The Rector’s Welcome Address
As a twenty-first-century research institution with more than 430 years of tradition, the University of Graz takes a clear position on the essential social questions of the present and the future. To do this, we have developed Fields of Excellence in which we aspire to be international leaders. These fields are Climate (change) research, BioHealth, Complexity of Life research, Dimensions of Europeanisation, and the effects of technical innovations on law and the economy (“Smart Regulation”). In addition, we will also continue to strengthen our research activities in all other fields, including unconventional research.
The University of Graz must be a strong player both locally and in the world. This means our research must be competitive and internationally established, not only in the context of cooperative agreements but also regarding major programmes related to research financing and leveraging. The future lies in networks that create and share knowledge. In this regard we will also address questions related to ongoing digitisation in a more intensive way so that we can actively shape the future.
We bear a special responsibility for our students in this context. One of the University of Graz’s strengths is our broad and diverse range of studies based on the concept of research-oriented teaching. We are responsible for ensuring the proper diversity and quality of our teaching. After all, over half of all the high school graduates in Styria begin their studies here, and more and more people from abroad, especially from Southeastern Europe, are coming to us. This diversity in our lecture halls, laboratories and seminar rooms benefits us all.
Universities are sites of scholarly and intellectual endeavour, yet they are also places where human beings come together. They are not just institutions; they have a heart and soul. They have a long tradition of holding clear values and stand for integrity in terms of openness and dealing with socio-political subjects. We must ensure that the University continues to remain a place that promotes open and free thinking, both for our sake and for the future development of our society.
In this spirit: We work for tomorrow – Laboramus pro futuro
Ao.Univ. Prof. Dr. Martin Polaschek
Rector of the University of Graz