Open-minded by tradition

In 1898, Vienna was one of the largest cities of the world. It was the flourishing metropolis of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, and business was booming. But one thing was missing: an educational institution teaching students all things related to international trade. Against this backdrop, the Imperial Export Academy, a forerunner of WU, was founded. The teaching offer at this institution of higher education was based on a groundbreaking new concept: in addition to commerce-related subjects and the study of trade goods, the curriculum also included foreign languages, economics, economic geography, and public and private law. This was truly innovative and raised the bar to a completely new level.

An openness toward the world has been inherent to WU since its foundation. For 125 years, its pioneer achievements have received acclamations. Let us take you on a journey through the history of WU. Meet the people who have left their mark on our university, and get an idea of where WU stands today as well as where it will go in the future.

What Connects Us

Milestones in the History of WU

On the History of WU



Mandatory courses in foreign languages


Promotion of studies abroad


Foundation of the International Office at WU


First Austrian university to implement the Bologna architecture

Diversity and Inclusion


First female graduate


Foundation of the Equal Opportunities Committee


Chair for Gender and Diversity in Organizations


Establishment of Gender & Diversity Policy staff unit



Launch of the Commemorative Project for the victims of the Nazi regime at WU


Opening of the accessible and sustainable campus


WU supports refugees


Austria’s first climate-neutral campus

Celebratory News

All News
Diversity at WU
Diversity and inclusion are a reality at WU. This is evidenced by a number of initiatives, including a diversity strategy that includes special tutor positions and activities with a broad impact.


All events
Location: Library & Learning Center

on 01 March 2023 Starting at 18:00 - Ending at 19:30

Academic Freedom

Discussion on discursiveness and academic freedom in politically difficult times.
WU matters. WU talks.

Location: Library & Learning Center

on 05 June 2023 Starting at 18:00 - Ending at 21:30

Closed to Exclusion - Open to Inclusion

Critical reflection on WU’s handling of the Nazi era.

Location: Campus WU

Starting on 07 June 2023 Ending on 08 June 2022

Open for Diversity

Under the motto "Open for Diversity" we celebrate 125 years of WU and 10 years of campus.

Location: Campus WU

Starting on 03 July 2023 Ending on 23 September 2023

125 Years of WU Exhibition Path

The exhibition in the outdoor area of campus WU shows milestones of WU's history.

Share your Greatest WU Stories with Us!

4 students taking a selfie

What role does WU play in your life? What did you take away from your WU experience? What do you like to remember best? Share your stories as texts, pictures, or videos.