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Recognition of examinations

Are you required to take an exam when you have already achieved an equivalent qualification in a different context? If so, you should have that qualification recognised. We explain how to do this.

What is the recognition of learning experiences?

The term recognition means the transfer of the following learning experiences into your course at an Austrian university (a public or private university, a university of applied sciences or a university college of teacher education). The result is that the university recognises you have already achieved that learning experience.

  • Examinations taken at a recognised Austrian or foreign university, higher education institution or other post-secondary educational institution or a college for higher vocational education
  • Research activity within companies or non-university research institutions.
  • Artistic activity at non-university institutions which are entitled to give pre-vocational artistic training.

This means that the relevant examinations set out for the current course need not be achieved again. However, this will only apply where the content and scope of your previous learning experience is equivalent to the corresponding Austrian examinations. This relates in particular to the scope of the learning experience to be recognised, i.e. the number of ECTS credits.

Where can I apply for recognition?

You can apply to the body responsible for study-related matters at the university or university college of teacher education, or the programme director at the university of applied sciences. You can find out more information about the person to contact, and when they are available, from the university itself.

What do I need to submit?

To apply for recognition, you must provide relevant evidence of your learning experience. The more detailed these documents are, the more quickly and easily they will be recognised. For examinations taken abroad, the relevant course – and where possible details of the course content – should be submitted. You must either submit the original or a certified copy of these documents. Documents in languages other than German must be accompanied by certified translations. All foreign documents must be properly certified.

Validated school leaving certificate

Validation also covers the general university entrance qualification. The individual university will no longer check the content of this afterwards. However, the country from which the school leaving certificate originates will be a determining factor when assessing your qualification to enter a specific university.

Advance assessment of eligibility for recognition

Students undertaking a period of study abroad often want to know in advance whether their learning experience there will be recognised. They can apply for recognition of this to be established in advance. To do so, they must submit documents to the competent body about the study element which they intend to undertake abroad (the course and a description of its content). This body will then make an advance decision on the extent to which it will be possible to recognise the planned examinations taken abroad. After the student returns, the university in Austria will then be bound by this decision, provided that all the requirements in it have been met. At universities of applied sciences, it is possible to make an equivalent agreement with the programme director.