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Reform of the Fachhochschulen in Austria

  • Attila Pausits
Chapter
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)

Abstract

Fachhochschulen (FHS, universities of applied sciences) are one of the pillars in binary higher education systems in some of the European countries (Germany, Switzerland) whose roots date back to the 1960s and the 1970s. Contrary to this, Austria started to focus on the diversification and expansion of the upper-secondary schools sector only in the early 1990s. The policy reform led to a greenfield initiative, public-private partnerships and new organisational and (higher) educational alternatives to universities. The development of the FHS sector was spurred by the social promise of equality of opportunities and, at the very same time, by the major assumption in Europe that economic growth could be reached by investment in education and research through the ‘mobilization’ of talent resources. The literature over the last 20 years on Austrian higher education frequently refers to FHS as a success story. The perceived success is derived from its uniqueness in Europe and because of the solutions related to initial difficulties around the establishment and implementation of this new sector. This chapter describes the design process, challenges and lessons learned of the policy reform in Austria. As the policy reforms took place 20 years ago, this chapter focuses on the implementation of the policy reform and highlights the more significant improvements and changes vis-à-vis the original policy in the last 20 years. Furthermore, the chapter identifies the uniqueness including legal, structural and operational aspects of the reform.

Keywords

High Education High Education Institution Study Programme Policy Reform High Education System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Attila Pausits
    • 1
  1. 1.Danube University KremsKremsAustria

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