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13. Grazer Konferenz – Teaching Medicine – an Interprofessional Agenda

24. - 26.09.2009, Innsbruck, Österreich

Didactic Faculty Development Programme at the Medical University of Graz


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13. Grazer Konferenz - Qualität der Lehre: Teaching Medicine – an Interprofessional Agenda. Innsbruck, Österreich, 24.-26.09.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09grako10

doi: 10.3205/09grako10, urn:nbn:de:0183-09grako105

Published: December 14, 2009

© 2009 Reibnegger.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Quality in teaching requires – among other constituents – qualified teachers. While this requirement seems obvious and has clear consequences in primary and secondary education, in teaching at the level of universities hitherto there have been little or no formal didactic qualification premises at all.

In order to improve this deplorable state of a airs, the Medical University of Graz has launched a tripartite didactic faculty development programme in 2008. Step one is obligatory for all new teaching state and consists of a two-day workshop offering didactic basics. Step two offers several modules presenting advanced topics in teaching and assessment. All sta striving for achieving a postdoctoral lecture qualification (“Habilitation”) is urged to take part in at least some of these oerings. As the most advanced step, the Medical University of Graz has started in 2008 to choose by a competitive procedure particularly engaged teachers to participate in one of the international “Master of Medical Education” study programmes. These people are supposed to become – after completion of their studies – particularly active multipliers of good and innovative methods of teaching and assessment at our university.

In addition to this formal programme, excellent and highly engaged teachers are given more weight and visibility by awarding them the more informal title of “Head of a Teaching Unit for xyz”. A similar programme with informal “Research Units” has demonstrated that such an instrument of recognition of extraordinary achievements is able to exert a tremendous stimulative and inspiring impact.

As a consequence of the new wage agreement regulating future careers at Austrian universities, also the instrument of performance agreement has been started to be used to improve the engagement and qualification of academic staff in teaching as well as in research: academic staff striving to obtain permanent employment at the university has to fulfil certain requirements in research, teaching and personal qualification. These requirements are negotiated between the candidate, his or her head of organizational unit and a newly established “Sta Development Committee” on an individual basis. All candidates are supported by a newly developed mentoring programme during this important phase of their career.

Finally, in recognition of the strong impact of excellent teaching in addition to excellent research, the Medical University of Graz has started, and will extend the creation of a limited number of new professorships with a special focus on teaching.