Inauguration of New TU Graz Rector Horst Bischof: ’We are shaping the future’

The new rector Horst Bischof and his predecessor Harald Kainz after handing over
The new rector Horst Bischof and his predecessor Harald Kainz after handing over the rector’s chain. Image Source: Lunghammer - TU Graz
By Medieninfo

Horst Bischof was inaugurated as Rector of TU Graz at a festive ceremony.

Almost two months after the new Rectorate officially took office, the inauguration ceremony for Rector Horst Bischof and his team took place today, 23rd November, in the assembly hall of Graz University of Technology (TU Graz). In the presence of numerous high-ranking guests from science, business, society and politics, including Federal Minister Martin Polaschek and State Governor Christopher Drexler, Horst Bischof outlined the aims and priorities of his Rectorate in his inauguration speech.

The new Rector began his speech by expressing his gratitude and appreciation for his predecessor Harald Kainz, with whom he worked for twelve years as Vice Rector for Research. "As you would expect from a civil engineer, Harald Kainz leaves TU Graz with a solid foundation. He built the first floor of the house and filled it with life. For this, he deserves the gratitude from everyone at TU Graz."

Universities of technology part of Austria’s "critical infrastructure"

Building on the achievements of his predecessor, Horst Bischof believes that TU Graz is well equipped for the tasks ahead. Against the backdrop of rapid social developments and technological and ecological challenges, education and knowledge are becoming increasingly important for securing progress and prosperity and for solving global problems. Universities as places of knowledge and learning, where ideas are born and innovations are created, play a central role in this, Horst Bischof said. In the age of climate change, artificial intelligence and digital transformation, expectations of science are high. "As a university of technology, we enable our students to solve the burning issues of our time. I would even say that TU Graz, together with the two other universities of technology in TU Austria, represents a critical infrastructure in this country," explained the new Rector. "If you want to work on solutions to global problems, you have to study or work at TU Graz," said Horst Bischof, outlining the underlying narrative.

Always ahead of developments

Internationalisation in research and teaching has been a top priority at TU Graz for many years. As part of the international university alliance "Unite!", TU Graz is part of the most renowned universities of technology in Europe, emphasised Horst Bischof. "Above all, visibility at the European level requires excellence and critical mass. Both are focal points of my Rectorate." With its five Fields of Expertise and the six Research Centers at TU Graz, Horst Bischof has set the goal of getting among the top five in Europe. This will make TU Graz a magnet for the brightest minds and the greatest talents. "As TU Graz, we always have to be one step ahead of developments. We are shaping the future," emphasised the new Rector.

TU Graz next level

Rector Horst Bischof has been shaping the future of TU Graz together with his Rectorate since 1st October this year with Andrea Hoffmann as Vice Rector for Human Resources and Finance, Stefan Vorbach as Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Andrea Höglinger as Vice Rector for Research, and Michael Monsberger as Vice Rector for Infrastructure and Sustainability. "We are all united by a common goal," said the new Rector, "we want to take TU Graz to the next level. On the foundations laid by my magnificent predecessors, we want to take TU Graz even higher."

Christa Neuper, Chair of the University Council, shares this vision. "In Horst Bischof, a top researcher from our own university has taken over as Rector. Based on his many years of experience in university management, he will continue the successful course he has embarked upon with full commitment and new priorities. With the new executive team, TU Graz is very well positioned for future challenges," said Christa Neuper. At the same time, she also emphasised the work of Harald Kainz, whom she thanked for his tireless commitment and impressive track record during his time in office.

Looking back with gratitude

Harald Kainz was Rector of TU Graz for twelve years. Before handing over the chain of office to his successor, Rector Horst Bischof, he looked back at the challenges of recent years and the developments at the University. According to Kainz, none of these successes would have been possible without the innovative and motivated staff and talented students. Harald Kainz thanked all the university bodies and partners from science, business and politics for their cooperation and broad support of TU Graz. "I wish the new Rectorate team under Rector Horst Bischof many outstanding successes."