Austria has 17 private universities
On 1 August 2022, Austria had 17 accredited private universities. These varied greatly in their focus, ranging from social sciences and economics to law, and from medicine and theology to art and music. No federal funding is provided for private universities, which is why they are privately financed.
Private universities: an important third pillar of the higher education system
Private universities have become established as the third pillar in the Austrian higher education system, and are growing dynamically. In 1999, shortly before the millennium, the necessary legal basis for this was established. The number of private universities and their student numbers have grown continuously ever since. Their degree courses are based on conventional programmes in terms of content and structure, while also offering new content and innovative teaching formats.
Requirements for accreditation
In order to achieve the necessary accreditation as a private university, the Private Universities Act (PUG) requires these to be private educational institutions which are legal entities registered in Austria. No financial support may be extended by the Federal Government to private universities. However, they may take part in competitive research programmes and thus apply for publicly advertised research funding.
Here is an overview of all 17 individual private universities in Austria.