Information from the Rectorate, March 27th, 2020

27. March 2020

Dear university members,

The Angewandte has been in alternate.mode for more than two weeks now. Together, we have mastered the challenges exceptionally well, also in comparison with many other universities. It cannot be overstated how much we thank you all for your great commitment and willingness to take on unusual work situations (often with great effort).
It is not yet possible to say when access to the university buildings will be legally possible again. According to the current status of information, it is highly unlikely that physical university attendance (using the studio rooms and workshops), just like the rest of everyday life, will resume after the Easter holidays.

Under these special circumstances, the Rectorate decided to plan the entire summer semester 2020, not least to protect all university members, in such a way that a successful completion is possible even without any physical presence.

We are aware that this step means a major cut in university operations and that a lot of flexibility and improvisation is required of everyone. However, we are convinced that this decision enables us to move from reacting to planning and thus to develop meaningful as well as feasible solutions not only in teaching, but also for research and outreach activities. Should, contrary to expectations, an earlier opening of the university locations be possible, we will be all the more pleased to be able to return to our offices, workshops and studios earlier than planned and thus gradually return to our usual everyday life. Until then, however, we prepare for a longer period of time in isolation and invite you to continue to work with us on making the most of these challenging circumstances.


This decision has the following consequences:

  • Courses and classes of all areas remain in "distance learning" mode, using alternative communication formats. Research support as well as research projects will also continue on adapted communication channels.
  • All courses, including those in the artistic fields, will be changed in a way that a positive completion of the semester remains possible. The few courses where this is impossible are canceled. We are aware that this is a major challenge, especially in the artistic subjects, but looking at the activities already started and feedback from all institutes make us certain that feasible variations on the proven teaching and learning methods will be found for the duration of an exceptional semester. On the one hand, they will enable students to complete the semester and, on the other hand, should avoid prolonging the teaching into the summer (in addition to the unusually complex weeks and months before the summer).
  • Diploma, master and bachelor studies can also be completed in June 2020. For diploma, master and bachelor theses, there will be formats adapted to the special situation, which will allow you to complete your studies without a physical presence at the university. In this regard, early communication between students wishing to complete their studies this semester and their respective supervisors is essential. An additional appointment option in October 2020 will be made available as soon as it becomes apparent that corresponding artistic production processes will be possible in the university buildings by then.
  • A postponement of the degree by one semester is, of course, open to all students. In accordance with §91 UG, the tuition fee can be waived or reimbursed on request due to the extraordinary financial burden that the current situation implicates. Should, against expectation, a course of study not be possible to be completed in the summer semester 2020, but only in the following semester and therefore a tuition fee is due for the first time, this tuition fee will also be waived. Applications can be made after the Easter holidays.
  • The Angewandte Festival will be relocated to virtual space and will take place from June 23th to 26th, 2020 as planned. Detailed information will follow. Anyone is welcome to contribute ideas during the Offene Treffen (every Wednesday, 3–4pm via zoom) or directly to lena.kohlmayr@uni-ak.ac.at.
  • It is important to us to encourage you not to cancel or postpone events, but to use digital tools for the realization wherever possible. This is not only important to give visibility to cultural creation in times of crisis, but also to continue to remain a reliable partner for artists, theoreticians, etc. Date announcements for digital events are collected as usual via angewandte.news@uni-ak.ac.at and published on the newsletter and the website.
  • We will not send anyone on short-time work, nor will we terminate any contracts  due to the Corona crisis and the associated changes in the work situation at the Angewandte. At the same time, however, the Rectorate expects all staff in teaching and administration to actively participate in the change in their activities that have become necessary, now that the buildings are not accessible to the staff. We appeal to everyone to support each other, to stand by those who are currently overworked and, to show solidarity if there is free work capacity due to crisis-related restictions!
  • For employees, the infrastructural support for home office will be expanded from Mon, April 20 2020, in order to make working from a distance manageable even for a longer period. Relevant guidelines will be communicated in the course of the next week (e.g. ordering material, pick-up service, etc.). Any necessary support for any other individual concerns can still be sent to the facility management team via email. We strive to organize the best possible solutions.
  • You can still find instructions for IT support at https://info.uni-ak.ac.at/, and the ZID is also available at helpdesk@uni-ak.ac.at for urgent requests.
  • As soon as possible, instructions for action in the event of a suspected corona infection or its confirmation will be sent out. Until then, any suspected cases must still be reported to human resources or the study department. As of yet, there is still no confirmed case of illness among the staff and students of Angewandte.

Many thanks to all lecturers for their willingness to take up the challenge of converting to alternative forms of teaching in such a short time without physical presence at the university. We ask you to continue to maintain regular and timely communication with your students (the ability to have a minimum of planning security is currently particularly important!) and to design digital methodologies with a sense of proportion and a view of the realities of life of the students; together, we must not overwhelm ourselves or underestimate the effort that individual crisis management requires emotionally! Finally, in a letter to the rectors of all Austrian universities, Federal Minister Faßmann called for the greatest possible goodwill towards the students. We believe that an appropriate level of understanding for everyone is the imperative of the hour.

A big thank you goes to all employees in planning, service and administration for the great effort of switching to home office, while also having to reorganize yourself. Many of you help across departmental boundaries to master this difficult time together. We would like to thank you in particular for this willingness to take up activities beyond your immediate area of work.

Finally, a special thank you to all of you for your patience. Unfortunately we cannot pass on any information (e.g. about the actual duration of the special situation) that we do not have. Nevertheless, we are in constant contact with the authorities and the Rectorates of the other Austrian art universities and we strive to provide the information available to us in a comprehensive and precise way to ensure the greatest possible clarity in these unstable times.

Stay healthy!

Best Regards

Gerald Bast (Rector), Barbara Putz-Plecko, Bernhard Kernegger, Eva Maria Stadler and Maria Zettler (Vice-Rectors)

Information from the Rectorate, March 27th, 2020 (PDF)