The Verband der Privaten Hochschulen e.V. (VPH) (Association of Private Universities) represents the interests of private higher education institutions in Germany. Founded with 14 institutions in 2004, it now has 84 members, representing 80% (more than 280.000) of the students and employees (35.000) at private universities and working towards a pluralistic university system to the benefit of the students and of society. It is the only association representing the interests of private universities in Germany. The VPH was included in the public list of the associations registered at the Bundestag by the German Parliament.
The board comprises:
Chairman Prof. Dr. Peter Thuy (IUBH International University, Bad Honnef)
Deputy chairman Prof. Dr. Anne Dreier(FHM, Bielefeld)
Dr. Harald Beschorner (FOM Hochschule, Essen)
Prof. Dr. Marcelo da Veiga (Alanus Hochschule, Alfter / Bonn)

The association's managing director is Ulrich Freitag. A board of trustees consists of representatives from economy, politics and other public institutions.

VPH-member universities must:
-    be state-certified and mostly privately funded,
-    commit to self-determination in research and teaching,
-    accept the quality standards formulated by the association,
-    have graduates of at least two study years.

VPH state committees exist in Baden-Württemberg (state spokesman: Prof. Dr. Ottmar Schneck),
Bavaria (Prof. Dr. Stefan Baldi),
Berlin (Kai Metzner),
Hamburg (Prof. Dr. Peter François),
Hessen (Prof. Dr. Eva Schwinghammer) and
North Rhine-Westphalia (Prof. Dr. Anne Dreier).

The VPH has five working groups: Accreditation (led by Prof. Dr. Thuy), Long Distance Learning (led by Prof. Dr. Fürst), Research (led by Prof. Dr. da Veiga), and the PhD group "Universities with the right to award doctorates" (led by Prof. Dr. Strothotte).

According to the latest survey more than one quarter of all universities in Germany have a private sponsor. The private universities expand and now serve more than 280.000 students. This corresponds to 8% of all students and 17% of the students at universities of applied sciences. This way, private universities make up an essential share of the German university system. They are among the innovators in the German university system and represent a strong practice-orientation, labour-market-oriented courses of studies, flexible study offers, internationalisation and service alignment, as well as good teaching and support conditions. Within the scope of fair education and academic access of society, and in order to support the principle of "life-long learning", and to remedy the lack of specialists, they particularly offer many extra-occupational, dual, part-time and open university courses to offer access to the tertiary education system to persons who would have been unable to study otherwise. Apart from this, the private universities relieve the state and efficiently contribute to education with their extremely low drop-out rates.

The VPH works towards
-    a pluralistic university system in Germany with fair competition - between universities, for funds, for the best students - with the same access to competitions and programs and with an appropriate representation in scientific committees
-    autonomy of the universities in all areas
-    transparent and adequate criteria based on the rule of law in accreditation and to ensure and improve the quality of teaching and research with equal treatment of private and state-owned universities
-    comparable criteria anywhere in Germany for state recognition under state law, under observation of the specifications of the EU service directive, in order to prevent distortion of competition and to create reliable framework conditions
-    further trials of the models for subject promotion.