Universities in Liechtenstein


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About universities in Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a very small country in the Swiss Alps, bordered on each side by Switzerland and Austria.  A country of approximately 35,000 people, Liechtenstein is considered a principality because it has a constitutional monarchy and is headed by a prince.  The national language in Liechtenstein is German, and as such, it is both the smallest and the richest German-speaking country in the world when measured by GDP.  The country has the world’s second lowest unemployment rate after Monaco at a mere 1.5 percent, and is considered a haven for winter sports enthusiasts due to its location in the Alps.  Its financial sector, located primarily in its capital city Vaduz, is considered among the strongest in the world.

Since the law governing higher education came into effect in 1992, Liechtenstein has had a very limited system of higher education.  This is primarily due to its small population, as well as contractual arrangements with both Switzerland and Austria that affords students free entry into universities there—universities that happen to be some of the best in the world.
Liechtenstein has but three universities that are nationally recognized, along with an interstate technology institute located in nearby Switzerland.  The universities here are the Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Liechtenstein), the International Academy of Philosophy (Internationale Akademie für Philosophie) and the Private University in Liechtenstein ((Private Universität im Fürstentum Liechtenstein).

There are no schools dedicated to vocational, career or strictly professional education in Liechtenstein.  As a result, students wishing to attain this type of training must either travel to neighboring countries or receive it through online distance learning programs.

Although Liechtenstein is not officially part of the European Union, its higher education structure is based on that of most EU countries, including Switzerland, since the Bologna Process.  This process, which was adopted by European universities in the early to mid 2000s, modernized the higher education system by implementing a standardized credit system and a 3-cycle degree structure of Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs.  The primary aim of the process was to make it easier for students to transfer between universities without any losing any of the academic credit they had earned.

The first stage of higher education, which typically lasts 3-4 years, leads to a first university professional qualification, also called the Bachelor’s Degree.  At the culmination of this stage, successful completion of the final examination leads to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration or a Bachelor of Science.

The second stage is typically a two-year program involving advanced, in-depth study of the chosen subject.  While all first stage instruction is provided in German, at this stage there are several modules, seminars and lectures provided in English.  Those who successfully complete these studies are eligible for a Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) or Master of Science in Banking and Financial Management or Business Information Systems.

The final stage of university Education in Liechtenstein leads to a PhD or doctorate degree.  This stage involves an advanced thesis written at one of the country’s three universities, with coaching from professors from the University of Applied Sciences.  The Private University of Liechtenstein also provides programs leading to advanced medical and law degrees.
Unlike many European countries, Liechtenstein does not have a university or program dedicated to teacher training.  It does, however, accept teaching certificates from most nearby countries, including Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

List of universities in Liechtenstein

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Contact: International Academy of Philosophy

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Contact: Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences

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