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Vienna University of Economics and Business

Vienna University of Economics and Business
Established 1898
Type Public
Rector o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christoph Badelt
Admin. staff 2,014
Students 23,584 (2012/13/11)
Location Vienna, Austria
Campus Urban

"WU" (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien or Vienna University of Economics and Business) is the largest University focusing on business and economics in Europe and, in terms of student body, one of the largest universities in Austria. It has been ranked as one of the best business schools in Europe.


  • History 1
  • WU Today 2
  • New campus 3
  • Research 4
  • Studies 5
  • Rankings and Accreditations 6
  • Notable faculty 7
  • Notable alumni 8
  • Notes 9
  • External links 10


Old Building of Hochschule für Welthandel

WU was founded on October 1, 1898 as k.u.k. Exportakademie to provide professional training to future businessmen and thus stimulate the Austro-Hungarian empire's economy. From humble beginnings as a professional school, it quickly grew to become an important institution, which was awarded the status of a fully-fledged Hochschule (an educational institution equivalent to a university, but specializing in a certain field such as technology or business or art) in 1919. At that time, it was renamed to Hochschule für Welthandel. The course of studies leading to the academic degree of Diplomkaufmann provided training preparing for the export and banking businesses and was very practical, comprising courses in business administration, economics, law and others. In 1930, the Hochschule für Welthandel was granted the right to issue doctoral degrees.

After World War II, the Hochschule für Welthandel increased its breadth in research. It started to become a very important institution in Austrian society at that time; most Austrian managers and many politicians received their university education here. From 1966 onward, it began to offer a more theoretical course of studies in economics. In 1975, it was renamed to Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. At the same time, the number of students began to increase dramatically. In 1983, it moved to a campus in Vienna's 9th District. Due to further increasing student numbers during the 1990s the campus became too small. As a consequence, new premisies had to be built in Vienna's 2nd district. The new Campus WU opend in October 2013, next to the Vienna Fair Ground.

WU Today

Today, WU has more than 20,000 students and over 400 researchers and teachers, among those about 90 full professors. It increasingly draws students from outside Austria, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe. Most of the faculty are of Austrian or German nationality.

New campus

Library and Learning Center (left, architect: Zaha Hadid), Departement 1 and Teaching Center (right, architect: Laura Spinadel)
Entrance to the LC
Building D3+AD
Building EA (Executive Academy), planned by NO.MAD Arquitectos (Madrid)
Departement 4, planned by Estudio Carme Pinós

The new location is dubbed "Campus WU" and had its groundbreaking ceremony in October 2009. Close to the Prater public park, and next to the exhibition centre of Vienna, the campus features 6 main building complexes resting on approximately 25 acres (10 ha). The master plan was created by BUSarchitektur under the guidance of the architect Laura P. Spinadel. The buildings of the campus are designed by architectural firms from Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Austria. The dominant element of the campus is the Library & Learning Center, which was planned by Zaha Hadid.

Construction began in June 2010 and paved the way for the largest campus for business sciences in Europe. With a total investment of 492 million Euros and a planned construction period of 3 years, the project was concluded in 2013. Campus WU is situated close to the public transport hub Praterstern and is serviced by two stations of the underground line U2 and a number of buses.

The WU moved to the new site in September 2013. The new address is: WU, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria.


Researchers at WU work in the following fields:

With students in Austria being free to choose at which university they enroll, WU has become the most popular business and economics university in Vienna and in Austria.


Due to its large size, WU is able to offer a very broad range of electives which is probably unparalleled anywhere in German-speaking countries. Beginning in Fall 2006, WU has begun to modify its study programs to a bachelor/master/doctor system in order to align them with the Bologna Process. Currently, the following bachelor's degree programs are offered:[1]

WU offers a range of 15 master's degree programs, including several programs taught completely in English.:[2]

  • MasterPrograms:[3]
    • Export- und Internationalisierungsmanagement°
    • Finanzwirtschaft und Rechnungswesen°
    • Information Systems
    • International Management/CEMS
    • Management°
    • Marketing
    • Quantitative Finance
    • Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy
    • Sozioökonomie°
    • Steuern und Rechnungslegung°
    • Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Volkswirtschaft°
    • Wirtschaftspädagogik°
    • Wirtschaftsrecht°


Additionally, WU offers the following advanced degrees:

As at any Austrian or German university, scholars can also achieve a Habilitation at WU.

Furthermore, several courses in continuing education are offered (e.g. in advertising and sales, tourism management).

Rankings and Accreditations

In 2009 Vienna University of Economics and Business was ranked as one of the best business schools in the German-speaking countries according to Handelsblatt and in 2011 it was ranked 21st in the list of the 392 worldwide leading higher education institutions by Mines ParisTech. The study obtained the higher education career of the CEOs of the world's leading 500 companies.

The Global Executive MBA Programm by WU Executive Academy is ranked 46th by Financial Times Executive MBA ranking 2013.[4]

In 2011 the university's master program in management was ranked 18th in Europe. Furthermore it was ranked 28th in European Business Schools in the "European Business School Ranking 2011" by Financial Times.

The Financial Times has ranked WU as one of the top 50 European Business Schools (#16 in 2009 for the master program International Business Administration).

The university is part of the respected consortium of Europe's leading schools and corporate partners - Community of European Management Schools (CEMS).

WU has achieved accreditation from the London-based Association of MBAs (AMBA) and Brussels-based EQUIS.

Notable faculty

  • Christoph Badelt
  • Jesus Crespo Cuaresma
  • Nikolaus Franke
  • Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger
  • Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter
  • Jan Mendling
  • Michael Meyer
  • Renate Meyer
  • Ewald Nowotny
  • Jonas Puck
  • Bodo Schlegelmilch
  • Peter Schnedlitz
  • Ulrike Schneider
  • Gerhard Speckbacher
  • Neal Stoughton
  • Wolfgang Lutz

Notable alumni

Entrepreneurs and Managers
Public Institutions


  1. ^ WU Bachelor Programs
  2. ^ WU Master Programs
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

  • Official Website
  • WU Executive Academy
  • architecture for the new building
  • FT Ranking 2009
  • Handelsblatt Ranking 2009

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