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Bologna process: Austria


Austria has two parallel systems of academic degrees:

  • The traditional two-cycle system of Magister/Diplom followed by the Doctorate;
  • The three-cycle system of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate as defined by the Bologna process.

The two-cycle degree system was phased out in 2010 and universities now award the "Diplom-Ingenieur" to graduates of the new-style Master's programme.

The higher education sector in Austria is regulated by the Federal Minister of Science and Research and the Federal Minister for Education, the Arts and Culture.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

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

  • Public Universities and University Colleges of Education

The Federal Minister of Science and Research and the University Councils are self-administration bodies responsible for the planning and supervision of the public universities. The planning and supervision of the Colleges of Education are the responsibility of the Federal Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, and the College of Councils.

  • Universities of Applied Sciences

Introduced in 1994, the Universities of Applied Sciences are the responsibility of the Fachhochschule Council which is regulated by the Federal Minister of Science and Research.

  • Private universities

In 1999 private institutions became able to obtain accreditation as a Private University by the Accreditation Council. Programmes at private universities are either offered in accordance with state programmes and degrees or without reference to them. The private universities are regulated by the Accreditation Council (ÖAR) which is supervised by the Federal Minister of Science and Research.

(ii) Access:

There are a limited number of places available in each Fachhochschule so each institution has a selective admissions policy. Admissions decisions are made based on the Reifeprüfung, the Studienberechtigungspriifung (University entrance examination) or a professional qualification in a relevant field. Prospective students may also have to take additional examinations in order to gain entrance to a programme.

Students completing the (4 year) AHS[1] or the (5 year) BHS[2] receive a ‘Matura’ qualification and are entitled to enter the Higher Education Sector. Earning the Matura guarantees the student a place in higher education.

A Magister or Diplom degree is required prior to starting a Doktoratsstudium,

(iii) Qualifications

Austria has a three cycle degree structure.

  • Bachelor's degree which is 180 ECTS[3]
  • Master's degrees which is 120 to 240 ECTS
  • Degrees of Doktor or PhD degree which is 120 to 240 ECTS.

Universities in Austria (Teaching Either Economics or Business)

  1. Fachhochschulstudiengänge Burgenland
  2. University of Klagenfurt
  3. Fachhochschule Kärnten
  4. Carinthia University of Applied Sciences CUAS
  5. IMC University of Applied Science Krems
  6. Danube University Krems
  7. University of Applied Sciences for Business and Technology
  8. FH Joanneum
  9. University of Graz
  10. University of Leoben
  11. MCI Management Center Innsbruck
  12. University of Innsbruck (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck)
  13. Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
  14. University of Vienna
  15. Vienna University of Technology
  16. Vienna University of Economics and Business
  17. MODUL University Vienna
  18. Webster University Vienna
  19. Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

International Rankings

According to Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings for 2010 the following university was ranked in the top 100

University of Vienna

NR = no ranking or ranking outside top 200.


[1] Academic secondary school (Algemeinbildende Höhere Schule; AHS)

[2]vocational education school (Berufsbildende Höhere Schulen BHS)

[3] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.

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