Österreichischer Akkreditierungsrat (ÖAR)
ÖAR is a state authority which assesses the quality of private universities through accreditation and which supports the quality development of these institutions.
ÖAR has the legal competence to accredit all private higher education institutions that want to offer university programmes and award academic degrees. The criteria for accreditation and also the main tasks of the Austrian Accreditation Council are set out in the University Accreditation Act.
The primary responsibilities of ÖAR are:
- the accreditation of new institutions and their programmes
- the accreditation of new programmes of already accredited private universities
- the supervision of accredited private universities and their programmes
- to award the institutional designation ‘Privatuniversität’
Focus of accreditation
ÖAR accredits institutions. This means that a formal and transparent procedure providing internationally compatible standards has examined whether institutions and/or programmes offered at university level comply with minimum quality requirements. These requirements combine institutional and programme-related aspects.
Accreditation ensures society and all relevant stakeholders that the quality of teaching and learning is in line with international threshold standards. At the same time accreditation increases the transparency in the complex market of national and international private educational providers.
The consequences of accreditation
Accreditation recognises an institution as a private university (“Privatuniversität”) and authorises it to award recognised academic degrees.
Teaching staff and students of a private university have the same legal status as the teaching staff and students of state-funded Austrian universities as far as laws relating to foreigners and the Foreigners’ Employment Act (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz) are concerned.
Students at private universities enjoy the same privileges as students at state-funded Austrian universities as far as social legislation and tax laws are concerned.
Accreditation expires if the application for extension is not made in time.
The duration of the first and second period of accreditation is 5 years. The duration of further periods of accreditation is 10 years.
ÖAR publishes a list of all accredited institutions and their programmes with detailed information about the degrees awarded. This is done through its website. A list of applicant institutions and all accreditation decisions are also published on the website.
Additionally the ÖAR publishes accreditation guidelines (basic criteria, checklists etc.) and an annual report.
Mutual recognition agreements
ÖAR has mutual recognition agreements with:
- Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie (NVAO), The Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium)
- Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanningen (NOKUT), Norway
- The Polish State Accreditation Committee (PKA), Poland
- Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen (OAQ), Switzerland
|Website of the Österreichischer Akkreditierungsrat (ÖAR)|