TRADITION The history of an institution is important for the fostering of its identity and hence for the development of a unique profile. With respect to the length of its track re- cord, Kunstuniversität Linz is a latecomer, since it was only established in 1973 by the City of Linz and the Federal Province of Upper Austria as the “Academy of Art and Industrial Design” (a successor to the “Art School of the City of Linz”). However, the name of this institution already reflected its historic orientation by concretely linking freelance art and applied design. As early as in the late 1970s, the fledgling academy positioned itself as a point of contact between different art forms and disciplines, freelance and applied design, art and business, art and the public. As per 1st of October 1998, the new Federal Universities of the Arts Organisation Act came into force, thus transforming the erstwhile academy into a university. Later, the 2002 Universities Organisation Act defined all Austrian universities as “corporations under public law”, hence inaugurating a new era of almost totally autonomous self-administration within the scope of the financial frame conditions laid down by the political decision-makers. VISION The resulting opportunity to endow the University with a new, specific position was promptly seized. Starting from the location-oriented and international frame conditions, the already available art and design courses as well as the programmes for future teachers were partly adapted and extended by including the field of media, in particular digital media. In an environment that is culturally (AEC, various art institutions, independent art scene, etc.) as well as economically (high-tech and media industries) very much influenced by all types of media-based communication formats, the task lies in reacting professionally to the challenges of the future– without neglecting the aspect of media critique— and developing new study programmes. Concentrating all these creative potentials at the very highest level is and remains a constantly reviewed and fine-tuned objective. Where its internal organisational structures, personnel development and, naturally, teaching methodologies are concerned, Kunstuniversität Linz is duly committed to modern, inter- and transdisciplinary, team-oriented basic and advanced approaches to training, research and art on the basis of permanent gender mainstreaming. This is a vision demanding intense and dedicated effort too, especially in view of the economic, environmental and social developments of recent years.
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