As of June 2017, there is no overall and coherent framework for the validation of prior learning (VPL) in Austria. For this reason, a national strategy is currently being developed in Austria. Its roots can be found in the recommendation of the European Council of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Furthermore, the Austrian strategy for validation is closely connected to:
A useful guideline for Austrian HE institutions is the recommendations for the validation of non-formal and informal acquired competences in Austria. The Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria, responsible for quality assurance in Higher Education, issued these recommendations in December 2016. Read more about the current developments in Austria here.
VPL in Higher Education
Validation of formal learning
A foreign formal qualification can be validated through so-called “Nostrifizierung”. In short, it leads to the full recognition of a foreign higher education (HE) qualification by an Austrian HE institution. In case the validation applicant lost the official documents of the foreign HE qualification, a different validation procedure is necessary. There is a contact point, available for further questions.
Validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNIL)
Validation of informal and non-formal learning (VNIL) is not yet common in Austrian Higher Education. At the moment, VNIL in Austria cannot lead to a complete award of a higher education qualification. Still, it is possible to obtain admission to some Austrian HE institutions or to receive credits for prior learning within study programmes. Here you can find examples of VNIL initiatives in Austria:
- Studienberechtigungsprüfung (SBP): Limited Higher Education Entrance Examination
- Berufsreifeprüfung (BRP): The General Higher Education Entrance Examination is for people who went through apprenticeship training or vocational education schools but did not take an examination entitling them to study at higher education level.
- Admission without Reifeprüfung/Matura, SBP or BRP: Under certain conditions, HE institutions admit applicants who have not taken the Reifeprüfung/Matura or any other exam mentioned above. As an example, Danube University Krems offers admission for study programmes based on VNIL.