The Festival University 2021.

Transform Your World

Does training robots sound like something you could get behind? What about cloning your house plant? Growing a piece of your skin? Or developing recycling technologies of tomorrow?

You got it!

The Festival University can make it happen!

Three weeks, 100 international students, and technological advancements that will change the world forever: The most significant international symposium for Art & Technology, the Ars Electronica Festival and Upper Austria's largest institute of education, the Johannes Kepler University Linz, are joining forces to organize a very special Festival University program.

Robotics, brain interfaces, artificial intelligence, digitization, a circular economy, and new forms of energy for the future: While you can’t stop new technologies from changing our world, you CAN be a part of the way they will shape our everyday lives – it’s all in your hands!

Together with highly experienced, international experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other world-leading research institutions as well as artists you’ve probably only seen on YouTube, you will contemplate, plan, and develop ideas to support digital transformation:

What are the greatest issues of our time? How do we create more awareness to address problems as well as a desire to solve these problems? What will the future hold?

You can expect to take part in an exciting program complete with engaging presentations and real-world, hands-on workshops featuring state-of-the-art research findings and no limits when it comes to professional disciplines. Be surprised, inspired, and challenged!

Because one thing is certain: the future is coming.

And you will be a driving force behind it.

Key Facts


Online and in Linz, Austria


3 Weeks,
Aug. 30 to Sept. 19, 2021
Online: Aug. 30 - Sep. 5
On-Site: Sep. 6 - Sep. 19






The Festival University is worth 4.5 ECTS creidts


We will cover travel costs, assist with your visa, and provide accommodations & meals when on-site.

Information about the Process

  1. Send all of your application materials to by e-mail and use "Festival University 2021 - Application Your Name" in the subject line by July 25, 2021 (13:55 CEST). e-mail all application materials, particularly in regard to videos and larger files, using a WeTransfer download link (or alternative service).

  2. A joint committee consisting of Ars Electronica Center and Johannes Kepler University employees will review all of the submitted applications once the open call for applications has ended.

  3. Applicants selected to take part in the program will be notified by August 4, 2021.

  4. If you have been accepted to take part in the program, confirm your participation by no later than August 9, 2021, using the link provided in the e-mail notification. Your spot in the program can only be confirmed once you have submitted all requested information via the link.

    We will contact you afterwards to assist in planning your trip as well as to clarify any additional questions you may have.

    You will receive detailed information about the program before the Festival University is scheduled to begin.

„I look forward to welcoming many grant holders to the 'Festival University' program at the JKU campus.“
Meinhard Lukas, JKU Rector

Why is the Festival University so special?

  • 100 participants from over 40 countries
  • You get a special grant that covers travel expenses, accommodations, and meals
  • International faculty menbers provide program supervision
  • You'll actively take part in this year's Ars Electronica Festival
  • Whether onsite, online, or in a hybrid format, there's a program option available to suit everyone's needs

Connect with others in the program!

Participants from over 40 countries from around the world will take part in this year's Festival University! If you have been selected for a spot in the program (meaning you have received a letter of acceptance), confirm you will attend by completing the registration procedure and you will also get access to the shared Slack channel that will be use to support communication between all of the program participants.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity and communicate with other program participants from around the globe:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Azerbeijan
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Columbia
  • Cuba
  • Czechia
  • Germany
  • Egypt
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Kazakhstan
  • Lebanon
  • Latvia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Montenegro
  • Mexico
  • Vietnam
  • Nigeria
  • Netherlands
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Russia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Suriname
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turkey
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • USA



Weltkalte der TeilnehmerInnen der Festival University 2021
News 17.09.2021

Students in the Ars Electronica and JKU’s Festival University Program Present Ideas for a "University of the Future"

The program focused on several topics, including on what a “university of future” should be like in terms of learning and education.

News 13.09.2021

The 2021 Ars Electronica Festival - 15,000 Visitors at the JKU.

The 2021 Ars Electronica - a unique festival showcasing art, technology, and the greater community – took place at the JKU between September 8 and 12.

News 07.09.2021

Federal Minister Heinz Faßmann Visits International Festival University Students at the JKU and Ars Electronica

How can we respond to and address global challenges of our time and initiate change? How will we learn and study at universities in the future?

News 06.09.2021

The Festival University Has Begun!

Three weeks, 100 international students, and earth-changing technologies - this is the JKU’s very special Festival University program.

Partners & Funding

Program funding in the amount of €440,000 has been generously provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science & Research and the Upper Austrian government.

Copyright Information