03. 06. 12. - 18:38
Salzburg Uni wants to increase its presence
Salzburg which is already famous for its tourism and for the annual Festspiele now also wants to be famous as a university city.
Salzburg University officials say that they want to follow in the footsteps of cities like Graz and Innsbruck which are well known for the educational organisations. Salzburg University Rector Heinrich Schmidinger said that in order to achieve this they were planning an annual University Festival which they hoped would make them more present in the popular imagination.
There are around 17,000 students at the University of Salzburg and with around 2,800 employees the University is one of the biggest employers in the region of Salzburg. Yet the city is barely known at all for its educational credentials.
In part that is because although it was established 390 years ago it was closed for 150 years of that time and only reopened in 1962. That means it has only really been on the educational map for the last 50 years.
In that time the city had started to orientate itself in other directions, said Schmidinger: "The Festspiele and tourism have associated themselves in people's minds with Salzburg and that is a strong image which it will be difficult to modify to include the University."
He added that the second reason that the University did not have such an international presence was that it was a commuter University.
He said: "Many of our students and teachers do not live in the city – and instead live further afield and that obviously reduces the influence that we have on city life."