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Mission Statement of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences

PREAMBLE:

Upper Austria is one of the most economically dynamic regions of the European Union and strongly oriented in fields of engineering and technology in combination with a high export quota. With the support of the Upper Austrian government, the university is best equipped to offer academic programs in various fields of engineering, technical and natural sciences. This university was founded in accordance with the following principles:

  • the desire and genuine penchant for education, research and innovation can only be supported by providing (1) the general public and all young people with (2) a well developed and solid Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences providing opportunities for continual development (3) and enhancement that fulfill this inherent requirement , thereby creating a fundamental and solid foundation for the further successful creation of economic development based on research and technology (4).

MISSION STATEMENT:

Most importantly, the TNF considers itself an institution which takes into account these basic needs and responsibilities in pursuit of economic prosperity by striving to continually improve and enhance general conditions. Research and teaching call for: (5)

  • top comparable international standards (6),
  • a vision aimed at long-term development (7); one that will adapt to the changing needs of society and the community but that, at the same time, can also sustain a necessary broadness of scope.
  • and which takes into consideration local conditions and requirements (8),
  • while simultaneously upholding its academic character which is (9) an indispensable part of all academic and research activities,
  • and likewise welcomes internal and external critical assessment and advice which can be (10), justified by conducting public relations work and in close cooperation with local political leaders.

Acquiring knowledge and conducting application-oriented reseach are viewed as the two equally important and complementary undertakings which also serve to encourage and support research on the whole. (11).

Advanced transfer of knowledge is (12) a key priority to ensure that all consolidated findings and acquired technical expertise is made available to society as well as to industrial and corporate businesses in particular. The TNF actively pursues new and effective opportunities for the successful transfer of information in accordance with the conditions and circumstances in Austria (13). The continuous efforts of the TNF (14) are supported on a state and local level. The state and provincial government provides critical consulting services during the design phase of projects and actively participates in the realization project phases together with the TNF.

Interdisciplinary cooperation (15) within the TNF as well as with other internal and external faculties and institutions should be enhanced and supported along with financial incentives.

The TNF aims to maintain a steadfast hiring policy which

  • adheres to the emerging changes in science, engineering and other technical fields (16),
  • maintains an ideal balance between acquiring knowledge and conducting application-oriented research (17),
  • ensures that external cooperation between JKU departments and institutes generates maximum scientific and applications-oriented value from the efforts put forth.

Diploma and Master degree programs have been designed to teach students how to acquire problem solving skills (18) as well as hands-on experience and qualifications (19) in the individual disciplines. The various types of problems discussed and encountered in the individual programs of studies should originate from a broad and diverse span of categories. Opportunities to overstep classical subject topics that border disciplines should be encouraged and realized (interdisciplinary flair). Students will have opportunities to complete company internships to obtain project experience, hands-on experience and obtain a sense of direction in regards to occupational prospects and academic requirements for specific positions. We strongly believe that these goals can only be attained when education is guided by research.

We encourage students to study abroad and take advantage of international opportunities if they arise. International experience not only provides students with important intercultural understanding, students also acquire additional qualifications and language skills important for a future career and, at the same time, help us to critically and continually assess TNF training and education compared with academic programs offered abroad.

Students are expected to not only be highly motivated, but also have the ability and propensity to occasionally seek knowledge independently. Independent study is an integral part of many academic programs at the TNF, allowing students to profoundly analyze and implement critical and reflective thinking skills to conclude that they also have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the common welfare.

The time required to complete an academic program of study should to be kept within reasonable limits (20).

The success of students in the job market after graduation is periodically examined and factored into the organization of the academic program curriculum.

The doctorate academic program has been designed to

  • educate a new generation of professional scientists,
  • provide extended, in-depth knowledge of a subject matter and specialization to post-graduates with a special penchant for scientific research and to those striving to acquire challenging positions in industrial research and development.

The local colleges and universities of applied sciences are considered a welcome and enriching addition to educational options in the market (21). The TNF is well equipped and willing to support these professional schools in areas of structural planning and education.

The TNF is committed to contributing acquired expertise in the areas of engineering and natural sciences to secondary schools by providing secondary teacher training courses and support for the teaching staff, (22) so that

  • the area of natural sciences and engineering receive the respect and support it deserves,
  • required basic knowledge can be conveyed effectively, allowing younger generations to enthusiastically experience education and research.

Women are as equally qualified as men to pursue academic studies in the field of natural sciences and engineering. Special measures have been taken to facilitate entry into the TNF academic programs which apply to all female students, academics, researchers and scientists.

Any and all forms of discrimination will be resolutely countered.


(1) Create new and novel solutions which become an undeniable necessity for the human race; inventive talent combined with deep insight for the natural world - the epitome of an academically educated natural scientist and engineer.

(2) This should include professional support for highly talented and gifted students; planning suitable forms of support during and after academic studies.

(3) Prosperous societies almost inevitably often develop a highly developed sense of cultural awareness due to the fact that financial opportunities exist.

(4) Basic principles are appealing towards conducting technologically oriented research and allowing for knowledge transfer.

(5) in fields of engineering and natural sciences

(6) Research: comparable to similarly equipped, subject-related institutions at other national and international universities.

Teaching: Support and encourage students and/or graduates wishing to spend an academic semester abroad at a foreign institution and support the admissions process at prominent universities and/or research institutions.

(7) In this regard, be sure to:
  • Have a minimum breadth of knowledge in order to retain a “stockpile” in case there are changes in circumstances; this applies to both research and teaching;
  • Do not simply follow current trends on a whim; have the courage to pursue independent development;
(8) Most importantly, this applies to:
  • Training: Aspire to excellence so that as a graduate you are best equipped for the long run in business.
  • Research: Take into consideration the thematic positioning of information, ensuring it is in accordance with stipulations for respective professional opportunities.
  • Knowledge transfer: Compile suggestions and support initiatives that are applicable so that knowledge at the university can be rapidly made available to industry and businesses.
(9) By this we refer to the qualities that are characteristic of the university: Linking teaching and research; freedom and diversity of scientific doctrine; Check-up by way of publishing research results that are (internationally) exposed to criticism; also teach students the ability to think critically; basic distinction compared to colleges and universities of applied science:
  • Solid base of understanding, for instance, the ability to take the basic knowledge provided and solve given problems.
  • Broad training and education is needed in order to adjust to ever changing requirements; it also involves being open and flexible as to the location of education opportunities and possibilities.

(10) For this reason, society, including all responsible representatives in particular as well as politicians thereby given a guarantee that funding and support provided is handled most efficiently.

(11) Research aimed at acquiring knowledge has cultural value and stock of its own; the TNF addresses applications in particular; knowledge-based research (and/or basic research) should not be neglected as it is a source of new technologies and creates the right conditions from a formal-methodical perspective enabling compact description and comprehensive understanding of a broad spectrum of knowledge content. This is imperative in order to ensure that rapidly expanding detailed knowledge can be summarized and a certain overview can be protected. Many new principles resulting from basic research can be traced back to proposals stemming from application-oriented disciplines.

(12) Regarding the term technology transfer: Technologies are operations in which a physical change of state (in a thermodynamic sense) and matter (animate or inanimate) occur; the transfer of technology in a narrower sense would therefore be conveying special expertise on well-established procedures (as well as new or potentially new procedures) to consumers outside of the university. However, this is only one part of our services; in many cases there is also great value in acquiring basic knowledge of technical-natural scientific material (also including experimental methods of analysis) which can be applied to explore and further advance already established procedures; important factors, for instance, include simulation technologies.

(13) A large number of small and medium sized businesses; in a high-wage country, competition can only be protected by providing technological leadership; general marketing laws state that success does not happen by simply developing innovative new products for brand new markets. Therefore it makes sense to macroeconomically build on existing strengths while still maintaining a pursuit to try something completely new.

(14) Competency Centers and support programs in the area of technology

(15) Today's world requires that cooperation be a multiplicative prerequisite
  • to continue being internationally competitive,
  • mutual enrichment and enhancement must allow for the realization of knowledge-based and application orientated research,
  • in order to make possible the rapid conversion of fundamental knowledge into usable technologies,
  • to counteract the powerful specialization of involved parties; meaning, specialization harbors danger when there is no overview regarding a complete project and consequently the single solutions sythesized from the entire systems are inherently incorrect or perhaps even threatening.

(16) Developments in new fields of knowledge; bring about shifts in the area of significance - as well as an economic context - in regard to existing disciplines;

(17) A beneficial balance between knowledge-based research and applying orientated research lies in the conscious responsibility of each researcher. He/she must make critical assessments of current developments on a national and international level and seek out arguments and feedback for society.

(18) Clear-cut, basic understanding is important for two reasons:
1. ensuring an increasing, pressing ability to adapt to changed circumstances and job profiles more rapidly.
2. an absence of basic understanding makes it difficult to maintain a professional career, whereas detailed application-oriented knowledge inevitably develops over time with experience.

(19) For instance, learning how to effectively use measuring instruments, computers; implementing respective trails in relevant disciplines; technical drawing for students studying mechatronics; etc.

(20) This could be defined as follows: suggestion: allocative function (not an average value)

(21) and not merely as a replacement for the universities

(22) In regards to:
  • Training educators; the unique broad spectrum of application-oriented subjects offered at the TNF provide opportunities to train and educate teachers who can learn to shape their teaching profile allowing future student to learn more about the value of natural sciences and engineering. In addition, they can provide their future students a complete overview of academic opportunities available at the TNF.
  • Learn information in regards to new and current developments in the areas of natural sciences, engineering and other technical disciplines.
  • Offer continuing education and training programs for teachers at secondary schools.