Very British: The JKU’s Plans for the LIT College

Based on the English model, the JKU will be the first Austrian university to create a college as part of the Linz Institute of Technology.

[Translate to Englisch:] LH-Stv. Michael Strugl, Bgm. Klaus Luger, LH Thomas Stelzer und Rektor Meinhard Lukas mit einem Modell des College - Copyright: JKU; Abdruck honorarfrei

The LIT College aims to attract highly gifted international graduate STEM students. Admission requirements include having successfully completed an undergraduate degree. JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas explained, “The LIT College allows us to establish a tradition that has been a part of the English university landscape for centuries. Students work, study, and live together on campus – the college is much more than a dorm.”  JKU faculty members are available to students as so-called “Fellows” while creating a community to study and pursue individual education. “We are building an academic village that is a bit simpler and less elitist than our British role models.”

Details: 100 Spots, Internships, Additional Diploma
Whereas admission to graduate degree programs at the Kepler University will continue to be free in the future, the spots at the LIT College are limited. Prospective students will be required to submit an application for admission and the program will accept 50 students. The two-year program will initially be open to 100 students.

Students will complete courses as stated in the program’s curriculum and the Fellows will provide additional support services, such as creating small groups to reflect on an discuss material learned in class as well as support critical thinking processes. Rector Lukas added, “We also aim to foster personal growth and hone social skills.” Experts in academia and from the local business community will serve as mentors and students can also complete company internships. Program graduates not only earn the academic degree title Dipl.-Ing. or MSc, but also an additional diploma awarded by the LIT College.

Initial Funding Provided by the Linz University Funds
The Linz University Funds will provide initial construction funds while the state and city governments will provide the land located north of the JKU campus. The buildings will be constructed by an investor as part of an agreement in cooperation with the Johannes Kepler University. Operations are expected to begin in the Winter Semester 2019, by Winter Semester 2020 at the latest. An innovative module system will provide cost benefits and provide for special community and study rooms as well as a large swimming pond and sports facilities.

Rental costs at approximately €400 will be moderate and comparative to fees at other student dormitories. Discussions are underway with public sectors and companies to provide grants. Ideally, LIT College students would have most or all of their expenses covered.

Rector Lukas added: “The Linz University Funds are stepping in once again. Without their financial support there would be no Johannes Kepler University and without the state and city government, there would be no Faculty of Medicine. Creating the LIT College is another milestone.”

Innovation, Internationalization, Location Enhancement
University Fund President Gov. Mag. Thomas Stelzer explained: “The LIT College opens up new perspectives and opportunities for study and research at the Johannes Kepler University, positioning itself as an internationally oriented university. Working, living, and studying on campus means students can focus more on their goals. Teamwork, creativity, and personal growth are encouraged. I am curious to see what kinds of research and study findings will emerge at our new ‘academic village’ and how they will benefit Upper Austria. We are investing in forward-thinking research and innovation and the LIT College is just as much an innovation.”

Mayor MMag. Klaus Luger believes strongly in the undertaking, “The workplace structure is already in transition. Existing jobs will be eliminated and innovation will create new jobs in the future. The Linz Institute of Technology is another instrument to meet the challenge. LIT strives to support a strong network between industry, academia, and the local business community, which in turns strengthens our region’s economy. By creating the College to be a part of LIT, the research facility will be supplemented by another important part. Students from all over the world will have a unique opportunity to study and live on the Linz campus. I believe the College will play a big role our city’s growing commitment to internationalization.”

Dr. Michael Strugl, Deputy Governor and State Minister of Economic Affairs, added, “The new LIT College will be an attractive addition to the JKU, appealing to prospective students seeking high quality education. We aim to target international MINT students - especially those who are gifted in MINT subject areas - and support their talents. As a location of research and business, Upper Austria will benefit greatly thereby strengthening the region as a whole.”