Austrian higher education institutions offer an ever-growing number of degree programmes: you can choose between first-class research-based courses, a world-famous education at any of the universities of the arts, high-quality practice-oriented degree courses at the universities of applied sciences, and sound, up-to-date teacher education and innovative courses at private universities.
Most universities and universities of applied sciences offer the following:
Bachelor’s programmes: 6-8 semesters Master’s programmes: 2-4 semesters Doctoral/PhD programmes: at least 6 semesters. Moreover, the following is also an option:
Diploma programmes: 8-10 semesters Doctoral programmes: 4 semesters.
Quality of life in Austria is regularly rated among the highest anywhere in the world. In fact, Vienna was named the world’s leading city for quality of life for the eighth year running in Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey. Home to over a quarter of Austria’s population, Vienna is renowned as one of Europe’s great cultural capitals, and is a popular choice for many international students – but it’s certainly not the only appealing study location the country has to offer.
The University of Vienna is the highest-ranked Austrian university, at 154th in the world in the QS World University Rankings. It’s also the largest university in Austria, and, having celebrated its 650th anniversary in 2015, the oldest in the German-speaking world. Today it’s one of the largest universities anywhere in Europe, with around 94,000 students enrolled. It teaches across a broad subject spectrum, mostly in German but with a sizeable number of English-taught master’s degrees. The university is associated with 15 Nobel Prize winners, including 2004’s recipient of the Literature Prize, Elfriede Jelinek. Its faculties are spread across more than 60 locations throughout the Austrian capital.
Austria’s second representative in the rankings is Vienna University of Technology, in joint 182nd place. Established in 1815, it’s one of the most prestigious technical institutions in Europe. The university focuses on the fields of engineering and natural sciences, and has around 29,900 students enrolled, with an impressively high percentage of international students (it ranks within the world’s top 100 on this indicator). Again located in the beautiful Austrian capital, it offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the city’s vibrant cultural life.
Ranked 286th in the world overall, Universität Innsbruck outdoes even the University of Vienna when it comes to internationalization. It ranks within the world’s top 35 for its proportion of international students, and the top 95 for proportion of international faculty members. The university’s total student enrollment is around 28,000, making it the third largest in Austria. Its facilities are spread throughout the attractive city of Innsbruck, towards the west of the country, which is renowned as a major snowsports hub. Given this mountain-surrounded location, it’s unsurprising that Universität Innsbruck is particularly renowned for its work in the field of mountain research.
Commonly known as the University of Graz, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz is ranked within the world’s top 480 higher education institutions. It was established in 1585, which makes it the second-oldest university in Austria. It’s also the second largest Austrian university, with more than 32,500 students enrolled. Like Universität Innsbruck, the University of Graz recently separated from its medical faculty, the Medical University of Graz, which is now an independent institution. Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz also collaborates with the Graz University of Technology to offer joint programs in natural and biological sciences.
The Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz boasts future-oriented academic degree programs, excellence in teaching and research, numerous partnerships in Austria and abroad, and a unique campus with park-like grounds. Although a young university (established 1966), in a short period of time the JKU has become a cutting-edge institution for science, academics, business and the community. The Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business (SOWI) has created its degree programs according to national and international quality standards, thus contributing greatly in an effort to address and solve complex social and business issues.
The Alpen-Adria-Universität (AAU) is a young and innovative university, located at the intersection of three diverse cultures. Since it was founded in the year 1970, the AAU has become firmly established as the leading institution of academic education in Carinthia, and serves as an important hub for the acquisition, exchange and transfer of knowledge across the entire Alps-Adriatic Region. The AAU’s scientific achievements regularly earn national and international recognition. The projects carried out here serve as important impulse generators for the business location Carinthia. More than 10.000 students attend the AAU for the purposes of study and research, including around 1.800 students from abroad.
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities in Finland
|#||Name||Ranking||Average tuition fees|
|1||University of Vienna||175||1,500 and 11,000 EUR/year|
|2||Vienna University of Technology||199||1,500 EUR/year|
|3||Universität Innsbruck||279||1,450 EUR/year|
|3||Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz||456||2,000 USD/year|
Living, acoomodation and tuition costs
Although Austria is counted among the richest countries of the world, the general cost of living in Austria is not so high compared to other European countries.
Food (excluding luxuries and tobacco) approx. 250 euros Fortunately, Austria has many discount supermarkets, which offer food at reasonable prices. Many universities have so called self-service student cafeterias (Mensa) where you can get a good meal at a good price. But the cheapest way to eat is to do your own cooking. Some average prices: a cup of coffee/tea in a café: 3 euros, a sandwich at a bakery: 3,50 euros, a dinner in a typical student restaurant: 10 euros.
Studies and personal requirements (books, culture, recreation): approx. 300 euros A metro or bus ticket cost around 2,20 euros for a single fare in the city, a cinema ticket cost approximately 9 euros and a ticket for a museum about 8 euros. However, students are eligible for a number of price concessions. Public transportation authorities and many museums, cinemas, theatres and other cultural venues give student discounts when you show your student card.
Total per month approx. 950 Euros The average monthly living expenses for a student in Austria are approximately 950 euros. This may vary a bit, depending on your study location – for example, accommodation and other living costs may be higher in Vienna and other larger cities than for example in Wr.Neustadt. And, of course, the amount of money you will need greatly depends on how economically you live. Therefore, it is difficult to say exactly how much money a student in Austria needs per month.
Living in a shared flat (so called "WG") Private shared flats (called Wohngemeinschaften in German, or just WG) are probably the most popular form of accommodation. Several students share a flat together and each has their own room, while sharing a kitchen and bathroom. The occupants also share the rent. Depending on where you study, you should assume spending about 250 to 450 euros per month for rent. On www.jobwohnen.at you can search for accommodation in shared flats.
Living in a hall of residence (or dormitory) In general, dormitories offer different types of apartments (single apartments and living communities for two, three or four students). Accommodation of this type is situated in a living community, but has a private bathroom and toilet. The kitchen is a communal room for tenants of one flat. On the website of the Austrian Student Union you can find an overview of student accommodations all over Austria.
Check your contract Before signing a contract, make sure to check what bills are included in the rent, as this may have a large impact on your budget. Some accommodations include gas, electricity, TV and Internet in the rent, for others, they are additional expenses on top of the rent.
Scholarships and funding options for international studies in Austria
International students in Austria can benefit from various study grants and scholarships offered by Austrian organisations or universities.
The Federal Aid for Students offers study grants for certain areas of study or study allowances. The value of the grants offered is between 475 and 679 EUR/month.
Other scholarships are offered by the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria; the Austrian government provides a monthly scholarship instalment of 940 EUR or sometimes covers the accommodation costs – only for students who live in residence halls.
Check a list of Austrian universities that provide various scholarships for international students.
Find more scholarship opportunities in Austria.