Fachhochschule

Fachhochschule

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A Fachhochschule (plural: Fachhochschulen) or University of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a German type of tertiary education institution, sometimes specialized in certain topical areas (e.g. technology or business). Fachhochschulen were founded in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and later adopted by Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. An increasing number of Fachhochschulen are abbreviated as Hochschule or Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW), which is also the generic term in Germany for all institutions awarding academic degrees in higher education. Due to the Bologna process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

, Universitäten and Fachhochschulen award legally equivalent academic Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Fachhochschulen do not award doctoral degrees themselves. This and the rule to call professors with a professional career of at least three years outside the university system remain their major difference from traditional universities.

Universities of Applied Sciences are designed with a focus on teaching professional skills. Swiss law calls Fachhochschulen and Universitäten "separate but equal". Just like more academically oriented traditional universities, the UAS are able to issue both Bachelor and Master degrees. In Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, they may run doctoral programs when the degree itself is awarded by a partner institution which is allowed to, just as some German Fachhochschulen also co-run doctoral programs, with doctoral degrees being awarded by the partner university.

Germany


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 application or practical orientation and less research. Subjects taught at a Fachhochschule include engineering, computer science, business & management, arts & design, communication studies, social service and other professional fields.

The traditional degree awarded at a Fachhochschule was the Diplom (FH). Actual coursework generally totals eight semesters (four years) of full-time study with various options for specialization. In addition, there was one or two practical training semesters to provide hands-on experience in a real working environment. The program concluded usually after five years with the final examination and a thesis (Diplomarbeit) which usually is an extensive project of a current practical or scientific aspect of the profession.

In an effort to make educational degrees more compatible within Europe, the German Diplom degree have mostly been phased out and replaced by the European bachelor
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

's and master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 by 2010.

The Fachhochschule represents a close relationship between higher education and the employment system. The students’ up-to-date knowledge of the field enhances their preparation for their profession. Their practical orientation makes them very attractive for employers.

Today the Fachhochschulen are also conducting research. The research projects are either publicly funded or sponsored by industry. The German universities of applied sciences enjoy a high importance for the German industry and they have several partnerships with the local industry. Nevertheless, in Germany the right to confer doctoral degrees is still reserved to Universitäten. Some Fachhochschulen run doctoral programs where the degree itself is awarded by a partner university (like doctoral programs in German research institute
Research institute
A research institute is an establishment endowed for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic research or may be oriented to applied research...

s like Fraunhofer Society
Fraunhofer Society
The Fraunhofer Society is a German research organization with 60 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science . It employs around 18,000, mainly scientists and engineers, with an annual research budget of about €1.65 billion...

 or Max Planck Society
Max Planck Society
The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes publicly funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany....

).

There are a few universities like Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
The Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is a Roman Catholic university in Eichstätt and Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.The Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is the one and only Roman Catholic university in the German-speaking world. Compared to other German universities The...

 and Bundeswehr University Munich which also run Fachhochschule courses of studies in addition to their normal courses.

Bologna process


Due to the Bologna process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

, most German and have ceased admitting students to programs leading to the traditional German Diplom
Diplom
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 Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland , Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Ukraine...

, but apply now the new EU degree standard of Bachelor
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 and Master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

s. In line with the Bologna process, Bachelor's and Master's degrees awarded by both types of universities ( and ) are legally equivalent.

With a Master's from either it is now possible to enter a doctoral degree program at a , but a graduate with a Bachelor's degree from either is normally unable to proceed directly to a doctoral degree program in Germany (most US schools only require a Bachelor degree for admission to doctoral programs, but virtually all require additional coursework). Also, with the Master's degree of either of the institutions a graduate can enter the (higher service) career for civil servants
Beamter
The German word Beamter means civil servant, and is pronounced , with a glottal stop between the 'e' and the 'a'...

.

Austria



The Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n government decided to establish Fachhochschulen in 1990. In the academic year of 2004/05, there were 18 institutions officially considered as Fachhochschulen plus a number of other providers of Fachhochschulstudiengängen with a total of 25,554 students. About a third of the 136 Fachhochschulstudiengänge are organized as part-time courses of studies.

See also

  • Ammattikorkeakoulu
    Ammattikorkeakoulu
    An ammattikorkeakoulu , abbreviated amk, is a Finnish institution of higher education.- Significance :...

  • College
    College
    A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

  • Institute of technology
    Institute of technology
    Institute of technology is a designation employed in a wide range of learning institutions awarding different types of degrees and operating often at variable levels of the educational system...

  • University of applied sciences
    University of applied sciences
    University of applied sciences may refer to:*Ammattikorkeakoulu, the term for a university of applied sciences in Finland*Fachhochschule, the term for a university of applied sciences in Germany...

  • Vocational university
    Vocational university
    A vocational university is an institution of higher education and sometimes research, which provides both tertiary and sometimes quaternary education and grants academic degrees at all levels in a variety of subjects...


External links


Germany:

Austria:

Switzerland: