Recognition and Crediting Procedures

Applications for recognition of examinations are to be submitted with the appropriate form either in writing or by e-mail (anerkennungbruckneruniat) to the chairperson of the Study Commission

Link to application form

The application must be accompanied by

  • the respective individual certificates (or a complete overview of subjects and grades/academic transcripts) including information on the course title, examination date, examination grade, SWS/ECTS and an official description of the respective course.
  • In the case of foreign documents, a certified translation of the documents in German or English must be attached in addition to the respective original.
  • Confirmation of the institution about the extent and period of activity outside a university.

A central element of the recognition process is the determination of equivalence. Here, two different examinations are compared with each other and it is assessed whether their inequality is so slight that it does not have a quality-reducing effect on the recognition. The principles developed by the VwGH in this regard help in the weighing process:

According to the decision of the VwGH on § 59 Abs 1 UniStG 1997 (inoperative) of 21.02.2001, 98/12/0177, it is to be investigated, taking into account the applicable study regulations, "which material is taught, to which degree of difficulty, and to what extent in the courses to be compared". This guiding principle, which has been repeated by the VwGH in consistent rulings also in relation to § 78 Universities Act 2002 (UG), is also applied to the recognition procedures at the ABPU for the purpose of interpretation. Three essential criteria for the equivalence test can be derived from this guiding principle:

  • Content of the examination requirements
    (Coverage of all relevant topics in the same intensity and depth, focused on the same learning outcomes).
  • Extent of the examination requirements:
    (in principle, the same number or more ECTS credits than the required course; minor shortfalls - up to a maximum of 10% - are possible).
  • Examination method

To achieve positive recognition, all three areas must be in sufficient compliance.

Recognition of examinations may include not only other examinations, but also non-university academic activities and non-university artistic activities, provided that the standardized equivalence requirements are met. These activities may also be activities that the students have performed prior to their admission to a study program (cf. on the corresponding provision of the UniStG ErlRV 588 BlgNR 20. GP 91).

The responsible body is the chairperson of the Study Commission (§ 11 para. 4 lit. d Statutes). As a rule, she/he decides on the application for recognition within two months of submission of the complete documents.

The applicant will be informed of the decision by e-mail.

Recognition of an examination shall be considered as taking and passing the corresponding examination prescribed in the curriculum.

Decisions of the chairperson of the Study Commission may be appealed to the Study Commission (§ 11 para. 5 of the Statutes). With the submission of the appeal, the responsibility for the decision is transferred to the Study Commission as a collegial body. As a rule, the Study Commission decides on the appeal at its next meeting.

After having exhausted the appeal process, students must resort to civil law to settle disputes and sue for their claims (in this case: the recognition of university or non-university services) as deficiencies in the performance of the education contract before the general courts (§ 11 para. 1 PrivHG). A continuing obligation arises between the student and the private university which is subject to the principle of private autonomy.  It is true that the examination regulations of some private universities provide for an internal organizational " quasi-judicial procedure" for reviewing the recognition decision, based on regulations in the UG before the amendment to the Administrative Jurisdiction Act - a legal absurdity, since a type of administrative procedure is conducted here in an area regulated by private law. After exhaustion of such a possible private-university "chain of appeals", students are in any case forced to take recourse to civil law to settle disputes and to sue for their claims before the general courts. This also applies to the non-recognition of academic or non-academic achievements of students at private universities.