Section 1 of the Private Universities Act (PUG) requires private universities wanting to operate in Austria to undergo an AQ Austria-coordinated accreditation. The initial accreditation procedure includes the institution itself as well as the degree programmes submitted at that time.
The accreditation notification confirms the legal status of a private university for a six-year period.
Institutional accreditation of a private university is initially granted for a limited period not exceeding six years. The HEI must apply for extension of accreditation (re-accreditation) no later than nine months prior to expiry of accreditation and prove that the institution meets the prerequisites and that they will continue to be met for the six years to come. Extension of accreditation includes all accredited degree programmes at the time of application. In contrast to initial accreditation, AQ Austria can grant extension of accreditation with conditions.
For the first two consecutive accreditation periods, accreditation is granted for six years in each case, with the possibility of twelve-year intervals thereafter. Within the scope of the re-accreditation procedure, it is also possible to have new degree programmes accredited.
According to section 24 HS-QSG, an accredited private university planning to offer new degree programmes requires accreditation. Certificate university programmes leading to an academic degree also require accreditation.