The JKU is at the forefront of administrative innovation: The KeplerCard, the first student ID card featuring an integrated chip, was introduced during Winter Semester 1998/1999. In the fall of 2003, the Kepler University introduced Austria's first wireless campus, followed by a Europe-wide multi-media degree program in law in 2002/2003
The JKU forged a new path by implementing social policies designed to support the advancement of women and offer gender studies as well as better integrate and support disabled individuals. During the 2000/2001 academic year, the inter-disciplinary institute for Women's Affairs and Gender Studies and the Office for the Advancement of Women opened its doors, followed by the institute for "Integrated Studies". The alumni association "FORUM Studium & Beruf" was created toward the end of 1999, and two years later the association was re-named the Kepler Society. The Career Center opened on the campus in the fall of 2004.
Science Park, New Legal Structure and Degree Program Reform
The master plan for the JKU Science Park was hatched in 2003. The idea was to bring research and development in mechatronics, computer science and other scientific and engineering disciplines together and accommodate JKU partners. Construction began on the first part in the spring of 2007 and the building was officially opened in 2009. Two more sections followed and two more buildings are currently in the planning stages.
At the beginning of 2004, the Johannes Kepler University Linz was legally spun off from the federal administration and given legal form as a legal entity subject to public law, resulting in increased autonomy for action but legistically reduced co-determination. The JKU's reorganization efforts concentrated on centralizing university management and administration and creating a study administration. Beginning in 2004, the JKU began to offer inter-university studies.
The Faculty of Law developed new degree programs. The faculties of Social Sciences, Economics & Business as well as Engineering & Natural Sciences conformed their degree programs in accordance with the Bologna Agreement.
Virtual Reality Center, Austrian Grid, MACH and the Austrian Business School
The Virtual Reality Center opened in 2014. One year later, Austria Grid - one of Europe's most powerful grid computing systems - began operations and in 2011, the system was upgraded using the MACH Computing System. The number of Christian Doppler laboratories continues to rise along with additional research centers and laboratories. Founded in the late 80s, the Linz International Management Academy - LIMAK - became the Johannes Kepler University Business School in 2005. Together with the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria, the LIMAK Austrian Business School was established in 2005.
Expanding Fields of Excellence and Campus Enhancements
The JKU's 2006-2012 Development Plan outlines medium-term excellence and development priorities in research. The 2013-2018 Development Plan maintained these priorities to a large extent, pooling them into additional fields of excellence. In 2006, the chemistry department at the JKU began to introduce a new research area focusing on polymer chemistry while also extending their field of excellence to include polymer engineering technologies.
Campus growth and enhancement continued and in 2010, the JKU opened a modern central law library at the recently renovated Juridicum Building. Two years later, an addition was built on to the university cafeteria in order to accommodate the rapidly growing number of enrolled students. In 2013, RISC received a new extension building in Hagenberg.