News and Events
October 05, 2023

Updates at FH Salzburg: Rectorate, Shareholders, and Study Programs

On October 5, 2023, FH Salzburg presented itself anew at the Urstein campus: CEO Dominik Engel has been serving as FH Rector since October 1, and four new master's programs as well as a course will expand the broad range of studies. In addition, the province of Salzburg has joined as another shareholder. The academic ceremony and inauguration took place in the presence of Governor Wilfried Haslauer and numerous guests of honour.

FH-Rector Dominik Engel, Marianne Kusejko, Chairwoman of the FH Supervisory Board, Governor of Salzburg Wilfried Haslauer, Chamber of Labour Director Cornelia Schmidjell, Chamber of Commerce Director Manfred Pammer (f.l.) © FH Salzburg/Neumayr/Leopold

Since 1 September, the province of Salzburg, the social partners Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Labour have each been equal shareholders in the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences GmbH. Since its foundation, the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences has always maintained a close relationship with the province, which has now been strengthened with its entry. The new shareholder structure is seen by all parties as a further strengthening of the higher education and research sector at the location.

"The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences has earned an excellent reputation over all these years and has become an indispensable pillar of Salzburg's higher education location. The practice-oriented and research-strong orientation of the University of Applied Sciences plays a major role in this. In addition, the graduates are perceived as outstanding specialists in the economy. I am personally pleased that we as the province of Salzburg will continue this success story in the future with our participation as a new shareholder," emphasises Governor Wilfried Haslauer.

This is also confirmed by the Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Manfred Pammer: "The participation of the province of Salzburg in the University of Applied Sciences will further strengthen the position of the FH in the higher education landscape. The expansion and further development of the study programmes and the increase in the number of students and graduates are entirely in the interest of the economy, which urgently needs these key employees of the future. Because only in this way can we further expand the attractiveness and competitiveness of the business location."

Chamber of Labour Director Cornelia Schmidjell also emphasises: "We welcome the fact that the province of Salzburg wants to take on even more responsibility for the FH with its participation. The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences is an attractive university with great social significance for students, researchers and all those employed there. The highly qualified graduates are urgently needed in all sectors, but especially in the health and social sectors. The future-oriented further development, interdisciplinarity and permeability of the offers are very important to us."

Due to the new corporate structure, the Supervisory Board of the FH Salzburg was also reconstituted. At the meeting on 26 September, Marianne Kusejko was elected chairperson. "The University of Applied Sciences is indispensable for Salzburg. For it is here that research and training is carried out in those crucial areas of the future that are of vital importance for society. Just think of care, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, raw materials technology and sustainability, climate change and the energy systems of the future. With the new shareholder structure, the University of Applied Sciences will be able to play an even greater role and make its contribution to solving the complex issues of the future," explains Marianne Kusejko, Chairwoman of the FH Supervisory Board.

Dominik Engel FH Rector and Managing Director

FH-Rector Dominik Engel and FH-Vice Rector Günther Grall. (from left)

Already in March 2023, FH-Prof. Priv.-Doz. DI Mag. Dr. Dominik Engel had already been elected head of the FH College and FH Rector from the two-person nomination. In May, the election of the deputy head of the FH College (FH Vice-Rector) took place in the College, where FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Günther Grall was elected. Grall has been head of the Design & Product Management degree programme for more than 20 years and was already FH Vice Rector in 2013. The rectorate's term of office runs until 2027.

Dominik Engel has been head of FH Salzburg since 1 September 2022. For the first time in the history of the FH Salzburg, he combines the roles of managing director and FH rector. This reorganisation makes it possible to keep both academic and commercial agendas in view when making decisions and to include all perspectives - be it in the expansion of the range of courses offered as well as in research.

New study programmes as of the academic year 2024/25

The broad range of content is one of the strengths of the FH Salzburg. Sharpening the educational objectives, i.e. offering specialised training at an academic level with a strong practical orientation, is also a primary goal. FH Rector Dominik Engel: "I am therefore particularly pleased that we will be offering four new Master's degree programmes from the academic year 24/25. The curricula at the Department Information Technologies and Digitalisation have been revised: Three new, independent and specialised Master's degrees will emerge from the current IT Master's programme. These are 'Cyber Security', 'AI for Sustainable Technologies' and 'Industrial Informatics & Robotics'." They will be offered in part-time mode and will start from autumn 2024 - subject to approval by the relevant bodies - with applications starting on 1 November 2023.

"The English-language and internationally oriented Master's programme at the Department of Creative Technologies is also new. The Master's programme 'Realtime Art and Visual Effects' is at the interface of technology and creativity. Among other things, students will deal with the design of VR/AR content, real-time graphics platforms and simulations/visualisations and VFX production," adds Engel. Those interested can apply from January 2024 and start the Master's in autumn 2024.

New to the continuing education sector is the Culinary Tourism course. The modular certificate course is offered on a part-time basis and starts in November; applications are still possible until 1 November 2023.

Applied research

In the area of research & development, FH Rector Dominik Engel focuses on expanding the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences as an application-oriented research institution. "Our strength lies in applied research. The questions come from the companies, from practice. The researchers at the SUAS are the ones who can answer these application questions in a fundamental way," describes Dominik Engel.

In terms of content, the research is oriented towards the departments. "We continue to place a strong focus on focal point development; in the future we will bundle our research projects in six focal points," Engel continues. With two active Ressel Centres, for example, the field of digitalisation is covered, taking IT security into account. In addition, the Research Campus Schloss Urstein - the "research commune" - was recently opened, which offers space for interdisciplinary projects, ideas and exchange. At the Kuchl Campus, the focus is on sustainability not only in education, but also in research: examples include projects for the development of innovative materials, sustainable construction and renovation, as well as the research building "Twin²Sim".

Diverse opportunities and careers with a degree from a university of applied sciences

With a degree from a university of applied sciences, graduates have a wide range of opportunities: through practice-oriented teaching and research, the university of applied sciences provides the framework in which young people can develop their talents. It is possible for graduates to start a career or become self-employed after graduation or to pursue an academic career with a doctorate. Among the graduates of UASs are therefore important specialists, successful founders and also university professors.

A special thanks to Roald Steiner and Ulrike Szigeti

Special thanks go to the former vice rectors Roald Steiner and Ulrike Szigeti; they are going into well-deserved retirement.
During the academic ceremony they were awarded the honorary title of "FH Professor Emeritus" and "FH Honorary Professor" respectively.