On the occasion of the 20th anniversary we would like to present an insight into the history of the OeAD Cooperation Office Lviv, which has been headed by MMag. Andreas Wenninger for the past 18 years:
The Austrian-Ukrainian Cooperation Office for Science, Education and Culture in Lviv/Ukraine was opened on August 29th, 1998 by the Federal Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs, Elisabeth Gehrer, together with the University of Lviv's Rector, Prof. Dr. Ivan O. Wakartschuk. The office is located in the main building of the National Ivan Franko University Lviv, the former royal and imperial state parliament building in Galicia. Within the framework of an agreement concluded in March 1998 between the Rector of the University of Lviv and the Managing Director of the Österreich-Kooperation, Dr. Bernhard Stillfried, two rooms were made available to the Cooperation Office by the University.
The first head of the Cooperation Office, the historian Dr. Reinhold Hohengartner, was appointed on March 1st, 1998 following a public job posting. On October 9th, 2000 the office was handed over to MMag. Andreas Wenninger, who, like his predecessor, received a teaching position at the Faculty of International Relations. On November 1st, 2002 Andreas Wenninger additionally took over the function of Attaché for Scientific and Educational Affairs at the Austrian Embassy in Kiev, based in Lviv, while still being employed in the same position by the Österreich-Kooperation, and the office at the University in Lviv was simultaneously expanded to become a branch office of the Austrian Embassy for scientific and educational affairs. This change ensures a closer cooperation with the Austrian Embassy's Cultural Forum and can further strengthen the areas of science and education in the cultural work of the embassy. This upgrading of the Austrian-Ukrainian Cooperation Office in Lviv was welcomed by the host university and the official Ukrainian authorities in Kiev.
The Cooperation Office's specialist library, which is constantly being expanded and the establishment of which could only be accomplished with the help of various generous donations, mainly contains standard works on Austrian history and politics as well as reference books, encyclopaedias and textbooks.
With the beginning of the dissolution of the Österreich-Kooperation association in Vienna in 2009 the Cooperation Office Lviv became a branch office of OeAD-GmbH in Vienna at the beginning of 2010 and the OeAD became the new managing organisation of the office in Lviv, which at the same time continued to operate as a branch office of the Austrian Embassy in Kiev for educational and scientific affairs.
In December 2017, on the initiative of the director Andreas Wenninger, talks on the establishment of a new ÖSD Language Examination Centre Lviv on the premises and under the leadership of the Cooperation Office were successfully initiated for the first time. In September 2018 the new ÖSD centre will be opened together with the rector Prof. Dr. Wolodymyr Melnyk and the first ÖSD examinations will be held.
The OeAD Cooperation Office Lviv would like to take this opportunity to thank all Austrian and Ukrainian partners, sponsors and supporters of the past 20 years and is looking forward to a successful cooperation in the future!