The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has been a leading European training center for artists for more than 300 years.
Today, we offer around 1300 students a variety of courses which range from painting and sculpture to photography and video, performance and conceptual art, and also includes architecture, scenography and restoration. The Institutes for Art Theory and Cultural Studies and for Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts ensure a high theoretical standard in all the departments, through seminars and projects. Closely linked to this is the training of art teachers, which we regard as an essential contribution to the communication of art. The possibility for students to make individual choices of courses at both these institutes enables wide-ranging qualifications.
As a university, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna attaches great importance to a research-driven teaching program. The research activity of the art academy aims at redefining artistic production processes in a changed, globalized society. Its research findings are integrated into the teaching activities in various ways and are also communicated to a wider public through exhibitions, symposia, lectures and a publication series. The formulation of a complex understanding of art for our knowledge-based society is something we regard as an essential task of the Academy, alongside the training of our students.
The strength of the Academy lies in its teaching staff of successful, internationally recognized artists, on the one hand, and its students, on the other hand, who come from over 50 different countries, acknowledging Vienna's central role as a mediator between East and West. The Academy cooperates worldwide with other universities as well as other art and culture institutions.
At the basis of the teaching and research work in our art university is a differentiated concept of art in which the aesthetic appearance of a work is as crucial as the characteristic thought-forms behind the artistic practice. The Academy understands art primarily as a mode of thinking and acting which becomes manifest in a wide range of media. Art, understood as a specific form of knowledge, can also be expressed in many seemingly unrelated professions.
Aspirating to and Safeguarding Quality
Students at the Academy are prepared for future innovative work in an extended field of social praxis. We insist on the highest standards in teaching and research, while at the same time encouraging experimentation. With a teacher-student ratio of 1:6 the Academy offers a quality of guidance that is as strong as that found at other outstanding art schools in Europe and America. The teaching approach links the mediation of knowledge with personal supervision of individual development.
To safeguard these qualities our students are chosen through a comprehensive selection procedure. The teachers are regularly assessed by the students. The programmes offered in the individual sections are also judged by international experts at regular intervals.
Internationality & The Teaching Staff
The strength of the Academy lies in its internationally renowned teaching body and in its international student body, which is made up of members from 50 different countries. This is accounted for by the fact that Vienna plays a mediating role between East and West. The Academy maintains contacts to the most important centres of culture, but also to other continents; cooperation in research and teaching extends as far as the US and Asia.
The Academy encourages students to gather international experience in the course of their studies and supports them in their efforts.
Five buildings covering a total area of 33,500 square metres are available at the Academy for teaching and research. All the different sections have state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops and studios. The video and the sound studio are among the best of their kind in Austria.
Staff & Management
All those employed by the Academy - in teaching and research and in administration - work in an atmosphere of respectful harmony. We are convinced that only the cooperation of all will help us to achieve our common goals.
We promote our employees' strengths in the awareness that effective management rests on trust and a positive attitude to the work on hand.
To strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of our work, we invest in all our employees' personal development and further training, and report regularly on these staff development measures.
Position & Market Response
On the basis of its leading position in Central Europe, the Academy will continue to pursue its international orientation with a high aspiration to quality, and confront competition for teachers and students from the world's best art universities. We tackle this competition by offering an outstanding working environment at the Academy and in the cultural metropolis of Vienna. Among the Academy's special features are its very own painting galley and a copper-engraving cabinet, where former art epochs are graphically illustrated. Close to the Academy are important museums, exhibition venues and galleries of contemporary art which offer an additional field of experience for the encounter with old and contemporary art.
Finance & Transparency
The Academy is largely financed by the state, but also by authorized study fees, revenue from services and publications and the support of donors. All our efforts are focused on thrifty and expedient expenditure. We disclose this efficiency and effectiveness by publishing our balance sheets and the respective performance indicators.
In order to extend our scope for action, we actively seek the support of people and institutions who share our values and objectives. In doing this we also address our former students and the art-interested public in general and invite them to support the Academy.
State & Society
Our work is oriented around the principles of gender mainstreaming and anti-discrimination. We invest our resources responsibly and with a view to the environment and sustainability.
We fulfil our social commitment by doing what we do best - develop, train and promote artists. The Academy supports qualified students who have not got the private means to finance their studies by granting reduced study fees and scholarships.