A Fachhochschule (German: [ˈfaxhoːxʃuːlə] i ; plural Fachhochschulen), abbreviated FH, is a university of applied sciences (UAS), in other words a German tertiary education institution that provides professional education in many applied sciences and applied arts, such as engineering, technology, business, architecture, design, and industrial design.
Fachhochschulen were first founded in Germany and were later adopted in Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Cyprus, and Greece. An increasing number of Fachhochschulen are abbreviated as Hochschule, the generic term in Germany for institutions awarding academic degrees in higher education, or expanded as Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW), the German translation of "universities of applied sciences", which were primarily designed with a focus on teaching professional skills. This is reflected in the fact that the ratio of the number of students to the number of professors is significantly better than at traditional universities. However, there are also a number of subjects, such as social work or the legal sub-discipline of social law, which are traditionally underrepresented at traditional universities. In these areas, universities of applied sciences make a significant contribution to research. UAS professors are also increasingly attracting national and international third-party funding. To support their research activities, they can apply for a significant reduction in their teaching load. Swiss law calls Fachhochschulen and universities "separate but equal". In terms of student numbers, universities of applied sciences are on average smaller than traditional universities. However, there are also a number of HAW, such as TH Köln or UAS Frankfurt, which can keep up with large universities in this respect.
Due to the Bologna process, universities and Fachhochschulen award legally equivalent bachelor's and master's degrees. Excepting research-intensive institutions in Hesse, Saxony Anhalt, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria Fachhochschulen do not award doctoral degrees themselves but sometimes in cooperation with award-granting partner universities. In the meantime, however, some professors at HAW also have additional habilitations and can therefore directly supervise doctoral students at their home university. This and the rule that they give priority to hiring professors with a professional career of at least three years outside the university system additional to the doctoral degree are the two major ways in which they differ from traditional universities.
Due to the Bologna process, most German Universitäten and Fachhochschulen have ceased admitting students to programs leading to the traditional German Diplom (FH) , but now apply the new degree standard of Bachelor's and Master's degrees. In line with the Bologna process, bachelor's and master's degrees awarded by both types of universities (Universitäten and Fachhochschulen) are legally equivalent.
With a Master's from either, one can now enter a doctoral degree program at a Universität, but a graduate with a bachelor's degree from either is normally unable to proceed directly to a doctoral degree program in Germany. Also, with the master's degree of either of the institutions a graduate can enter the höheren Dienst (higher service) career for civil servants.
The Fachhochschule or University of Applied Sciences and Arts is a type of German institution of higher education that emerged from the traditional Engineering Schools and similar professional schools of other disciplines. It differs from the traditional university (Universität) mainly through its more practical orientation. Subjects taught at Fachhochschulen include engineering, computer science, business and management, arts and design, communication studies, social service, and other professional fields.
The traditional degree awarded at a Fachhochschule was the Diplom (FH). Coursework generally totaled six semesters (three years) of full-time study, with various options for specialization. In addition, there were one or two practical training semesters to provide hands-on experience in real working environments. The program concluded, usually after 3.5 – 4 years, with the final examination and a thesis (Diplomarbeit) which is usually an extensive project on a current practical or scientific aspect of the profession.
In an effort to make educational degrees more compatible within Europe, the German Diplom degrees were mostly phased out by 2010 and replaced by the European bachelor's and master's degree.
The Fachhochschule represents a close relationship between higher education and the employment system. Their practical orientation makes them very attractive to employers.
Today, Fachhochschulen also conduct research. Research projects are either publicly funded or sponsored by industry. Nevertheless, in Germany the right to confer doctoral degrees is still generally reserved to Universitäten. In 2016, however, Fulda University of Applied Sciences became the first Fachhochschule to be conferred this right for its graduate center for social sciences. Several Fachhochschulen run doctoral programs where the degree itself is awarded by a partner university in Germany or abroad (similar to the doctoral programs in German research institutes, such as the Fraunhofer Society or the Max Planck Society).
There are a few universities, such as Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and Bundeswehr University Munich, which run Fachhochschule courses in addition to their normal courses. It is also important to note that in the 1990s, some universities of applied sciences were developed from former GDR universities with the right to award doctoral and post-doctoral degrees in order to cut costs. These include, for example, the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences. In these institutions, the classic university spirit lives on to this day.
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The Austrian government decided to establish Fachhochschulen (FH) in 1990. In the academic year of 2010/11, there were twenty-one institutions officially considered as Fachhochschulen plus a number of other providers of Fachhochschulstudiengängen with a total of over 27,000 students. About a third of the 136 Fachhochschulstudiengänge are organized as part-time courses of studies.
|Fachhochschule Kärnten||Spittal an der Drau||Kärnten||Fachhochschule||1995||1.518||1.664||+146|
|Fachhochschule St. Pölten||Sankt Pölten||Niederösterreich||Fachhochschule||1994||1.715||1.698||-17|
|Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt||Wiener Neustadt||Niederösterreich||Fachhochschule||1994||2.658||2.763||+105|
|Theresian Military Academy||Wiener Neustadt||Niederösterreich||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||1751||324||314||-10|
|FH Gesundheitsberufe Oberösterreich||Linz||Oberösterreich||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||2010|
|Campus 02 Fachhochschule der Wirtschaft||Graz||Steiermark||Fachhochschule||1996||1.028||1.106||+78|
|FH Gesundheit Tirol||Innsbruck||Tirol||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||2007||247||413||+166|
|Management Center Innsbruck||Innsbruck||Tirol||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||1995||1.883||2.052||+169|
|Fachhochschule des bfi Wien||Vienna||Vienna||Fachhochschule||1996||1.431||1.502||+71|
|Fachhochschule Technikum Wien||Vienna||Vienna||Fachhochschule||1994||2.654||2.939||+285|
|Ferdinand Porsche Fern-Fachhochschule||Vienna||Vienna||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||1997||85||305||+220|
|FH Campus Wien||Vienna||Vienna||Fachhochschule||2001||2.439||3.215||+776|
|Lauder Business School||Vienna||Vienna||Fachhochschul-Einrichtung||2003||253||296||+43|
The Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences UAS are vocational universities established in Switzerland in 1995 following the model of the German Fachhochschulen. They are called Fachhochschule in German, Haute école specialisée in French and scuola universitaria professionale (SUP) in Italian. The Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences offer third level education, continuing education, services businesses and institutions, and produce applied research activities. In 2013 there are seven public UAS approved by the Swiss Federal Council in 1998 and two private UAS approved by the Federal Council in 2005 and 2008. The public UAS are run by one or more cantons.
UAS have the institutional mandate to provide degree programmes (Bachelor's degrees and Master's degrees), continuing education and training, to conduct applied research and to offer services to companies and institutions. Students with a finished apprenticeship and a Fachmatura (subject Matura) and students with the Matura and a practical year in a company can access further education within the Universities for Applied Science. The UAS and their Bachelor's and Master's degrees are federally accredited.
The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and is in charge of the accreditation of the UAS which are requested to meet the federal legislative requirements.The UAS are supported by the cantons, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and by the Rector's Conference of Swiss Universities (swissuniversities).
|University of Applied Sciences||Typology||Establishment||Recognition||Note|
|Berner Fachhochschule (BFH)||Public||1998|
|Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW)||Public||1998|
|Fachhochschule Ostschweiz (FHO)||Public||1998|
|Haute école spécialisée de la Suisse occidentale (HES-SO)||Public||1998|
|Hochschule Luzern (HSLU, formerly known as FHZ)||Public||1998||Not to be confused with University of Lucerne (unilu)|
|Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI)||Public||1997||1998|
|Zürcher Fachhochschule (ZFH)||Public||1998|
|Haute école spécialisée Les Roches-Gruyère||Private||2008|
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate program in the liberal arts, or, in some cases, other disciplines. A Bachelor of Arts degree course is generally completed in three or four years, depending on the country and institution.
A Technische Hochschule is a type of university focusing on engineering sciences in Germany. Previously, it also existed in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Finland. In the 1970s and the 1980s, the Technische Hochschule emerged into the Technische Universität (German) or Technische Universiteit (Dutch). Since 2009, several German universities of applied sciences were renamed as Technische Hochschulen.
A Master of Engineering is a professional master's degree in the field of engineering.
The education system in Switzerland is very diverse, because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system mainly to the cantons. The Swiss constitution sets the foundations, namely that primary school is obligatory for every child and is free in state schools and that the confederation can run or support universities.
A Diplom is an academic degree in the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and a similarly named degree in some other European countries including Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine and only for engineers in France, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Brazil.
The Bern University of Applied Sciences is a public vocational university with a strong national and international profile. It comprises six departments and also incorporates the Higher Technical School of Wood, which is affiliated to the Department of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering.
Hochschule is the generic term in German for institutions of higher education, corresponding to universities and colleges in English. The term Universität is reserved for institutions with the right to confer doctorates. In contrast, Hochschule encompasses Universitäten as well as institutions that are not authorized to confer doctorates.
A university of applied sciences (UAS), nowadays much less commonly called a polytechnic university or vocational university, is an institution of higher education and sometimes research that provides vocational education and grants academic degrees. It should not be confused with vocational schools or technical schools that do not meet the strict standards of higher education nor have the ability to grant officially accredited academic degrees.
The Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences Switzerland is a University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland with the departments of Business and Management, Law, Health, Music and Applied Psychology. It was founded in 1997 and today is one of nine accredited Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences, being the only privately owned one. It has 4’400 students, 725 lecturers and around 12’000 graduates. Kalaidos UAS is a foundation, which is a federally accredited University of Applied Sciences under Swiss law.
Master's degrees in Europe are the second cycle of the Bologna process, following on from undergraduate bachelor's degrees and preceeding third cycle doctorates. Master's degrees typically take two years to complete, although the number of years varies between countries, and correspond to 60 – 120 ECTS credits. Within the European Higher Education Area, representing almost all countries in Europe, master's degrees are referenced to the Framework of Qualifications for the European Higher Education Area and national qualifications frameworks.
The Zürich University of Applied Sciences is a governing body composed of four separate universities. It is located in the city of Winterthur, with facilities in Zürich and Wädenswil, is the second largest University in Switzerland after the University of Zurich.
University of Applied Sciences Technikum Vienna was founded in 1994 and became Vienna’s first university of applied sciences in 2000. It is the largest technical university of applied sciences in Austria and offers twelve bachelor's degree and eighteen master's degree programs.
The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland is one of the Universities of Applied Sciences of the Swiss Confederation. SUPSI offers more than 30 bachelor and master courses, complementing theoretical scientific knowledge and practical technological advances applied to real projects. Various departments of SUPSI are mainly based in Southern Switzerland. Instruction is mainly in Swiss Italian, with some courses delivered in English and German.
The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein, is an Austrian Fachhochschule in Kufstein, Tyrol.
University of Applied Sciences Jena (UAS Jena) (German: Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena (EAH Jena)) was founded on 1 October 1991 as one of the first institutions of higher education of its kind in the newly founded federal states of Germany. Since the beginning of summer semester 2012, it bears the name of the entrepreneur Ernst Abbe. The university is characterized above all by its high practical orientation and research strength. Their slogan is: Innovation for quality of life. Health, precision, sustainability & networking!
The Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten was an organization that represented universities in Switzerland. It began in 1904 as the Schweizerische Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (SHRK), becoming in 2001 the Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten. On January 1, 2015, the CRUS, along with the Rektorenkonferenz der Fachhochschulen der Schweiz and the Rektorenkonferenz der pädagogischen Hochschulen, merged to form the Rektorenkonferenz der schweizerischen Hochschulen.
The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland is a university of applied sciences in Switzerland. It is one of the largest universities in the country in terms of student enrollment. It is an inter-cantonal public law institution with its own legal personality. The cantons are Aargau, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, and Solothurn.