did not know our positioning were asking “how is this possible?” However, these kind of questions disappeared once a team of MU Professors received the prestigious European Research Council Grant in 2015, the first ERC grant for a faculty at a private university in Austria.”


How does the university forge ties with the business and industry community?

“Several industry advisory boards have been established to strengthen the communication between industry and faculty and to provide feedback for improving the educational experience of our students seeking a long-term career in a particular industry.

MODUL Career, the university’s career centre established in 2010, serves all students and graduates from both educational organizations and connects them to more than 600 domestic and foreign partner companies.

It is worldwide likely the only career platform which serves students from secondary and tertiary educational organisations sectors, bridging the gap which commonly exists between these types of schools, and serving the needs of industries requiring graduates with all different types of qualifications.”


What are some of the greatest achievements of MODUL University to date?

“During the last 10 years, MODUL University Vienna went through seven accreditation processes; we revised three development plans, opened Global campuses in Dubai and Nanjing, and improved and extended our university constitution two times.

We have not only not failed a single accreditation venture; all accreditations we submitted for programs at our home campus in Vienna, we accomplished without any flags. During the same period we have improved our self-financing power from 30% to 70%. To my knowledge, there is no other private university in Austria with a similar success story. “


What are the key principles and values of MODUL University Vienna?

“Sustainability and environmental protection have been key principles of MODUL University Vienna since its foundation in 2007. The MODUL University Vienna values, which people find displayed on the façade of our building written in the 12 most frequently spoken languages in the world, lay the basis and direction for the education offered by the faculty and staff. 

“Knowledge, Creativity, Innovation” – continuously challenging what we take for granted and embracing change, and “Responsibility and Stewardship” – serving as ambassadors of sustainable and responsible living, remind us that we should all be committed to innovation and sustainability as key drivers of success in a dynamic and knowledge-based society.

In 2007, Karl Wagner, the founding Managing Director, and I have set a clear and ambitious goal for MODUL University Vienna: Within ten years, we aimed to be among Austria’s leading private universities known for innovative research and active knowledge transfer. At MODUL University Vienna, we have dared to dream big dreams. In just one decade, we have established an international reputation in both teaching and research at the highest level.”


What are your plans for the future of MODUL University Vienna?

“To safeguard our future, to make sure that we can continue to offer our committed service to capacity building, we are now working to make convincing arguments and to establish the necessary funds for the sake of the long-term sustainability of MU Vienna.

Our plan foresees that we will further develop our disciplinary portfolio and introduce new programs in areas which we believe are important for the future education of our students. We need to tackle the challenges which are caused by digitalization and globalization trends and we want to further increase the entrepreneurial skills and courage of our graduates studying at MODUL University Vienna.

The MODUL University of the future, as I see it, will continue being inclusive for large parts of the population, actively engaged in issues that concern them, relatively open to commercial influence, and fundamentally interdisciplinary in its approach to both teaching and research.

MODUL University Vienna will continue producing graduates with knowledge of the needs of the future world. I look forward to this adventure before us, with great anticipation and expectation, and I cannot think of better people to be working with on this important endeavor than our outstanding staff and faculty.”