Higher Education System in Liechtenstein

The higher education system in Liechtenstein is officially managed and supervised by the Government. Liechtenstein has public and private higher education institutions. The Liechtenstein higher education institutions promote art and science by means of research, study and teaching. The institutions of higher education in Liechtenstein prepare pupils for careers which require scientific and practical knowledge and skills.

Liechtenstein has a restricted higher education sector. The law regulating the higher education sector was introduced in 1992. Furthermore, Liechtenstein has contractual arrangements with Austria, Switzerland, and Baden-Wurttemberg (Tubingen), thus permitting pupils’ free entry to the higher education institutions in these countries.

Higher Education Institutions

Liechtenstein has three nationally recognised academic institutions of higher education. It has public as well as private higher education institutions. The University of Liechtenstein (Hochschule Lichtenstein) is the main and the only public academic institution in the country and additionally governed by the Law on 25 November 2004 on the Hochschule Lichtenstein. 

University of Liechtenstein (Universitat Liechtenstein, HL): The University of Liechtenstein focuses on the core competences economics and architecture
International Academy of Philosophy ("Internationale Akademie fur Philosophie", IAP): The International Academy of Philosophy is a private university that offers a programme in philosophy that leads to the degree of master or doctor

Private University of the Principality of Liechtenstein ("Universitat fur Humanwissenschaften", UFL): The Private University of the Principality of Liechtenstein (UFL) offers postgraduate study programmes in medical science and jurisprudence. Also, basic and applied research activities are carried out. 
Liechtenstein Institute: The Liechtenstein Institute carries out research related to Liechtenstein in the areas of social and political science, jurisprudence, history, and economics.

Also, Liechtenstein provides financial assistance to many higher education institutions in Switzerland and Austria. The higher education institutions in Liechtenstein depend considerably on international collaboration. The University of Lichtenstein participates in EU programmes: ERASMUS, Lifelong Learning, and programmes funded by the Norwegian Finance Mechanism. The Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein (UFL) has association with leading international institutions in the areas of law, medicine, business, and science. 

Most of the Liechtenstein pupils graduating with Liechtenstein’s university-entrance certificate study abroad in either Switzerland at Fribourg, St. Gall, or Berne universities or Austria in the fields of law, medicine, and economics. In Germany, individual study programmes are offered to Liechtenstein students who wish to go for higher education on a case by case basis by the German federal or state governments. Adult education is allotted to non-profit-making institutions within Liechtenstein.

Higher Education Qualifications

Bachelor degree: The duration of the bachelor’s degree programme in Liechtenstein is at least 6 semesters and at most 12 semesters, leading to the following degrees:  Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science.
  • Credits: 120 ECTS
Master degree: The duration of the Master’s degree programme is at least 4 semesters and at most 6 semesters, thus leading to the following degrees: Master of Science (Banking & Financial Management, Business Information System), Master of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship), and Master of Arts.
  • ECTS credits: 180
Doctor degree: The duration of doctoral studies in Liechtenstein is 3-5 years. It varies depending upon the institution and study area. Students upon successful completion of the doctoral studies are awarded the title of Doktor der Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Dr. rer. oec.), Doctor of Philosophy in Business Economics (PhD) at the University of Liechtenstein, Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. Phil.) at the Internationalen Akademie fur Philosophies (IAP) and Dr. Scient. Med. at the University of Human Sciences.  At the conclusion of the studies, a dissertation must be submitted. 
  • Credits: Varies depending on the institution; Involves credits for coursework and dissertation/thesis work.

Credit System

The Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences as well as the International Academy of Philosophy use ECTS mechansim. Pupils get credits for all completed course modules in conformity with the provisions of the European Transfer Credit System (ECTS) established by the European Union.

Academic Year

The higher education institutions in Liechtenstein base their study schedules on Swiss or Austrian directives. The institutions’ academic year is split up into two terms:
  • Winter term 
  • Summer term
It includes 34 weeks of study. The academic year commences in September and February and concludes in January and August respectively.
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