Record number of students, expansion of the educational portfolio and strengthening of research
St. Pölten UAS has closed the 2017 financial year with an exceedingly positive balance. For the first time, the number of students increased to more than 3,000, new forward-looking study programmes were developed and research activities were expanded. The past year also brought developments at the institutional level. In addition to the elaboration of the UAS "Strategy 2021", a change in the ownership structure was fixed. The plans for the innovative "Campus St. Pölten - Campus of the Future" entered the final phase. By 2020, an addition to the existing building will create an innovative flagship campus.
Increased revenues, more students and staff
The total revenues of St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences GmbH (Ltd) including the wholly-owned subsidiary St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences Research GmbH increased by 17 percent to 28.9 million euros. The number of students exceeded the 3,000 mark for the first time. The number of staff was further increased by six percent: St. Pölten UAS recorded a total of 1,072 full-time and part-time employees by the end of 2017. This once again strengthens its position as an important employer in the region.
New ownership structure for a secure future
The determination to change the ownership structure placed St. Pölten UAS on track for a solid economic foundation in 2017. In February of 2018, the Province of Lower Austria acquired a 26 percent stake in St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences; 74 percent of the shares continue to be held by St. Pölten Universities Holding GmbH, which is wholly-owned by the provincial capital St. Pölten.
Strategy 2021 points the way to the future
In 2017, St. Pölten UAS developed the strategy for the current strategy period 2018 to 2021. A total of seven cornerstones were developed on which St. Pölten UAS will work intensively over the next four years. For example, these include: further development of service areas in teaching, research and knowledge transfer as well as the strengthening of international positioning and the intelligent use of digitalisation.
In addition, content positioning is one of the core themes of the new strategy. "Measured by the number of students, St. Pölten UAS is Austria's largest UAS-training location in the area of cyber security, and we would like to resolutely expand this subject area. In addition, expertise in the field of data analytics and visual computing will be broadened. With the launch in autumn 2018 of a new Bachelor programme in Data Science and Business Analytics, significant momentum will be provided", said UAS Executive Director Gabriela Fernandes. Among others, further focus areas are planned in the field of digital health.
Innovative study programmes for the work environment 4.0
Digitalisation poses new challenges for education and the work environment. In order to make the best possible use of these opportunities, St. Pölten UAS continually adapts its educational portfolio to current developments. A total of five new study programmes were formulated last year; these should begin in autumn 2018 subject to the required approvals: Data Science and Business Analytics (Bachelor), Economic and Financial Communications (Master), Digital Media Production (Master), Digital Design (Master) and Interactive Technologies (Master). In addition, St. Pölten UAS together with Burgenland UAS developed a continuing-education course in PR & Communications Management.
"The successful development of St. Pölten UAS and the increasing number of students demonstrates that we are concentrating on the right topics. We train our students to meet the current demands of society, economy and industry thus creating the best career opportunities: our graduates achieve a nearly 100 percent employment rate", said UAS Executive Director Gernot Kohl.
Among the leading research universities of applied sciences
With a research volume of 2.5 million euros, St. Pölten UAS is one of the leading research universities of applied sciences in Austria. Research activities are anchored in all departments. In addition, St. Pölten UAS has gained nationwide recognition, above all in the focus areas of cyber security as well as data analytics and visual computing. Particular importance is paid to interdisciplinary research. At St. Pölten UAS, the specialist departments are increasingly networked and the expertise of the individual departments is combined. The integration of research into teaching is also a central concern. Lecturers and students are constantly involved in research projects.
Campus of the future: preparations for the start of construction
St. Pölten UAS will also experience a spatial increase in the coming years. An extension will be built by 2020, which in combination with the existing building, will constitute a "campus of the future" with innovative teaching and learning spaces as well as trend-setting work spaces. In 2017, the architectural office was selected and the plans were finalised. Construction will receive the green light in 2018.