The most prominent veterinary institutes provide excellent educational facilities while providing the students with hands-on and practical learning experiences. They take every necessary step to ensure that the students learn thoroughly and transform into seasoned professionals. They build bright careers for students while ensuring their academic development.
One such leading veterinary institute that is transforming the field of veterinary education with its dedicated endeavours is the University of Veterinary Medicine (Vetmeduni), Vienna. Situated in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in veterinary sciences in Europe. The Vetmeduni employs 1.500 people and is currently training 2.500 students. The campus in Vienna Floridsdorf houses five university clinics and various research sites. Two research institutes on Vienna’s Wilhelminenberg, a teaching and research estate in Lower Austria, and a field office in Tyrol also belong to the Vetmeduni. It has cemented its position in the top global league: in 2021, it ranked an excellent 8th in the global Shanghai University Ranking in the subject “Veterinary Science”.
The University of Veterinary Medicine campus, Vienna, is located in the Donaufeld in Vienna Floridsdorf. It occupies an area of 15 hectares and is home to 47 buildings. The Floridsdorf campus was officially opened on October 4, 1996 (World Animal Protection Day).
There are numerous enterprises and associations affiliated with the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. The list of enterprises includes spin-offs of the university and businesses with offices on the university campus. The diversity of the associations reflects life aside from teaching, research, and study activities.
There are various associations based on the campus, which are associated with the university and its activities. These include the following:
- Society of the Friends of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
- Austrian Society of Veterinarians (ÖGT)
- Austrian Association for Buiatrics (ÖBG)
- Kindercompany – Kindergarten
- Public Health Pool (PHP)
- Tierpflegerschule des Fonds zur Förderung der Tierpflegerausbildung
- Veterinarians without borders
- Tiere als Therapie
- UniversitätslehrerInnenverband (ULV)
- VETART-Kunstforum – Tierärztliche Gegenwartskunst, Literatur und Musik
Accessibility at the Vetmeduni
The management states, “Studying or working always involves the task of organizing yourself and mastering the demands. If you are confronted with an impairment – even if it is “only” a temporary restriction – the effort for the organization increases”.
It further adds that often, even small things can improve the situation significantly. Different solutions can be considered at:
- physical or mental,
- chronic or temporary
- restrictions and illnesses (with and without a disability ID or pass)
The university management believes that anyone can study at the University of Veterinary Medicine. A handicap should not stand in the way of one’s choice of degree or successful completion of a course of study.
As far as the animal hospital is concerned, the offices of the various outpatient clinics are responsible for the barrier-free access to their facilities at Vetmeduni Vienna. Here, the audience will find:
- Information about how to get to the treatment facilities
- Assistance with patient admission
- On-site personal support if needed
However, when it comes to visitors and guests, a focus during the construction of the new Vetmeduni Vienna Campus was on the good accessibility of all buildings. Nevertheless, a good sense of direction is still required to navigate the extensive 156,000 m² campus grounds with 47 separate buildings. The campus map depicts the barrier-free paths and shows the location of barrier-free toilets and lifts.
About the Rectorate
The body responsible for the success and growth of Vetmeduni Vienna is the Rectorate. It manages the university and represents it to third parties. The Rectorate carries out various responsibilities that ensure the smooth functioning of Vetmeduni Vienna while ensuring the students’ academic growth and career development. In addition to these duties, the Rectorate is responsible for the tasks not assigned by legal provisions to other organs.
The Rectorate of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna is composed of:
- Rector: Ao. Univ.– Dr. Petra Winter, Dipl. ECBHM
- Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Otto Doblhoff-Dier
- Vice-Rector for Study Affairs and Clinical Veterinary Medicine: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rehage
- Vice-Rector for Resources and Digitalisation: Dr. Manuela Raith, MBA
Dr. Petra Winter has rich professional experience of over two decades. She serves as a member of different institutions and committees. Dr. Petra serves as a member of the European College of Bovine Health Management (since 2005); member of the Austrian expert group of notifiable animal diseases (since 2008); and Head of the Ethics and Animal Welfare Committee of the Vetmeduni Vienna.
She is also an Expert of the Austrian Animal Welfare Commission acc. §41a animal protection act (since 2010); President VetNEST (Veterinary Network of European Student and Staff Transfer); and President BIOS Science Austria.
Prof. Dr. Otto Doblhoff-Dier has been serving as an active professional since 1985. Along with being a seasoned professional, he has been a member of various bodies such as Delegate of Österreichischer Wissenschaftsfonds FWF; Board of trustees Hochschuljubiläumsstiftung der Stadt Wien zur Förderung der Wissenschaft; Forum Forschung, UNIKODeputy member of the Austrian Gene Technology Commission; Advisory board member ABOL (Austrian Barcode of Life); Shareholder representative Accent; and so on.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rehage also brings along decades of experience with him. This helps him to take major decisions and to lead the university towards achieving better outcomes. He guides the university dedicatedly so that it educates every student properly and helps them transform into seasoned professionals.
Dr. Manuela Raith has a rich professional experience of 19 years. She is associated with many supervisory and advisory bodies in different positions. These include Managing Director WFZ GmbH (Wolf research centre); Shareholder representative AcoMarket GmbH; Shareholder representative VetWidi GmbH; Shareholder representative FFoQSI (Feed and Food Quality Safety and Innovation); Member of the board of trustees Bank Austria Stiftung; and so on.
Furthermore, the university management comprises the University Council, whose responsibilities are similar to those of the advisory board of a corporation. It thus represents a controlling body.
The Senate is the highest-ranking body in which university professors, lecturers, scientific staff, general university staff, and students are represented.
Emphasis on Research
Vetmeduni’s research expertise encompasses a wide variety of fields ranging from physiological processes as well as molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of diseases, epidemiology, and systems medicine to human-animal interactions and ethics. The university stands for a holistic approach to viewing the influences of genetics, epigenetics, behaviour and environmental factors.
For a basic understanding of diseases and possible therapies or prophylaxis, the findings obtained from animal patients, such as livestock, assistance animals or pets, are supplemented by findings from human medicine and model organisms (comparative medicine) and by findings obtained from zoo and wild animals (evolutionary medicine).
In order to fulfil its potential in fundamental research (basic science) in an efficient and targeted manner for the benefit of society, Vetmeduni Vienna has geared its applied research achievements towards highly relevant challenges and issues, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and grand societal challenges. These challenges include demographic change, growth of the world’s population, food security and food safety, health and its maintenance, sustainability, climate change, urbanisation, global risk society, as well as biology as an inspiration for technology and society.