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20 Jahre FH Kufstein Tirol
1997 – The Start of Higher Education Courses in Kufstein Tirol
The idea to open a university in Kufstein resulted from the needs of the regional economy. The entrepreneur and vice mayor Walter J. Mayr, as well as several supporters in business and politics, made a strong case to the state Tyrol to implement a university campus in Kufstein. The vision of an international and independent institute of higher education was expressed from the start with the use of the acronym immc (international, mobile, multicultural).
97 students enrolled into the first two available courses, Facility Management and International Business & Management, on the 6th of October 1997.
The First 10 Years
Product development was the main focus of the first ten years of business. New concepts for courses were created, prepared, submitted, and sometimes discarded again. In parallel, the product marketing and communication grew and prospered. The institute was therefore able to offer more places and enroll more students, and simultaneously the organisational structure continued to develop. The institute was officially accredited as a university of applied sciences in 2006, and so the university council – the first academic entity – was created.
1,136 students were already enrolled at the university by November 2007 and the number of partner universities had grown to 110. The addition of the university buildings I and II in the Stadtpark, as well as the establishment of the student dorms, also fell into the time span of the first ten years.
The Next 10 Years until Today
In the past ten years, the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein has not only grown in size and staff, but has also reviewed the topic of quality assurance. While the university council is responsible for the quality of teaching, a separate department was established specifically for quality management to oversee the business standards as a whole. These can be optimised with a systematic categorisation of work flows and processes in order to guarantee efficient growth. The university’s mission statement continues to have a strong focus on internationalism and was reworked and stabilised through a collectively developed model. Values and principles, such as innovation, uniqueness, openness, diversity and trust, were written into the model.
Digitalisation has played an important role in the past five years, operationally within the teaching and service departments, as well as within the development of new products. The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein is a pioneer with the new innovative Master course Smart Products & Solutions. The part-time Bachelor course Marketing & Communications Management has 30% online course work, making it especially attractive to working students, and sets a direction for the development of eLearning. Additionally, cooperations with regional and international businesses have been intensified – in research and in practical projects.
In 2017 the number of students grew to 2,000, and the International Relations Office is in contact with more than 200 partner universities worldwide. After the opening of the third university building in 2013, the construction of the fourth has now been planned and should be starting in the fall of 2018.