Higher education system in Austria

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In Austria, the higher education sector is regulated by the Federal Minister of Science and Research and the Federal Minister for Education, the Arts and Culture. The federal provinces have no direct competencies for higher education matters.

Types of institutions

The higher education sector in Austria consists of different types of institutions: public universities and university colleges of education, universities of applied sciences and private universities

Public universities and university colleges of education

The public universities fall under the supervision of the Federal Minister of Science and Research and the university councils. These councils are self-administration bodies, bound by no instructions. Their main function is planning and supervision. The university colleges of education fall under the supervision of the Federal Minister of Education, Arts and Culture and the college of councils. These councils are self-administration bodies, bound by no instructions. Their main function is planning and supervision.

Universities of applied sciences

The universities of applied sciences fall under the authority of the Fachhochschule Council (FH Council). This council in turn is subject to the supervision of the Federal Minister of Science and Research, with, however, the members of the FH Council being vested with constitutional independence. The universities of applied sciences and their degree programmes are administered by the UAS providers pursuant to the statutory overall conditions and the regulations provided by the FH Council.

Private universities

The private universities fall under the authority of the Accreditation Council (ÖAR). This council works under the supervision of the Federal Minister of Science and Research. All legal provisions are regulated by the University Accreditation Act.

Types of programmes

Austria has a three cycle degree structure in line with the European Higher Education Area.

  • Bachelor's degree
    • Undergraduate programme
  • Master's degrees
    • Graduate programme
  • Degrees of Doktor or PhD degree
    • Doctoral programme

Some programmes are still offered in line with the old degree structure. This mainly concerns Diploma programmes leading to the degree of “Magistra” or “Magister”, or “Diplom-Ingenieur/in”.

Overview degree structure

Degree structure-AT.gif

Links

Guide to Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences and their programmes

Austrian Exchange Service - ÖAD