Since it was established in 1990, more than 1000 students from all continents have come to Stadtschlaining to study peace at EPU.

Read what some of them have said about the “EPU experience”:

What makes EPU so special?

1.More than 20 years of experience in peace education.

EPU was the first university centre teaching peace and conflict studies in continental Europe. By now, EPU has had more than 20 years of experience in peace education, connecting academic education, research and theory with its practical application in the field.

2.Perfect location for studying peace.

EPU is located in the small and quiet medieval town of Stadtschlaining, close to the Hungarian border. Its tranquility and peacefulness make it an ideal place to study peace and to learn from lecturers and other students, but also to interact with the local population.

3.Using the synergy effect of the Peace Center Schlaining

EPU is part of the Peace Center Schlaining, which consists of the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), the Peace Library, the Peace Museum, the Hotel Burg Schlaining as well as the student hotel Haus International. All these facilities are within walking distance, and EPU can draw on all these resources.

4.Small number of students.

The small number of students (approx. 30 per study course) provides an intimate atmosphere and creates an ideal learning environment, where each student has ample opportunity for asking questions, giving comments and holding in-depth discussions with lecturer and co-students.

5.Multicultural faculty and student body.

Our faculty as well as our students come from many different countries, and have a multitude of ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds. This creates an interesting learning environment where students learn not only from the lecturers but also from each other. On these maps you can view the countries of origin of our students and lecturers. Please also consider EPU´s gender ratio of students and lecturers.

6.Faculty consisting of permanent staff and external lecturers.

EPU has lecturers who are at EPU permanently as well as guest lecturers, who come from all over the world to Stadtschlaining to teach for one week. Thus, EPU is able to combine continuity assured by our permanent staff with new perspectives and insights presented by the external lecturers.

7.Availability of lecturers.

Our lecturers are at the students’ disposal also outside the classroom, and can be approached for questions, feedback and discussions.

8.More than 1000 alumni.

Since its existence, more than 1000 students have studied at our institution. Many of them now have thriving careers with national or international NGOs, international organizations, governments, in education, the private sector etc. . This is a network that students can draw upon when needed.

9.Common festivities.

Students regularly organize cultural evenings, where students from a certain region cook traditional dishes from their home countries, dance typical dances, sing typical songs etc. . This is a perfect way to learn with all senses about fellow students’ home countries and it strengthens the bond amongst students, but also with students and EPU staff.

Mission Statement

The EPU is committed to academic education and research which is centered around peace and development as well as Europe, its integration and its politics. It aims for a consulting role with regard to peace and wants to contribute to an international and European peace policy.

The EPU is based on a comprehensive definition of peace, which aims at the absence of direct violence (negative peace) and for the establishment of a sustainable peace framework by promoting democracy, participation, justice and cooperation (positive peace). The minimum standards on basic human needs as well as the concept of human security - as defined in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations – are of special concern to us.

The big challenges of the 21st century can only be mastered by rethinking politics, economy, ecology and culture. If peace studies is to contribute to such a rethinking, it has to face up to everyday politics. The EPU aims for a change of paradigm in favor of cooperative and conflict preventive approaches by analysis, proposals for solution and consulting.

I look forward to welcoming you at EPU!

Dr. Gerald Mader, President of EPU

Chairholder, UNESCO Chair for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy