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New Sustainability at the Vienna Management Academy by FHWien der WKW

September 19, 2022

The topic of “sustainability” is making inroads everywhere and it enjoys and deserves a strongly increasing status. FHWien der WKW has firmly anchored the topic in several ways and is also launching special degree programs in this direction for the first time at the Vienna Management Academy starting in fall 2022.

Companies are increasingly required to act in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. This is also important in terms of human resources policy, as more and more potential employees are now finding out how a company fulfills its social and ecological responsibilities before applying for a job.

The United Nations developed the so-called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as part of the 2030 Agenda, which comprise 17 goals for the sustainable development of our planet. These guidelines are actually addressed to states, but the implementation is the responsibility of all stakeholders, especially organizations. This is also the case for us at FHWien der WKW – and we not only take the challenge seriously, but also take it on – at various levels:

Focus on sustainability

We see the topic fundamentally as a cross-cutting issue that must be implemented everywhere. But beyond that, it is also anchored very concretely in some areas:

  1. We are considering as an organization how we can further advance and implement the topic of sustainability. To this end, we have our own working groups that deal with the SDGs and consider various aspects of them and come up with proposals for implementation.
  2. We are very strongly positioned in research on this topic – for example, with a focus on “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR). We are also a member of the PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) network, where universities commit to educating managers who integrate economic, social and environmental aspects into their decisions and actions.
  3. Sustainability is incorporated into all of our programs: We have committed ourselves to integrating this forward-looking agenda as an integral part of the curricula of our regular degree programs as well as our continuing education programs.

Continuing education programs with focus on sustainability

In addition to its general commitment to sustainability, FHWien der WKW also offers very specific programs that focus on this topic. At the Vienna Management Academy, newly launched in spring 2022, academic continuing education programs are offered for working professionals wanting to gain a title – or a recognized certificate – to prove the additional qualification.

The master’s program International Sustainability Communication, which will be offered for the first time in fall 2022, educates experts who understand sustainability issues and communicate them professionally. The program provides knowledge on the applied combination of socio-economic, communication and international perspectives as well as on interdisciplinary thinking and acting. This Master is not only a big step on the career ladder, but above all a milestone towards “sustainability”: to contribute to the development, management, implementation and communication of sustainability strategies in organizations.

Starting in the fall of 2022, there will also be a continuing education program in Sustainable Finance Management for the first time – as a 6-day to two-semester compact variant or as a three-semester program with an MBA degree. The program imparts up-to-date and practical ESG expertise as well as management competence to successfully initiate and manage the change towards a more environmentally and socially compatible economy in the company. After all, sustainable finance plays a central role in the green turnaround of the economy and encompasses much more than just financing.

Knowledge as a sustainable career springboard

Successful completion of one of the 17 study programs at the Vienna Management Academy either qualifies you as an academic expert or entitles you to use the academic titles MBA, MSc or MA (CE) – awarded by FHWien der WKW, Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management and communication.

This form of sustainability in personal continuing education acts as a stepping stone in one’s professional career. Especially in times like these, when the half-life of knowledge is rapidly diminishing, lifelong learning and continuing education are a must for professional success.