The University of Innsbruck is the gateway to education in western Austria and - along with the universities in Vienna and Graz - one of Austria's oldest institutions of higher education. Tradition and progress as well as the missions of education and research are equally important at the University of Innsbruck.
The history of the University of Innsbruck dates back to 1562 when the Jesuits established a secondary school in the city, and in October 1669, Emperor Leopold I. sanctioned the foundation of a "higher school" in Innsbruck. This university was changed into a lyceum with four departments in 1782. However, it was regranted university status nine years later. This brief interlude lasted until 1810 when the university was abolished a second time and transformed back into a lyceum. The University's Faculty of Philosophy and Faculty of Law were reestablished after 1826, and the reintroduction of other faculties followed step-by-step. The most recent expansion of the University of Innsbruck was in 1969 when a new Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture was established.
The University of Innsbruck has an international reputation. In this century four professors from the University of Innsbruck have received Nobel Prizes: Fritz Pregl for the development of microanalysis for organic substances; Adolf Windaus for his work on sterols and their connection with vitamins, Hans Fischer for his research on the constitution of hemin and chlorophyll; and Victor Hess for the discovery of cosmic radiation.
The University of Innsbruck is an international institution that has numerous productive cooperative agreements with European, North American and Asian universities and also is closely associated with its immediate neighbours. The University of Innsbruck sees itself as a regional university that serves the province of Vorarlberg in Austria as well as South Tyrol in Italy and Liechtenstein on the other side of the border.
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