Univ.-Prof. Dr. 

Heinz Faßmann


T +43 1 51581 - 3521

Short Biography

Heinz Faßmann has studied Geography as well as Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna, earning his doctorate in 1980. Subsequently, he was a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna and member of the scientific staff at the Commission for Spatial Research and the Vienna Institute of Demography at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).

After the completion of his postdoctoral thesis ('Habilitation') in 1991, he was appointed Professor of Applied Geography at the Technical University of Munich (1996). Between 2000 and 2021 (with intermittent short leaves of absence), he was Professor for Applied Geography, Spatial Research and Spatial Planning at the University of Vienna. Between 1992 and 1995, and again from 2006 to 2017, he was Director of the Institute for Urban and Regional Research (ISR) at the ÖAW, a function that he has taken up again in January 2022.

Furthermore, Heinz Faßmann has performed many functions in Austria and abroad, among others as Vice-Rector of the University of Vienna (2011-2017). 

During 2017-2019 and 2020-2021 he was Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research of the Republic of Austria.

Important measures taken during his tenure include:

  • Schools and educational programmes: Introduction of the nationwide autumn break in schools and the summer schools for pupils at primary and secondary school levels; reform of the German language training for non-native speakers and the standardized matriculation examination (Matura); Introduction of new obligatory subjects (Ethics, digital basic education), reform of all curricula and consolidation of the Holocaust Education.

  • Universities and the research system: Amendment of the national University Act, performance agreements with all public universities; passing of the first National Research Funding Act and preparation of the RTI Strategy 2030 and the RTI Pact; specific initiatives: research programme “Quantum Austria”, the Austrian Micro Data Center and the Cluster of Excellence of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Research Areas

  • Spatial Planning (Europe)
  • Sociology of Space
  • Migration-Integration-Segregation
  • Comparative Urban Research and Urban Development

Memberships and additional functions


  • Camillo-Sitte-Förderungspreis (Technische Universität Wien)
  • Hans-Bobek-Preis (Österreichische Geographische Gesellschaft)
  • Schader-Preis (Schader-Stiftung, Darmstadt)
  • Bruno-Kreisky-Preis für das Politische Buch (Karl-Renner Institut in Wien)
  • Kardinal Innitzer Würdigungspreis für Gesellschafts-, Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften (Kardinal-Innitzer-Studienfonds)

Recent Publications

  • Görgl, P., Eder, J., Fassmann, H., et al. (2017) Monitoring der Siedlungsentwicklung in der Stadtregion. Strategien zur räumlichen Entwicklung in der Ostregion. Wien
  • Fassmann, H., Franz, Y. and Kohlbacher, J. (2016) “European cities - migration is changing the urban landscape.”.InScholten, P. and Van Ostaijen, M. (eds)Between Mobility and Migration. The Urban Consequences of Intra-EU Movement.Springer. p. 20
  • Fassmann, H., Gruber, K. and Musil, E. (2016) “South East European Migration Transitions: from Emigration to Immigration”.InDahinden, J., Efendic, A. and Mirjam Zbinden, (eds)Interdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe.. Diversity of Migration in South-East Europe. Bern: Peter Lang. pp. 199-224