Universities of applied sciences
Austria has 21 universities of applied sciences
The 21 universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) in Austria specialise in very different areas – ranging from agricultural technology to multimedia art, from physiotherapy to industrial engineering. One defining characteristic of universities of applied sciences is their focus on a scientifically rigorous professional education at higher education level.
Universities of applied sciences since 1994
In comparison to the public universities, universities of applied sciences are still relatively young. This sector of higher education was launched in the 1994/95 academic year and has demonstrated rapid, impressive growth since then. Of the almost 69,000 people starting their studies in the winter semester of 2017, over 20,000, or over one in every four, took up courses on a programme in a university of applied sciences. Thus the Plan to develop and finance universities of applied sciences to 2022/23 also set out a continuous, strategic expansion of this higher education sector.
In contrast to the universities, the universities of applied sciences explicitly provide a scientifically rigorous professional education at higher education level, in accordance with the Federal Act on University of Applied Sciences Studies Act (FHStG). Both linking to professional practice and providing education at higher education level are central to degree programmes at universities of applied sciences in Austria. In the sciences, the focus at universities of applied sciences is on applied research. As these universities are geared towards professional practice, they are a fundamental pillar of the Austrian higher education system.
Here is an overview of all 21 individual universities of applied sciences in Austria.