Universität WienAn Historical Tour of the University of Vienna

Archiv der Universität Wien



When the Main Building of the University of Vienna was opened in 1884, Rector Hermann Zschokke reported a total of 5,721 students - "the highest number which our Alma Mater has reached in its existence". This number rose to around 9,000 at the beginning of the First World War (1913-14 academic year), and the number of women (first admitted in 1897) was then at around 7%. The war caused a drop of 50% in student numbers, but from 1918 there was a rapid increase to more than 10,000. For the 1930-31 academic year official figures record a total of 12,006, of which 25% were women. After the Anschluß of 1938 this number fell rapidly. In the 1940-41 academic year there were still 5,092, with women at 29%. In the course of the war this number fell to 3446, and for a short period the number of women exceeded 50%. After the war numbers again rose rapidly to around 10,000 students (1950-51: 9,051 students, women 30%), but then dropped back in the early 1950s to some 6,000 students (1953-54: 6,141). After this there came a swift and subsequently explosive increase in student numbers up to the "mass-university" of the present time. The proportion of women students grew continuously. Since the beginning of the 1980s their share of total student numbers has exceeded the 50% mark. These developments are shown in the following (rounded) figures: 1960-61: 14,000 students (women 35%); 1970-71: 19,000 students (women 37%); 1980-81: 40,000 students (women 50%); 1990-91: 85,000 students (women 56%); 1998-99: 90,000 students (women 59%) [information from the Student Records Department of the University of Vienna]. The proportion of foreign students is approximately 10%. The number of graduates is currently some 4,600 per annum. The University staff numbers about 5,500, including 520 professors, 2,600 assistants and 2,300 administrative personnel who are employed in 200 departments, clinics and administrative units. The institutions of the University are spread over 103 buildings with a total of 400,000 m2 in Vienna and beyond.

Lit.: Irma Völlmecke, Österreichische Hochschulstatistik 1829 bis 1979. In: Geschichte und Ergebnisse der zentralen amtlichen Statistik in Österreich 1829–1979 (= Beiträge zur österreichischen Statistik, Heft 550, 550A, Wien 1979). Quelle (neueste Zahlen): Studienabteilung der Universität Wien.

The graph shows the development of student numbers in the period 1910-1990 at intervals of ten years. Women were first admitted to studies in the Philosophical Faculty in 1897. This was followed by the Faculty of Medicine (1900), Law (1922), Protestant Theology (1928), and Catholic Theology (1946). The proportion of women in the student body rose in the 1980s to more than 50%. The proportion of female professors is currently around 7% and assistants 28%.