Recognition of foreign degrees ("Nostrification")
» What does nostrification mean?
» Recognition of foreign degrees in clinical technical services and midwifery programmes
» Legal effects
» Filing an application
» Deciding on applications
What does nostrification mean?
Nostrification means that foreign degrees are recognised as being equivalent to Austrian degrees. Only degree programmes that have equivalent FH degree programmes in Austria can be recognised.
Recognition of foreign degrees in clinical technical services and midwifery programmes
Since the academic year 2006/07, the FH sectos has been offering bachelor degree programmes in the fields of higher clinical technical services (medizinisch-technische Dienstes MTD) and midwifery. As a result, modifications were made in the MTD-Gesetz (Clinical Technical Services Act) and the Hebammen Gesetz (HebG; Midwifery Act) as regards the recognition ("nostrification") of foreign training certificates (non-EC areas and not Switzerland), which entered into force on 1 July 2008 (cf. among others, section 3 subsection 2 no. 2 MTD-Gesetz as amended and section 13 sub-section 1 HebG as amended).
As a consequence, starting on 1 July 2008, the Fachhochschulen (course providing bodies) or the FH Council (only in those cases where the FH institution offering higher clinical technical services or midwifery degree programme shas not yet obtained "Fachhochschul"status) shall carry out the nostrifications required for the authorisation to work in the fields of clinical technical services and midwifery. In this context, it is irrelevant whether any students have already compledet an FH degree programme used as a basis for comparision (see letter of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research dated 5 July 2008 > Available in German only)
A recognised academic degree has the same legal effects as an academic degree obtained in Austria. Therefore, it entitles the degree holder
- to hold the corresponding Austrian academic degree (instead of the foreign), and
- to exert all rights related to it, especially to work in the profession which - in Austria - is reserved to graduates of a relevant FH or university degree programme.
The following rule applies with respect to holding academic degrees: People who were awarded an academic degree from a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution are entitled to hold this degree in the form laid down in the diploma. This includes the right to ask for the addition of the academic degree in the abbreviated version in public documents.
General information is available in the leaflet on nostrification.
Filing an application
When applying for the nostrification of an academic degree obtained from a foreign Fachhochschule, the applicants have to prove, among other things, that the nostrification is absolutely necessary for them to work in their professions or to continue their education in Austria; i.e. a legal provision or internal guideline of an employer stipulates that employing the applicant is only possible after the nostrification. In all other cases, the evaluation of a foreign degree programme is up to the employer. A nostrification is not required if, for example, professional statutes have already been laid down in EU directives on the recognition of higher-education diplomas (e.g. 89/48/EEC).
Please note: As a rule, a nostrification within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) is not required and therefore not possible.
Pursuant to section 5 sub-sections 4 and 5 of the Fachhochschule Studies Act (Fachhochschul-Studiengesetz, FHStG) as amended, the following provisions must be adhered to for the nostrification of a degree obtained from a foreign FH:
- The application for nostrification shall name the comparable FH degree programme in Austria, which is - as regards requirements, overall scope and course contents - designed in such a way that it shall be considered equivalent to the foreign FH degree programme mentioned in the application;
- The foreign and domestic FH degree programmes shall be compared in the application.
Please note: the corresponding curricula of the Austrian FH degree programmes are available from the administrators of the FH degree programmes;
- The relevant documents shall be included (see application form);
Deciding on applications
The FH Council decides on the application for nostrification of a degree obtained from a foreign Fachhochschule. If, however, the application is filed with an educational institution which has been designated as "Fachhochschule" and which runs the relevant degree programme, the FH teaching staff will make the decision. The FH teaching staff or the FH Council shall examine whether the foreign degree programme of the applicant is - as regards requirements, overall scope and course contents - designed in such a way that it can be considered equivalent to the domestic FH degree programme mentioned in the application ("equivalence test").
If a degree programme is almost equivalent and only a few extra classes or examinations are necessary for it to be fully equivalent, the applicant is entitled to take part in the courses and examinations requested by the FH teaching staff or the FH Council.
When applying for nostrification, the following documents shall be submitted:
Either the original documents or certified copies have to be submitted; the graduation certificate or diploma always as originals. Certified translations are to be attached to documents in foreign languages. We recommend contacting the former managing body of the FH Council before filing the application in order to clarify the requirements for the application and find out which documents have to be submitted.
- birth certificate;
- report on the status of the foreign Fachhochschule;
- documents as detailed as possible about the foreign study programme, e.g. curriculum, course book, student's guide, examination certificates, scientific papers and/or practical work, diplomas, etc;
- diploma documenting the completion of the degree programme and the award of an academic degree;
- document showing the absolute necessity of the nostrification for working in the desired profession or continuing the education in Austria.
It is recommended to contact us by telephone first and if necessary to make an appointment in order to clarify matters.
01 / 532 02 20 - 33