Art university rector Brigitte Hütter can look forward to a fixed grant from the city of Linz. The council approved it in December. The city is supporting the university with a total of 720,000 euros up to the year 2027. This year it is 80,000 euros, and thereafter 160,000 euros per year. Although the city has funded projects such as the university’s participation in the Ars Electronica Festival, these always had to be negotiated individually. “In terms of appreciation and recognition of the universities in our city, it’s now about formalized cooperation so that there is planning security,” says Mayor Klaus Luger (SP). So far, the city has paid between 80,000 and 120,000 euros, so the cooperation also means a significant increase. “This is very good news for us,” says Hütter. The “critical thorn” will remain the art university. Luger also emphasizes that the cooperation is “not a ransom from criticism”.
Ars, grants and projects
In addition to further participation by the art university in Ars Electronica, the money is intended to finance scholarships for international students. Currently, around 44 percent of students come from abroad. The scholarships are for smaller amounts. In the third funding area, fields of cooperation that vary from year to year are agreed upon. 2023 is about projects and publications by students and teachers on current social developments.
Doctoral training in Venice
Hütter cites the “Laboratorio Laguna” project as an example. As part of this, universities from Helsinki, Zurich, Berlin and Linz are bringing together their artistic doctoral training. In Venice, workshops are held in small groups on topics that are obvious there, such as the environment and tourism. The results will then also be exhibited in Linz. Hütter’s preferred location is the salon ship Fräulein Florentine on the Urfahraner Donaulände.
According to Luger, the cooperation eliminates historical unequal treatment. Since the founding of the JKU, the city – by the way the only one in Austria – has been obliged to pay 120,000 euros annually through the university fund. Now the art university is also getting fixed municipal funding. Fun fact: up until 2004, the city paid 1.9 million euros a year, at that time a sixth of the art university budget. After a constitutional law specialist determined that the city no longer had to do this after the reorganization of the universities, Linz and subsequently the state stopped the payments. In 2010, the federal government failed with a lawsuit. The funding decided in December 2022 is voluntary.