Differences: UAS vs UNI?
In Austria, there are two types of higher education facilities:
- Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS; in German: FH)
- Universities (short: uni)
Both institutions offer bachelor and master degrees, but there are many differences that could influence your decision.
2. Admission requirements
You need a graduation certificate (for Austria and Germany: Matura and Abitur), a Berufsreifeprüfung (short version of a high school graduation) or a student permit certificate for both UAS and universities.
Universities of Applied Sciences only allow a limited amount of new students per year. Therefore, every UAS has some kind of admission process, mostly consisting of admission tests and application interviews.
Public universities don’t have that. Only extremely popular fields of study, which are usually overbooked, like medicine, psychology or law, have admission tests. Some fields of study use admission tests only if there is a high number of potential students. However, most fields of study have the so-called STEOP, which consists of obligatory exams that have to be taken in the first semester in order to continue studying.
4. Course of study and organisation
This is the most striking difference between UAS and university.
Universities of Applied Sciences:
- UAS have a structured programme, similar to a school.
- There are fixed timetables and students of a year are put into study groups (“Kohorten”).
- You have to be present most of the time and work in small groups on different projects.
- Thanks to the structured programme, most students at UAS finish their studies in the minimum duration.
- Some UAS offer “dual studies” which combine a practical and academic degree.
- Universities have more flexible curricula, which allow you to put together your own timetable.
- Many courses don’t require attendance and the individual organisation of your studies allows you to meet new students in every course.
- Due to overlaps in time, requirement chains or overbooked courses, it might take longer to finish your studies.
Advantages and disadvantages
We have a pro and con list for you to help you decide if a UAS or UNI suits you better.
Universities of Applied Sciences
In the end, whether you go to UAS or UNI depends entirely on you and your preferences. What you want to study will be your first indicator, but the rest depends on your personality and goals. UAS and UNI both have pros and cons. Hopefully, our list will make it easier for you to decide. Either way, your student life will be the best time of your life. Here are more tips for a successful start into your studies and tips on how to make friends at university (or UAS).