Education system in Austria

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Federal Ministry of Education at Minoritenplatz in Vienna

The education system in Austria is regulated by the federal government. Apart from school trials , both types of schools and curricula have therefore been standardized nationwide. The Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research takes on important tasks such as training teachers and maintaining schools as well as controlling the university and college system .


Education through the Church

Stiftsgymnasium Melk , the oldest still existing school in Austria

Before 1774, education in the Habsburg hereditary lands was reserved for the upper classes of society . It was primarily the task of the church; monastery schools were the only educational institutions . Above all, the orders of the Benedictines , Jesuits and Piarists took on this task. Since school fees were generally to be paid in these institutions , serfs in the countryside and members of the poorer sections of the population in the cities remained largely uneducated and mostly could not read or write . The oldest school in Austria still in existence today is the Stiftsgymnasium Melk , which was founded as a monastery school in the 12th century.

Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa

The state school system in the Archduchy and the Crown Lands came into being under the reign of Maria Theresa . In the course of the Enlightenment , the regent realized that the people of the state are the bearers of the state and that power could only be maintained with the help of an educated population.

Johann Ignaz von Felbiger , whose teaching methods and books were already recognized at that time, drafted new school regulations , the so-called “General School Regulations for the German Normal, Secondary and Trivial Schools in all Imperial Royal Hereditary Countries”. These school regulations were signed by Maria Theresa on December 6, 1774, which gave Austria a pioneering role in state education across the board, but Prussia had already preceded it in 1717 and 1763. Quite apart from these two countries, however, general compulsory schooling is already included in the Württemberg Great Church Ordinance of 1559.

With Maria Theresa's new school regulations, six years of compulsory teaching were enforced in the elementary school , uniform textbooks had to be used from now on, and teacher training was regulated. The education of women was neglected. Technical or middle schools were closed to them.

Ministry of Public Education

Maria Theresa's heir to the throne, Joseph II , continued to reform education and, above all, had schools built. A three-tier school system was introduced, based on the nationwide primary school . Secondary schools were set up in the cities and larger towns, with normal schools at the top , which also served for teacher training. The Russian Tsarina Catherine II became very interested in the reforms in the Austrian school system and after a meeting with Joseph II in 1780 she had the Austrian school model introduced throughout the Russian Empire . Austrian school books from the Slavic-speaking areas of the Habsburg Monarchy, which had been compiled by Theodor Jankowitsch de Miriewo , served as a template and were translated into Russian.

The successors of Joseph II made no further progress in state education in the Austrian Empire , which was founded in 1804 , which is mainly due to the wars against France and the subsequent reactionary system of Metternich . In the revolutionary year of 1848 a separate ministry for public education was created; the first, short-term Minister of Education was Franz Freiherr von Sommaruga . Under Emperor Franz Joseph I , the Ministry was designated as the Ministry of Cultus and Education from 1849 , and Leo von Thun and Hohenstein reformed the education system until 1860. From 1868 onwards, education was a separate competence of both halves of the empire , and in Austria it continued to be administered by the Ministry of Culture and Education.

Reich Primary School Act

Teaching and education became a central issue between parties, but also between state and church .

In 1869 the law, not officially designated as the Reich Primary School Act, greatly standardized the education system in Austria for the kingdoms and states represented in the Reichsrat . The main changes:

  • The compulsory education has been extended from six to eight years. From this point onwards, compulsory education was the eight-year compulsory school.
  • Limiting the class size to a maximum of 80 students, which was a huge step forward from an educational point of view. This was a consequence of the defeat in the battle of Königgrätz , which was attributed to an excessively high illiteracy rate in the Austrian army.
  • The Church's final withdrawal from oversight of education ; education was completely subordinated to the state.
  • As an alternative, a three-year community school could be completed after five years of elementary school . This could also be attended by girls, but where they were taught according to a different curriculum (less arithmetic and geometry , but handicrafts ).

Women's education

In 1868 the first middle school for girls was opened, a commercial academy, from 1869 girls' schools were opened. From this point on, more and more middle schools for girls and women emerged. From 1872 they could also graduate, but were not entitled to university studies. After resistance from the Minister of Education at the time, the first girls 'grammar school was only founded in 1892, when there were already 77 boys' grammar schools.

Since 1901 high school graduates have also been allowed to attend certain universities - the philosophical and medical faculties. In 1910 a proportion of girls of 5% was admitted to boys' grammar schools. The girls were allowed to be present in the classroom, but were not allowed to participate actively or be examined.

School reforms in the First Republic

In 1918, under Otto Glöckel, a decisive school reform that is still valid today was implemented. After the National Council elections, in which the Social Democratic Party had a majority in parliament, Glöckel became Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior, which corresponds to the function of today's Minister of Education. Glöckel began to replace the bureaucrats who had made the decisions in the school system up to then with pedagogical experts. Glöckel set up the School Reform Commission for reforms in the Austrian school system.

Every child - regardless of gender and social situation - should receive an optimal education. From 1919 on, girls could be admitted to boys' schools and thus had the opportunity for the first time to obtain university entrance qualification even with financial restrictions.

In 1927, the secondary school was introduced as a compulsory school for ten to fourteen year old children and replaced the community school.

Because of the high unemployment in the interwar period , the education system should be improved. In 1932 new curricula came into force to raise the level.

1933, the proportion of students already more than 30 percent, the proportion of teachers, however - for at that time the teachers celibacy was - nearly five percent.

In the Austro- fascist corporate state , the educational opportunities for girls were drastically reduced from 1934 to 1938.

National Socialism

In National Socialist Germany , of which Austria was a part between 1938 and 1945 , there was a strict separation between girls and boys, as motherhood was now the primary goal of girls' education. Girls were only admitted to higher education in secondary schools; ministerial approval was required to attend another type of school. Teachers and students found themselves in a strictly structured, politicized and ideologized school system, one of whose tasks was to spread Nazi ideas.

Second republic

Teacher in Austria
year number
1970/71 068,342
1980/81 100,561
1990/91 112,746
2000/01 125,177
2007/08 120.226

In 1962 there was a first school amendment. In this, the obligation to teach was extended to nine years. To train to become a teacher, it is necessary to attend a pedagogical academy (instead of a teacher training institution as before ). The second school amendment came about in 1974. With it, the still valid School Education Act (SchUG) came into force.

The introduction of co-education was carried out in 1975, since 1979 boys and girls are also in the works, and later in physical education no longer separated at primary schools. In 1982 Austria ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Since 1993, disabled pupils have had the opportunity to be taught integratively in the primary sector, and since 1997 in the secondary sector (Hauptschule, AHS lower level).

Since 1970, when there were only 68,342 teachers in Austria, the number has almost doubled to 125,177 in the 2000/01 school year. This increase is mainly due to secondary schools, the number of elementary school teachers increased by around 45% to almost 35,000 in 2000/01, but fell again to 31,768 by 2008. The number of secondary school teachers rose from 16,412 to around 35,000 in the same period, only to drop to 31,201 teachers by 2008. Only among AHS and BMHS teachers was there a further increase, albeit a small one, after 2001. The number of BMHS teachers increased from 8,313 in the 1970/71 school year to 21,200 in the 2007/08 school year. The number of AHS teachers rose from 9,484 to 20,356 people in the same period.

21st century

Students in Austria
year number
1971 1,241,536
1981 1,116,173
1991 1,287,721
2001 1,261,280

After performing well in the PISA 2000 study , the Austrian school system slipped into the middle field. After the publication in 2004, the opposition blamed the ÖVP for failings in education policy. The SPÖ demanded the implementation of the results of the class: future initiative (including the abolition of repeating a school level and the long-term implementation of the comprehensive school) and at the end of 2004 offered to approve the abolition of the two-thirds majority required in parliament for changes to school laws . But the above According to the latest research, assessments are no longer necessary. In 2006 statisticians presented a scientific analysis and were able to present a surprising result: Austria was already significantly worse in PISA 2000 than was supposedly believed. This was due to incorrect data collection and biased samples. The results adjusted by the independent scientists produced a sobering result for PISA 2000: Reading ability ranked 18 instead of 10, mathematics ranked 15 instead of 11 and in natural sciences ranked 11 instead of 8. Thus, Austria and Germany with their highly diversifying school systems were well behind the countries that own a community school system.

In April 2005, it seemed as if the SPÖ and the ÖVP on the complete abolition of the 2 / 3 could agree -Mehrheit for school laws. In the course of the negotiations, however, both parties did not want to move from certain positions: SPÖ chairman Alfred Gusenbauer demanded that free school access, a ban on school fees and religious education be included in the constitution . In return, the ÖVP called for the differentiated school system to be anchored in the constitution. After the negotiations were already on the brink, an agreement was reached at the beginning of May to abolish the general two-thirds majority for school laws that had been in force since 1962.

On the day after the approval of the new regulation, which was celebrated by both sides ( Elisabeth Gehrer spoke of a "law of the century") and days before the resolution was passed in parliament, both parties expressed themselves contrary to a key point of the agreement - the potential introduction of comprehensive schools (Art 14 para 6a B-VG):

"The legislation has to provide for a differentiated school system which is at least divided according to educational content into general and vocational schools and according to level of education into primary and secondary school areas, whereby a further appropriate differentiation is to be provided for the secondary schools."

The main point of contention is the definition of “appropriate differentiation”. While the SPÖ only interprets different priorities within schools or internal differentiations as constitutional, the ÖVP sees the regulation as a clear definition of the system of secondary schools and AHS. Constitutional lawyers criticized the regulation immediately. In particular, it was pointed out that such a vague regulation would ultimately pass the decision on to the Constitutional Court.

After a more detailed analysis of the provision, in addition to the vague expression of "appropriate differentiation", there is another loophole for the introduction of a comprehensive school for six to fourteen year olds. Since only a differentiation between secondary schools is required, a change in the division into primary and secondary schools could avoid the uncertain interpretation of appropriate differentiation. The current elementary school could be renamed to Primary School I and the AHS lower level to Primary School II, leaving only a four to five-year secondary school (AHS, BHS, etc.) that already meets the requirement of “appropriate differentiation”. Such a system exists in the USA, for example, where secondary school does not begin until the age of 14. Nowhere does the Constitution precisely define "secondary school" or "primary school" or their duration.

On October 1, 2007, the training and further education of teachers was reorganized. The Pedagogical Academies, Vocational Pedagogical Academies, Religious Pedagogical Institutes and the Pedagogical Institutes were combined in Pedagogical Universities. This is where the training of all compulsory school teachers and the advanced training of all teachers take place. The training of teachers for secondary schools still takes place in universities.

School administration

In Austria, educational matters are traditionally a federal responsibility and are mainly handled by the Ministry of Education . In addition, there has been a Federal Ministry for Science and Research , including higher education, created by Bruno Kreisky since 1970 , with which the Ministry of Education has been streamlined to a “Ministry of Education” for school education (2000–2007 there was again a general Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs ).

However, primary and lower secondary education is a matter for the state , which means that federal and state schools have different service laws. This constellation has been one of the central aspects of a comprehensive educational reform for many years. Due to the Europe-wide professionalization of the education sector (university degree for all teachers), the distinction between federal and state teachers is becoming more and more obsolete.

Local level and school level play a comparatively minor role in the public school system, in administrative practice the number of decisions is distributed with 55% at the federal and state levels, 14% at the municipal level and 31% at the school level ( EU / OECD - Average 36%, 13/17%, 46/41%, remainder regional). Private schools are much more independent in their administration.

An expositur is - similar to a branch office - an outsourced part of an existing school.

See also

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education performs the following tasks:

  • School establishment
  • School maintenance, with the exception of compulsory schools ( general compulsory schools : elementary and secondary schools / new middle schools, special schools, polytechnic schools; compulsory vocational schools / vocational schools)
  • Leaving school
  • Education and training of teachers
  • Nostrifications (recognition of foreign certificates).

The provincial school councils (in Vienna city school council) are subordinate to the Ministry of Education . You are responsible for:

  • School inspectorate,
  • Federal school allowance as well
  • Administration of the federal schools as well as their teachers

In November 2015 it became known that education directorates were to be set up in all federal states , which should replace the previous state school councils and school departments of the state government.

Federal school forms: BG / BRG / BAG, HBLA, HTBL, ZLA, TGLA, LFLA

All “public general education higher schools” under federal sponsorship are designated as general education higher federal schools ( § 45  SchOG ). The school names are then generally preceded by a "B".

B UNDES g ymnasien  (BG) are the general secondary schools with lower grades and high school , which, if they are not private schools are all state schools. The same applies to the B UNDES r eal g ymnasien . General education schools that only have an upper level (secondary schools) are called B and O berstufen r eal g ymnasien  (BORG). There is also a B UNDES a TRUCTURE g ymnasium (BAG, with also B UNDES a TRUCTURE r eal g ymnasium BARO).

The [ H öheren] B UNDES l ore a nstalten  ([H] BLA, institutions of higher learning of the Federal ) and Z entral l ore a nstalten  (ZLA) include schools within the competence of the Federal that the area of the higher vocational schools correspond. The area ZLA comprises the group technical and industrial schools (tGLA) and the L AND and F orstwirtschaftlichen L ore a nstalten (LFLA) and before the H igher I nternatsschule of B UNDES . The ZLA's distinction is historical, they are directly subordinate to the Ministry of Education. There are no more boarding schools today (school names are still preserved). Belong to the federal colleges in addition to the H öheren T echnical B UNDES l ehranstalten  (HTBL), vocational schools other professional groups.

Ministry of Science

The Ministry of Science is responsible for the higher education sector (tertiary education). The tasks include in particular:

  • Universities
  • Universities of Applied Sciences (accreditation, support)
  • Scientific institutions and research institutions including the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Scientific library, documentation and information systems
  • Student advocacy and study grants and scholarships
  • Student canteens and promotion of the construction of student dormitories

Administration at the state level

School departments are also located in the state governments. In addition, there is also a competent regional councilor (regional school council), which is responsible for political issues in school education at the regional level. In the school departments is the:

  • Kindergarten supervision
  • the state's school funding agency and
  • the administration of compulsory schools (elementary and secondary schools, polytechnic schools and vocational schools) and their teachers

At the provincial level, it may well be that the provincial school councils are in the provincial government (e.g. in the state of Salzburg) or the school department of the provincial government is in the provincial school council (Upper and Lower Austria, Vienna and Styria). In Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Carinthia and Burgenland the state school board and the school department are spatially separated.

Administration at the community level

The community level plays a largely subordinate role, mostly the communities are the primary school providers and are responsible for such aspects as the school bus .

School autonomy

The school autonomy , so the local government school in Austria encompasses aspects of the curriculum , structuring of the classes (opening, division), introduction of the five-day week , school-autonomous days (the five, two but still nationwide sets), and matters such as rental of School rooms, advertising, sponsoring and, via school partners (students, parents, teachers), also statements on filling management positions.

In the EU and OECD average, Austrian schools are comparatively less autonomous (share of decisions at school level EU 46%, OECD 41%, Austria 31%).

Private school

Private schools in Austria are regulated by the Private Schools Act (PrivSchG), Federal Law Gazette No. 244 (1962).

(3) Private schools are schools that are established and maintained by other than statutory school providers (Article 14 Paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Federal Constitutional Act in the version of 1929 and in the version of the Federal Constitutional Act of July 18, 1962, Federal Law Gazette No. . 215).

The school provider must be recognizable from their name, and the name must not lead to confusion with the type of school of a public school.

Private schools are of one of the following types:

  • Private school without public rights , this requires an external exam to receive a recognized certificate
  • Private school with public rights , which can be granted if
    • they correspond in type and success to a public school
    • they comply with an organizational statute issued or approved by the Minister of Education ( statutory school with public rights ) and have proven themselves in terms of teaching success

Private schools can be subsidized by the public purse - private schools of legally recognized churches and religious societies in general always ( § 17 PrivSchG Subsidization of denominational private schools - entitlement to claim ), which does not contradict the Concordat with regard to religious instruction, other school types, among other things, provided that it corresponds to the needs of the population in the district, i.e. does not reduce the move-in of a public school ( § 21 PrivSchG subsidization of private schools - requirements ).

The private school sector is large in Austria, with almost every tenth pupil attending a school not under public law (over 100,000 of the 1.2 million pupils in Austria in 2006/07). However, school fees are widespread for these schools, which is why they are regarded as an educational path for the higher classes. By far the largest holder of private schools is Roman Catholic Church (72,600 students in 2006/07, 2 / 3 of all private students). Overall, however, Austria is well below the EU and OECD average in the private school sector (which is traditionally strong in the Romance and Anglo-Saxon countries - EU25 2001/02: 20%).

Statute School

A general education school with an organizational statute is a private school with public rights according to § 14 Paragraph 2 lit. b PrivSchG , which does not correspond to any type of public school. The public right was granted on the basis that the organization, the curriculum and the equipment of the school as well as the teaching qualifications of the head and the teachers comply with an organizational statute issued or approved by the Minister of Education: This means that schools must have their own school concept (educational objectives, curricula ) develop the school statute , which also represents the type of school .

The statutory schools include secondary schools , Waldorf schools , Montessori schools , Pestalozzi schools and educational workshops according to Wild . The most important association is EFFE - Austria , the section of the international organization European Forum for Freedom in Education (European Forum for Freedom in Education) , which, however, not all schools of progressive education represents. Also international schools with a (modified slightly) foreign curriculum excluded, also music schools and other not compulsory and vocational schools replacing school types.

Non-school educational institutions

In addition, there are private non-school educational institutions that comply with Section 2 (1) of the School Organization Act and have been able to be certified by the Ministry of the Interior since 2006 according to the Settlement and Residence Act, which helps their students from third countries to obtain residence status . These institutions are obliged to report persons when the training has been completed or the continuation of the training is not expected. The certified educational institutions are published on the Internet. These include institutions such as the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution , the Vienna State Opera Ballet School , the Aviation Academy Austria of Österreichische Luftfahrttraining GmbH and some private schools with public rights such as the Vienna Boys' Choir .

School inspection

With the exception of religious education, school supervision is a federal responsibility and, with the exception of kindergartens, is carried out by the inspectors based on the state school board.

The following inspectors are available for this:

  • State school inspectors
  • Compulsory school inspectors
  • Specialist inspectors

The main task of a state school inspector is to ensure the balance of interests between students, teachers and parents. It is therefore also the point of contact for complaints (including appeals to grades) that affect school operations. He is supported by educational staff and the legal department of the state school board and the Ministry of Education. He is also responsible for hiring teachers at the federal and state levels. Depending on the federal state, the school types are divided up differently among the inspectors. The cause lies in the different sizes of the federal states and thus also the number of schools.

The technical inspectors are responsible for a certain subject area and are part of the state school councils or the city school council. There can be one or more inspectors per department who divide up the federal territory.

Lesson types

  • Compulsory subject : subjects provided for in the curriculum in a type of school, which are graded.
  • Elective subject ("alternative compulsory subject"): Subjects in general education schools, which are to be selected from a canon of subjects defined in the curriculum and are graded.
  • Mandatory exercise : The subject is compulsory for all students, but is not graded (e.g. traffic education, mathematical early education, artistic design and other things in preschool, living foreign language and traffic education in elementary school, vocational orientation in compulsory school).
  • Optional subject : subjects that are voluntarily registered and which are graded. However, the assessment on the certificate has no influence on the successful completion of the school level. However, if you re-register in the next school year, "Unsatisfactory" will result in repetition of the optional subject itself (except for religion at vocational schools). There is the possibility of a repeat exam. When transferring to the next higher school level of another school type, an optional subject can be equated with a compulsory subject for the admission requirements.
  • Non-binding exercise : subjects that you register for voluntarily and that are not graded. Only any participation is noted in the certificate.

Optional subjects or non-binding exercises can be, for example, living or ancient foreign languages, native language lessons, choir singing, game music, sports, performing games, musical design, visual design or other promotion of interests or talent. The specific offer depends on the individual possibilities of the schools.

  • There are remedial classes (sometimes compulsory at secondary schools, vocational schools and new secondary schools) for schoolchildren
    • a) that require additional learning opportunities in order to follow the compulsory subject;
    • b) in special schools that are preparing to switch to another type of school;
    • c) in performance-differentiated school forms as preparation for switching to a higher performance group.

For elective subjects, optional subjects, non-binding exercises and remedial lessons, a minimum number of registrations is required for the relevant lesson to take place. The required number is stipulated in various ordinances in public schools; in private schools it is determined by the school provider. From the 9th grade onwards, you can register and de-register for optional subjects, non-binding exercises and remedial classes independently.

Special case of religious instruction

In Austria, due to the Concordat concluded with the Vatican in 1933 or the principle of equal treatment laid down in the constitution , the state is not allowed to interfere in matters of religious education. This means that the religious communities are responsible for recruiting, further training and supervising teachers as well as for drawing up and adhering to the curricula and also receive support from the federal government (personnel costs).

Education and training for religious education teachers took place at the respective religious education academies (RPA) and institutes (RPI) until 2007, and at the universities of education since October 2007. The school offices of the religious communities are responsible for the administration.

Religious instruction itself is a compulsory course for students who belong to a recognized religious community. Parents of children up to the age of 14, after that the students themselves have the option of deregistering in the first five days of each school year.

Students who do not belong to a recognized religious community can register for a religion class of their choice.

See also religious instruction in Austria

Compulsory instruction

In Austria's compulsory education law a compulsory education set for all children who reside permanently in Austria. This begins with September following the completion of the sixth year of life and lasts for nine school years.

It can be fulfilled as follows:

  • Attending a public school or a school with public rights
  • Attendance at a private school without public rights (under certain conditions)
  • Participation in home lessons (under certain conditions)
  • Attending a school abroad (under certain conditions).

It was introduced in general by Maria Theresa for Austria and the Crown Lands as early as 1774 .

Overview: educational levels and school types

The structure of the Austrian school system is regulated in § 3. School Organization Act : Structure of Austrian Schools :
(1) The structure of the Austrian school system represents a unit. Its structure is determined by the age and maturity levels, the various talents and by the life tasks and Determined professional goals. The acquisition of higher education and the transfer from one type of school to another must be made possible for all suitable students. Pupils and parents are to be informed about the tasks and requirements of the various types of school and, in particular, in the 4th and 8th grade and before graduation from a type of school, they are to be advised about the further educational path that is recommended according to the interests and performance of the student.

The different school types in Austria, systematic structure, colored according to ISCED

(2) The schools are structured

1. according to their educational content in:
a) general education schools,
b) vocational schools.
2. according to their level of education in:
a) primary schools,
b) secondary schools,
c) academies.
(3) primary schools are
1. primary school up to and including the 4th grade,
2. the corresponding levels of the special school.
(4) secondary are
1. the upper level of elementary school,
2. the secondary school,
3. the polytechnic school,
4. the corresponding levels of the special school,
5. the vocational schools,
6. middle schools,
7. the higher schools.
(6) compulsory schools are
1. the general compulsory schools (elementary schools, secondary schools, special schools, polytechnic schools),
2. Compulsory vocational schools (vocational schools).

Before compulsory schooling, some of the children attend kindergarten (which usually takes children from the age of six to 30 months), whereby attendance in the kindergarten year following their 5th birthday is legally mandatory, unless they are already attending school. General compulsory instruction begins at the age of six, with August 31 being the deadline. Before entering primary school (corresponds to primary school in Germany), preschool can still be attended if a child is classified as not yet ready for school. Attending primary school lasts four years.

After elementary school, a general high school (AHS) lower level or secondary school is attended for four years . For admission to an AHS, you have to be able to show a certain transcript of records and / or pass an entrance exam. Attending a secondary school is possible for everyone. There is a special school for children with special educational needs .

After completing the eighth grade, there is a choice between four major schools: AHS upper level , vocational high school (BHS), vocational middle school (BMS) and polytechnic school with subsequent vocational school . All directions are free to everyone, regardless of the school they have previously attended, but at the BHS in particular, the students are selected according to the table of grades and using aptitude tests.

BHS and AHS conclude with the Matura , which entitles them to visit universities , technical colleges , teacher training colleges, academies and colleges . The pillar of vocational training is summarized in the areas of BMHS (vocational middle and higher schools) and through supplements to the teaching profession .

The division into pre-school education, basic education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education, post-secondary education, tertiary education is based on the ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) classification of UNESCO .

Legal bases of the educational institutions of the school and education system

The entirety of all educational institutions of the school and education system (as well as the health system ) is summarized in § 2 Definitions of the Education Documentation Act 2002 (Federal Law Gazette I No. 12/2002):

(1) For the purposes of this Federal Act, the following are to be understood:

1. among educational institutions of the school and education system as well as the health system:
a) schools, including the practice of schools , training kindergartens , - heard and - student homes according to the School Organization Act , Federal Law Gazette No. 242/1962..
b) Schools in accordance with the Federal Schools Act for Agriculture and Forestry , Federal Law Gazette No. 175/1966,
c) Schools in accordance with the Federal Law on Schools for the Training of Physical Education and Sports Teachers, Federal Law Gazette No. 140/1974,
d) Schools in accordance with the Federal Act on the Principles for Agricultural and Forestry Vocational Schools , Federal Law Gazette No. 319/1975,
e) Schools in accordance with the Federal Act on the Principles for Agricultural and Forestry Schools , Federal Law Gazette No. 320/1975,
f) Schools in accordance with the 1975 Forest Act , Federal Law Gazette No. 440 ( Forestry Schools ),
g) Schools in accordance with the Private Schools Act , Federal Law Gazette No. 244/1962,
h) Schools in accordance with the Agriculture and Forestry Private School Act , Federal Law Gazette No. 318/1975,
i) Schools, courses, special training and further education in accordance with the Health and Nursing Act - GuKG, Federal Law Gazette I No. 108/1997,
j) Medical-technical academies and special training courses in accordance with the Federal Act on the Regulation of Higher Medical-Technical Services - MTD Act, Federal Law Gazette No. 460/1992,
k) Midwifery academies and special training courses in accordance with the Midwifery Act - HebG, Federal Law Gazette No. 310/1994;
l) Courses and schools for medical assistant professions in accordance with the Medical Assistance Professions Act (MABG), Federal Law Gazette I No. 89/2012;
m) Training modules in accordance with the Paramedic Act - SanG, Federal Law Gazette I No. 30/2002 and
n) Training, advanced training modules, special qualification training and training for teaching tasks in accordance with the Medical Masseur and Therapeutic Masseur Act - MMHmG, Federal Law Gazette I No. 169/2002;
o. Courses for dental assistance and advanced training in prophylaxis assistance in accordance with the Dental Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 126/2005;
2. under educational institutions of the school and education system also:
a. Universities according to the Universities Act 2002 , Federal Law Gazette I No. 120,
b) Universities of education (public universities of education and recognized private universities of education as well as private study programs) in accordance with the Higher Education Act 2005 2005, Federal Law Gazette I No. 30/2006,
c. the University for Continuing Education Krems according to DUK Act 2004, Federal Law Gazette I No. 22,
d) Private universities in accordance with the Private Universities Act , Federal Law Gazette I No. 74/2011;
e) Theological educational institutions according to Article V § 1 Paragraph 1 of the Concordat between the Holy See and the Republic of Austria , Federal Law Gazette II No. 2/1934,
f) University of applied sciences courses and universities of applied sciences in accordance with the University of Applied Sciences Studies Act , Federal Law Gazette No. 340/1993 and
g) Non-university educational institutions that offer courses of a university character in accordance with Section 27 University Studies Act , Federal Law Gazette I No. 48/1997, as part of their activities for such courses

Organizational forms of teaching

Section 8 of the School Organization Act defines the terms from pre-school to upper level or vocational school and for schools for working people. Basically, a distinction is made between subjects to be assessed and lessons that have not been assessed.

  • Compulsory subjects are subjects of instruction that are compulsory for every student admitted to the respective school type, provided that they are not exempted (for example, as a high school graduate in the standard subjects German, mathematics, etc. of a vocational college).
  • Alternative compulsory subjects , also known as compulsory electives , are subjects that are selected from a canon of subjects for the school type in question and are rated as a compulsory subject. They are usually found in general schools.
  • Mandatory exercises are class events that are compulsory for every student admitted to the respective school type, but are not assessed. This includes, for example, all of the lessons in preschool. Otherwise they are rarely found, but some are legally stipulated, such as traffic education and a living foreign language in the elementary school as well as professional orientation in the last two classes of the secondary school or the eight-grade elementary school.
  • Remedial teaching is a class for students who have an additional need to reach a certain level. It is intended for schoolchildren who do not meet the requirements adequately or who have difficulty changing after changing schools; as preparation for switching to a higher performance group; or as preparation for switching from a special school to another school.
  • Optional subjects are subjects that you register for at the beginning of the teaching year. You will be assessed, but this has no influence on the successful completion of a school level.
  • Non-binding exercises are class events for which you also register at the beginning of the teaching year. No assessment is given in the certificate, only participation is noted. Otherwise they largely correspond to the optional items. Some non-binding exercises are to be offered, such as computer science in secondary school and exercise and sport in vocational school.

The other offers for optional subjects and non-binding exercises vary greatly from school to school. Foreign languages, specific sports including chess, choir, instrumental lessons or orchestras, computer science, shorthand, typing, works, theater, nutrition and household as well as other special interest and talent development such as chemical exercises or multimedia are often common .

Preschool education, kindergarten

Pre-school education or kindergarten serves primarily as preparation for school. It should set the course for successful social, motor, emotional and intellectual development and impart language skills in the first and second language. This should serve to better integrate the children and enable (linguistic) problems of the children to be recognized earlier. The kindergarten can be attended from the age of three to six years, although the last year before starting school has been mandatory since autumn 2010. Children in the last year before compulsory school attendance currently have to attend kindergarten for at least 20 hours per week. You can choose between part-time or full-time care.

Children who are already of compulsory schooling but are not yet ready for school are admitted to preschool . The school-leaving certificate is checked by the director of the elementary school through a school-leaving certificate .

basic education

Elementary school

The elementary school can be attended by every child from the age of six (reference date August 31) within the framework of the compulsory education and comprises four school levels. It corresponds to the German elementary school . Alternative home schooling is rarely used.

Since the curriculum reform in 2000, four cultural techniques have been spoken of: reading, writing, arithmetic and the search for and processing of information. In the curriculum, this new cultural technique was anchored in the general provisions.

Usually divided into four school classes, smaller schools in rural areas can also combine grades so that a teacher can teach several grades in one classroom at the same time. In recent years, however, several schools in the greater Vienna area have decided to run one or more multi-level classes. A combination with integration classes is also not unusual. The instructor system is preferred. This means that one teacher teaches all subjects. Exceptions to this are religion, industrial training and a possible foreign language (English is taught from the first grade). Bilingual instruction is also provided in areas with minorities who speak other languages . In schools with a large proportion of foreigners, native speaker auxiliary teachers are often used.

In some federal states, children now have to be enrolled a year before starting school so that the child's language skills can be determined. If the child has poor or no knowledge of the German language, they have the option of attending an inexpensive language course where they learn German in a playful way.

Because as school providers of public schools the respective municipalities (in the form of mergers - so-called "school communities") occur is for the child to attend school in the resulting from the residence school district except in cases of domestic teaching, visiting a private school or of “non-local school attendance” mandatory. For school attendance outside the district, the consent of the school provider of the school to be attended is a prerequisite and, on the other hand, a declaration of commitment from the community of residence to pay the school attendance costs to the school provider of the school to be attended for the duration of the school attendance.

Special school

Attending a special school can take place for the entire duration of compulsory schooling. In addition, a voluntary tenth and eleventh school year can be added after completing compulsory schooling. This type of school serves to integrate and support children with special educational needs, be it due to physical or mental handicaps or physical disabilities. Depending on the nature of the problem, each child is taught and assessed according to different curricula, with small class sizes. This means that the personal attention and support from the teachers for the individual students can be particularly high.

Usually the teachers determine the special need for support when they start school. This is followed by a corresponding pedagogical or psychological and medical assessment of the situation. In principle, the final decision about attending a special school rests solely with the legal guardian , which sometimes creates certain problems. If no special school is attended, then the integration into the other school types takes place within the framework of compulsory school, whereby in addition to the teachers with “normal” training, those with special special school training are used as integration teachers. The special education centers , which are usually organizationally connected to a special school in the respective administrative district, act as technical support and supervision for these teachers .

Secondary education lower level

Like Germany, Austria is one of the few Western European countries to have a differentiated secondary school system (eleven to fifteen year olds). After completing elementary school, you usually go to an AHS lower level (grammar school) or secondary school. The choice of the type of school should be based on previous school success and talents; regardless of this, however, the social position of the family and the wishes of parents and teachers play a major role. Furthermore, a significantly higher proportion of a year group attends an AHS in the larger cities than in rural areas.

Attendance is compulsory at both the Hauptschule / New Middle School and an AHS lower level. The students are taught according to a subject teacher system. This means that instead of being taught by a teacher in almost all subjects, as is the case in elementary school, the pupils are instructed in one or two subjects by a specialist teacher . Training at these schools lasts four years.

With the exception of private schools, secondary schools are free of charge. Only teaching materials, a deductible for school books and the student's free travel card as well as membership fees to the parents' association, IT costs or other additional services are paid for.

secondary schools

At the Hauptschule , a basic general education is to be imparted and the foundation stone for middle and higher schools laid. For admission to a secondary school, only a positive completion of the fourth grade is required.

Basically, after starting primary school until Christmas, the subjects German, English and mathematics are classified into one of three performance groups, with the first performance group being taught according to the same curriculum as in the general secondary schools. This means that - provided that the student is successful in learning - it is possible to transfer from secondary school to lower school at any time.

In principle, all secondary schools in addition to the polytechnic school are open to students after completing the secondary school / NMS, but the AHS upper level is only attended by around 6%, whereas the BHS is much more frequent.

More and more secondary schools are moving away from assessment using performance groups and have introduced so-called “school trials”. For example, there are secondary schools that offer students a “professional branch” and a “school branch”; in the school branch the general educational material is taught, while the “professional branch” prepares for later teaching.

In some federal states, such as Styria , six-grade secondary schools are being run as an integrated part of secondary schools as a school experiment .

Cooperative middle school and new middle school

A newer school offer is the Cooperative Middle School (KMS), which teaches on the basis of the curriculum of the Hauptschule and Realgymnasium. Both compulsory school teachers and federal teachers (AHS teachers) are employed at the KMS, and greater emphasis is placed on the special promotion of skills and inclinations than at the Hauptschule. Practically all cooperative middle schools are officially secondary schools with school trials, although grammar schools would also be able to run their lower levels as such.

After years of dispute over a joint middle school for all children, the New Middle School (NMS) trial was started in 2008 . The NMS has been run as a regular school since autumn 2012 and will replace all secondary schools by 2015/16 using a step-by-step plan.

New middle schools are mostly housed in buildings of secondary schools. In addition to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th secondary school classes, there has also been a 1st class of the New Middle School since autumn 2008, and secondary school operations will gradually be phased out in the following years. It is unclear whether the lower-level grammar school, secondary school and new middle school will coexist in the future.

AHS lower level

Tend to visit gifted students to elementary school an A llgemeinbildende H igher S chule (AHS). The share of AHS students in the 5th grade was 22.0% in 1980/81, 28.5% in 1990/91, 30.5% in 2000/01, 34.0% in 2010/11 and 37.0% in 2017/18 %.

In rural areas, because of the greater distances to grammar schools, the Hauptschule or New Middle School is often chosen and the first ability group is attended there. In order to be admitted to an AHS lower level, this must be noted in the school leaving certificate. The performance in German and mathematics must have been rated “good” or “very good”. Anyone who does not meet these requirements can take an entrance examination.

Pupils in the highest performance group of a Hauptschule or New Middle School with no worse grade than “Satisfactory” are also accepted as lateral entrants after the fifth, sixth or seventh grade. If a foreign language of the AHS lower level has not been taught at the Hauptschule , an examination must be taken in it.

The general education high school is called Gymnasium and a distinction is made between Gymnasien (BG / PG), Realgymnasien (BRG / PRG) and Wirtschaftskundlichen Realgymnasien (WKG), with slight differences in the curriculum from the third grade (seventh grade). These differences become greater in high school.

  • The grammar school in the classic sense primarily serves to provide comprehensive general humanistic education. Another foreign language is taught in the seventh grade; Latin is usually the basis for later specialization. Some schools offer a living foreign language such as French instead of Latin. High schools of this type with a particularly long tradition are called academic high schools .
  • The Realgymnasium is set up for those interested in science, that is, with increased teaching in these subjects (mathematics, geometric drawing). In this type of school, a second foreign language is only added in the ninth grade (upper grade).

There are also special forms of AHS with a focus on school autonomy . A living foreign language, mostly English, is taught at all AHS lower levels from the first grade or the fifth school year; at grammar schools from the third grade (less often from the second grade) Latin or a live foreign language (mostly Italian or French) is also taught. , instead of geometric drawing and mathematics at secondary schools.

Pupils with a positive completion of the eighth grade at an AHS can be admitted to a secondary vocational school .

Secondary education upper level

The secondary level comprises the upper level of the general secondary schools (AHS), the vocational middle schools (BMS) and higher schools (BHS), together BMHS, as well as advanced courses for further education. The secondary schools finish with the Matura , the middle schools with a diploma . Vocational schools also include training in an apprenticeship, including a trade license .

AHS upper level

The AHS upper level begins in the fifth grade AHS (ninth grade). The three forms of AHS will be continued and in some cases will be refined. In addition, there is the Oberstufenrealgymnasium (ORG), which was set up, among other things, to lead secondary school leavers to the Matura. Those who have completed the first performance group of the fourth grade (eighth grade) of a secondary school with good grades or who have no worse grade than “Good” in the second performance group do not need to take an entrance examination.

In general, from the ninth grade onwards, another foreign language is taught, often Latin, French or Italian, less often ancient Greek, Russian, Spanish or a neighboring language.

The grammar school specializes in the following forms (although not every school offers every branch):

The economics secondary school offers more economics subjects in the upper level.

At the Oberstufenrealgymnasium one of the following branches should be chosen (although not every school offers every branch):

  • the natural science upper level secondary school with increased mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics,
  • the musical upper level secondary school with instrumental lessons,
  • the artistic ORG with increased teaching in the visual arts
  • Computer science or media branch with increased instruction in computer science, modern media, etc.

Within the framework of school autonomy, school-specific priorities can be set for all types of grammar schools.

For the sixth grade (tenth grade) elective subjects must be specified. Depending on the school-autonomous regulations, this is at least between two and eight additional hours per week, divided over three years. A distinction is made between in-depth and advanced elective subjects. Expanding is understood to mean all subjects that are not otherwise taught, especially languages, but also computer science. In-depth elective subjects are taught in addition to normal lessons in this subject and are important for the Matura. A Matura examination must be taken in an in-depth elective subject, interdisciplinary (e.g. English and history), supplementary (in combination with a foreign language or computer science or over a one-year elective subject ) or through a separate subject-specific thesis. In some AHS, the modular, school-autonomous course system has been replacing the compulsory elective subjects as a school experiment for several years .

For the seventh grade (eleventh grade) you have to choose between music education and visual education as well as performing geometry, the natural science branch (increased teaching in biology, physics and chemistry) and a possible school-independent alternative. Descriptive geometry or physics and biology are school subjects. As with any selection of alternate items, enough students must sign up to open a branch.

It is also possible to take the Matura at a grammar school for working people ( evening grammar school ) . Evening grammar schools such as the Vienna evening grammar school mainly offer working people, but also those who have dropped out of day school, the opportunity to obtain a full Matura.

BHS and BMS - vocational schools (BMHS)

In Austria there are two types of vocational schools in the secondary sector:

B erufsbildende h igher S chools (BHS) can be visited after the eighth grade and in addition to vocational training, the possibility that after five years of graduate - to purchase and maturity test. The advantage compared to an AHS is that you receive both the university entrance qualification (with the Matura) and a complete higher vocational training.
However, the training takes one school year longer than the AHS. In terms of the number of hours, training at the BHS is around 3500 hours longer, which in real terms corresponds to around two school years.

B erufsbildende m edium S CHOOLS (BMS) are technical or commercial schools . These impart professional qualifications and general education. The training lasts three to four years and ends with a final exam. Vocational middle schools impart theory and practice in the areas of focus and subject areas they offer.
The training is intended to enable the graduates to enter the professional life they aspire to and replaces business licenses . The degree enables a three-year advanced course to take the diploma and matriculationexamsat the BHS. There is also the option oftakingthe vocational matriculation examination, which is a subject-related (restricted) matriculation examination in the tertiary education sector,via additional
exams .

HTL, HTBLA - technical, industrial and craft schools

Entrance area of ​​the HTL Pinkafeld

H igher T to technical L ehranstalten (HTL) and H igher t to technical B UNDES l ore a nstalten (HTBLA) are mainly of technical training. The subjects consist partly of general subjects - including a living foreign language, usually English - and partly of special technical training. Depending on the location, the technical schools offer different focuses (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, IT, structural engineering, chemistry, etc.). The five technical and commercial educational institutions (TGLA) can be seen inaccordance with this area.

The HTL-Reife- und Diplomprüfung entitles you to study at all universities and colleges. After three years of professional experience based on the knowledge acquired at the HTL, the HTL graduate can apply for the qualification designation "Engineer" (Ing.), Which is awarded by chambers of commerce and some certification bodies.

Here, too, there are a number of technical and commercial technical schools of intermediate education, which, in addition to colleges and master classes , are usually run as a branch at the HTL (mostly three-year branches).

A HTL with an attached research institute is listed as HT [B] L [u] VA.

HLA, HBLA, HGBLA, HLT - other trades

The abbreviation H (B) LA stands for H igher B and L ehr a nstalt. These have a similar structure to HTLs, but are not technically oriented. The training lasts five years and ends with a matriculation and diploma examination. Due to the widespread cliché that in HBLAs schoolgirls only learn handicrafts and cooking in order to later become good housewives, these are also disparagingly called dumpling academy .

Under this heading, schools from the fields of arts and crafts including fashion and clothing technology and others come together. A HBLA with an attached research institute is listed as H [B] L [u] VA.

Federal colleges:

  • Higher Federal College for Business Professions, Tourism, Fashion and Clothing Technology Oberwart ( HBLA Oberwart )
  • College for Tourism ( Tourism Schools Bad Gleichenberg , tourism schools Villa Blanka , Tourism Schools Salzburg , Carinthia Tourism School , Tourism Schools Semmering, tourism schools Salzkammergut, LDS Krems, Tourism Schools Bad Leonfelden, Tourismusschulen module of WKW)
  • Higher federal college for economic professions and higher commercial federal college specializing in fashion and clothing technology HBLA Klagenfurt
  • Higher Federal College for Communication and Media Design (KMD), in CHS-Villach
  • Higher Federal College for Artistic Design Linz ( HBLA Art )
  • Higher Federal College for Fashion and Product Management and Presentation Linz ( HBLA Lentia )
  • Higher commercial federal college for fashion and clothing technology and higher federal college for economic professions Krems ( HLA Mode Wirtschaft Krems , HLM / HLW)
  • Higher commercial federal college specializing in fashion and federal college for economic professions, Ebensee-Pestalozziplatz ( Ebensee fashion school )
  • Higher education institute for design and product innovation, health management and cultural congress management Steyr ( HLW Steyr )
  • Higher Federal College for Business Professions and Higher Technical and Commercial Federal College Innsbruck ( Ferrarischule )
  • Higher Federal School for Fashion, Graz-Ortweinplatz ( Modeschule Graz )
  • Higher Federal College for Fashion and Business Professions (cultural tourism) - Vienna 9 ( HLMW9 Michelbeuern , formerly HBLA9)
  • Higher federal college for fashion and clothing technology as well as for artistic design - Vienna 16 ( HBLA Herbststraße )

In addition, there are numerous middle school branches, higher schools (HLAs) and middle schools in the federal states at these schools.

HAK, HAS - commercial professions

The H andels ak ademie is a school with a focus on accounting and business administration (these subjects are taught in all five years and are compulsory subjects in the matriculation and diploma exam). Particular emphasis is placed on conveying economic contexts and language skills, but meanwhile several HAKs in Austria also offer comprehensive IT focuses - commercial academies for business informatics  - (but of course also here with a view to a possible career in business). English and a second living foreign language (mostly French, Italian or Spanish, at some schools also Eastern languages) are taught from the first grade (ninth grade); Most commercial academies also offer the option of taking a third foreign language as an optional subject from the third grade (eleventh grade) at the latest.

Commercial middle schools ( Ha ndels s chule, HAS - formerly: HASCH) correspond to middle education and last three to four years

HAK advanced course : Commercial college graduates also have the option of completing their HAK with a three-year advanced course.

HAK for working people : Just like at the grammar school, evening school can also be attended at the HAK. It takes two preparatory semesters and eight regular study semesters. People with a positive business school qualification have the option of joining in the third semester or of taking the diploma and matriculation exams in three years of evening classes.

HLWB, FSWB, HUM - service and social professions

The H igher L ehranstalt for w conomic B erufe (CPR HLWB) is to form in upper professions in operational large households ( tourism , and the like), and also preparing for Sozialberufe . In the middle sector which corresponds to the region H umanberufliche m edium S CHOOLS (HUM) and the F oh s CHOOLS for w conomic B erufe (FSWB).

Other schools in the field:

BAfEP and others - teacher and educator training

In the past, these institutions also included the teacher training institutions (training to become elementary school teachers). This training was then transferred to the pedagogical academies and is now taking place at the pedagogical universities.

The following types currently exist:

Here, too, there are medium-sized technical schools for social professions

There are a total of 35 school locations of the BAKIP and BASOP in Austria (as of 2007) (Burgenland: 1 BAKIP; Carinthia: 1 BAKIP; Lower Austria: 5 BAKIP, 1 BASOP, 1 Zentrallehranstalt (BISOP); Upper Austria: 5 BAKIP, 1 BASOP; Salzburg: 2 BAKIP; Styria: 6 BAKIP, 1 BASOP; Tyrol: 3 BAKIP, 1 BASOP; Vorarlberg: 1 BAKIP; Vienna: 5 BAKIP, 1 BASOP). A total of 9,372 pupils attended (beginning of the 2006/07 school year) a pedagogical school.

HLFS, LFS - Agriculture and Forestry Professions

The higher L AND and f orstwirtschaftlichen L ore a nstalten of the collar (HLFS) and l and- and f orstwirtschaftliche S CHOOLS (LFS) convey in addition to the agricultural and forestry Fachschulen (LFS, BMS within the competence of state government) "all the knowledge and skills that senior to practice and fine activities in the country - and forestry "professions are needed.

An HLFS with an affiliated research institute is run as an HBLFA.

PS / PTS - Polytechnic School

P oly t to technical S CHOOLS (PS, PTS) are particularly popular with young people who want to learn immediately after the end of the instruction duty an occupation. The PS / PTS therefore usually represent the last year of compulsory schooling and impart basic skills, abilities and knowledge ( key qualifications) to the students inpreparation for an apprenticeship. If no apprenticeship position or a job is found, there is the option of completing a tenth school year voluntarily.

BS - vocational school

The vocational school (BS), technically also vocational compulsory school (BPS), must be attended parallel to an apprenticeship (compulsory dual training ). The duration is usually two to four years and depends on the type of apprenticeship. Either the vocational school is attended all year round on at least one weekday or seasonally or as part of a course in blocks (a total of at least eight weeks per year).

The vocational school has the task of imparting fundamental, theoretical knowledge to persons subject to compulsory vocational schooling in teaching and training relationships as well as persons in apprenticeship relationships who are entitled to attend the vocational school, to promote and supplement their in-company or practical training as well as their To expand general education (Federal Law Gazette I No. 74/2013, Art. 1Z1)

If possible, performance groups should be set up for business administration and specialist theoretical lessons.

In total there are 158 (2011/12) vocational schools in Austria, both public and private (mostly from guilds and other professional associations). 62 are state vocational schools (sponsored by the federal states , in Tyrol these are called technical vocational schools, in Upper Austria only vocational schools).

Special forms of general secondary schools (lower and / or upper level)

The special forms are regulated in § 37 School Organization Act.

Aufbaugymnasium or Aufbaaurealgymnasium

The Aufbaugymnasium and Aufbaurealgymnasium is a school with a four-year upper level with a possible one-year transition level, with larger age differences with separate classes.

"They are primarily intended for students who, after successfully completing the eight grades of elementary school, want to achieve the educational goal of a general secondary school."

Gymnasium / Realgymnasium / Economics Realgymnasium for working people

Gymnasium for working people , Realgymnasium for working people and Economics Realgymnasium for working people "have the task of providing people who have successfully completed the eighth grade and are 17 years of age at the latest in the calendar year of admission and who have completed vocational training or have started working life for To lead the educational goal of a general secondary school. ”The seven federal schools are run as evening grammar schools and some are connected to other schools.

In addition, there was the Bundesrealgymnasium for working people at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt. The last class train of this institution ended with the school year 2011/2012. The grammar school was deleted from the School Organization Act without replacement in 2014.

Music high school and sports high school

The general secondary schools with special consideration of the arts or sports education can be whole schools or as individual class branches as special forms.


In Austria there is the possibility of an external graduate examination for school dropouts. In this, upon application to the responsible state school board, admission examinations at a specific public school are taken. In the state school boards there are specially set up external experts' commissions. After passing all entrance exams and passing the school leaving examination at these assigned public schools, the AHS Matura can be completed. The learning material can be freely selected either at home or in specially set up private school-leaving schools.

WSH - Werkschulheim

W ork s chul h eime form a special shape in the Austrian school system. They combine AHS and apprenticeship qualifications and represent an early parallel education to the HTLs. In all of Austria there are currently only two Werkschulheims, the Werkschulheim Felbertal and the Evangelical Gymnasium Vienna .

In-service secondary education

Educational institutions and types of schools for employed people

Part-time secondary education is offered by most of the BHS and the special higher education institutions for working people , such as WIFI and bfi , in their own classes, or part-time as evening school .

Vocational matriculation examination (vocational matura), advanced course

The Berufsreifeprüfung (colloquial vocational matura ) is a general university entrance qualification parallel to vocational training and is equivalent to the AHS / BHS degree. It is for graduates of the dual system (with final apprenticeship examination), for graduates of at least three-year middle schools, schools for health care and nursing or schools for medical-technical specialist service etc. Ä. Possible.

Advanced courses are also offered alongside work. They offer a full maturity and diploma examination like a BHS and are also aimed at technical school students.


Colleges are aimed at high school graduates and lead to a diploma examination corresponding to the BHS.

Post secondary education

Post-secondary educational institutions are institutions that carry out studies lasting at least six semesters, for which admission requires the general university entrance qualification or, in the case of artistic studies, proof of artistic aptitude. These include universities, technical colleges, academies and colleges. The duration of studies at academies and colleges is shorter than at technical colleges and universities, and attendance at state or publicly run academies is free, apart from the cost of teaching materials. However, there are also private academies that incur training or tuition fees.

A college should offer AHS high school graduates the opportunity to acquire a wide variety of training in a short period of time (compared to universities). There is a school attendance requirement with fixed school work and test dates. For admission, the Matura or, alternatively, a vocational maturity or university entrance qualification test is sufficient, only educational-social, foreign language or artistic colleges require an aptitude test. There are colleges as a daily form, but also extra-occupational forms. Graduates from four-year technical schools can also attend the college in the subject in which the technical college degree was obtained. Higher technical educational institutions - entitlements in the European Union: Diploma and secondary school leaving certificates are, in accordance with Directive 95/43 / EC of July 20, 1995, proof of a regulated education in the sense of Annex D of Directive 92/51 / EEC and a diploma in the sense of this Equivalent to guideline (post-secondary or university-like training level with more than one year and less than three years of study). Post-secondary special forms of the HTL (advanced course and college) last four to six semesters.

Austrian universities of applied sciences take relevant prior knowledge of HTL graduates into account and thus enable direct entry into the third semester. German universities of applied sciences are increasingly offering special courses in Austria that are tailored to the prior education of the HTL. As a rule, four semesters of previous education are recognized, which means that a FH degree is possible in half the duration of the study. British and American universities sometimes offer courses that enable a bachelor's degree in two semesters.

Tertiary education

Tertiary educational institutions in Austria include universities, technical colleges and universities of teacher education . A university entrance qualification (usually the Matura certificate ) is required for the visit .

Tuition Fees and Scholarships

A tuition fee of 363.63 euros (previously: 5,000  ATS ) is payable per semester (this is also required by most universities of applied sciences, but you are free to adjust it or to omit it entirely). In September 2008, however, the tuition fee was abolished for many students at universities and teacher training colleges through an amendment to the law. The exemption applies in particular to students who pursue their studies with a standard duration of study plus two tolerance semesters, working students (who are employed above the marginal earnings threshold), disabled students and students who mainly look after children before they start school. Non-EEA citizens continue to pay the fees. For studies in which the bachelor's degree entitles the holder to pursue a profession (e.g. medical-technical professions), the costs of a master’s degree are usually invoiced at a cost of around 2,400 euros.

To support financially disadvantaged younger students (there is an age limit) there are study grants and grants . The amount depends on financial need and academic success.

Degree programs and access restrictions

Most popular courses of study WS 2009/10
subject Inscr. Ap.
Economics and Social Sciences 4991
law Sciences 4843
Journalism , communication studies 2348 *
pedagogy 2220
psychology 2174 *
Commercial law 2040
biology 1831
English / American studies 1754
German Philology 1608
architecture 1521
Computer science 1491
Human medicine 1396 *
Economics 1386
Business administration 1276
Translation and interpreting 1274
history 1222
Political science 1217
pharmacy 1043
sociology 1009
Theater, film and media studies 0928

Inscribers: Ordinary studies in the first semester
Ap. currently entrance exam
Source: APA / Universities / SN, as of 2010

Around 200 different courses of study are possible in Austria (WS 2009/10: 203). Of the popular fields of study (20 with over 1000 beginners), three had to introduce an entrance examination by 2010 in order to keep the numbers of first-semester students under control. 2011 other top courses are introductory phases create. Almost accounting for 20 popular studies 2 / 3 (WS 2009/10: 60.4%) of the students.

Institutions of the tertiary sector


There are public universities in Austria in the federal capital Vienna (9), in the provincial capitals Linz (2), Salzburg (2), Graz (4), Innsbruck (2) and Klagenfurt as well as in Leoben . The University for Continuing Education Krems and the Institute for Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) in Maria Gugging (Lower Austria) have their own legal basis . There are also state-accredited private universities .

In addition to the university entrance qualification certificate, an admission or entrance examination is sometimes required (e.g. for medical studies ). The standard length of study for the diploma course is usually between eight (law) and twelve semesters (medicine). In practice, however, the average length of study is considerably longer (thirteen semesters for law, seventeen for medicine).

Traditionally, the diploma course with the academic degree "Magister der ...", z. B. “Magister der Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaft” ( Mag. Rer. Soc. Oec. ) Or - in technical studies - “Diplom-Ingenieur” ( Dipl.-Ing. Or DI ). In human medicine and dentistry studies, the degree already reads "Doctor of general medicine" or "Doctor of dentistry". As part of the conversion to the Bachelor-Master architecture, it was originally planned that the first degree would be “Bachelor of Science”, e.g. B. "Bachelor of Science" ( Bakk. Rer. Nat. ), And the second degree should be "Magister der ..." or - in technical studies - "Diplom-Ingenieur" ( Dipl.-Ing. ). Since 2006, however, English degrees, Bachelor and Master , z. B. “Bachelor of Science” ( BSc ) or “Master of Arts” ( MA ), except for technical fields of study that continue with Dipl.-Ing. can be completed, and medical studies, where the master’s degree will continue to be completed in the future with the academic degree “Doctor of General Medicine” or “Doctor of Dentistry”.

The doctoral studies conclude with the doctoral degree "Doctor of ..." B. "Doctor of Medical Science" ( Dr. scient. Med. ), Or the doctoral degree "Doctor of Philosophy ..." ( PhD ).

Until the end of the 1970s, instead of the master’s degree, the university of economics also offered the degree of Diplom-Kaufmann Dipl.-Kfm. awarded.

University of Applied Sciences

Universities of applied sciences have existed in Austria since 1994. While university studies are more research-oriented in many cases, application orientation predominates at universities of applied sciences.

Diploma courses at universities of applied sciences usually last four years (eight semesters), with a qualified internship to be completed in one semester, usually the penultimate one, and fewer courses taking place in the last semester due to the diploma thesis. The transition to the two-tier Bologna system is also taking place in universities of applied sciences . Bachelor courses are usually three years long, Master courses last two years.

At universities of applied sciences, attendance is generally compulsory, there is a fixed timetable and set examination dates. The study places are limited (usually between 15 and 150 students per year), the applicants are subjected to a multi-part selection process that each FH determines itself. This usually includes a written application , a written intelligence or aptitude test, a presentation and a personal interview.

In contrast to the universities, the locations of the universities of applied sciences are more decentralized and are therefore partly located in smaller cities and also distributed to more locations in their surrounding areas - the development of education outside the central areas is just as much a favored concept of the universities of applied sciences in Austria as the proximity to the sector R&D active commercial spaces.

A degree from a university of applied sciences concludes with the academic degree Magister Mag. (FH) or Diplomingenieur Dipl.-Ing. (FH) . After the switch to the two-tier system, Bachelor and Master degrees (without the additional designation FH ) will be awarded , as at universities . Technical courses of study can continue with Dipl.-Ing. (but without the additional designation FH ).

Following a university of applied sciences, a doctoral degree can also be started at a university. If the duration of the university of applied sciences course is shorter than the standard period of study of the corresponding course at the university, the doctoral course is extended by the difference in duration.

Pedagogical College

The following fields of study can be completed at universities of teacher education :

The course concludes with the Bachelor of Education (with the entry into force of the new law on universities of teacher education, 2007) and entitles you to teach depending on the chosen field of study.

There is currently a master’s degree in Education Management and School Development at the University of Education in Graz, Vienna and Linz, which concludes with the recognized title of Master of Arts ( M.A. ), which entitles you to a subsequent doctoral degree in education at a university.

At locations with vocational education institutes (Vienna, Graz, Linz and Innsbruck), the following fields of study can also be completed:

  • Information and communication pedagogy - teacher for the information and communication department at vocational middle and higher schools
  • Vocational school pedagogy - teaching post for vocational schools ( vocational school teacher )
  • Technical-commercial pedagogy - teaching post for the technical-commercial subject area at vocational middle and higher schools ( teacher for technical and commercial subject teaching at an HTL, HLT or technical school)
  • Nutrition Education - Teaching degree for the field of nutrition at vocational middle and high schools
  • Fashion and design pedagogy - teaching degree for the department of fashion and design at vocational middle and high schools.

Prerequisites for admission to the school service as a vocational school teacher and teacher for technical and commercial subject teaching are relevant specialist training (at least completion of the master craftsman's examination and Matura for teachers in practical teaching and Matura for teachers in general and theoretical teaching) and two years of practical experience. An application is made to the respective state school board. After entering the school service, the course "Vocational School Pedagogy" must be completed, which is divided into two study sections. The first part of the course comprises two semesters, which are taken part-time within one year (or two years in Lower Austria). The second part of the course comprises four semesters, with the first two semesters being completed during a year-round visit to a university of education in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz or Vienna. To attend the so-called “full-time year”, there is an exemption from teaching at the respective vocational school. The last two semesters will again be held part-time. The training concludes with the title Bachelor of Education .

See also

Legal sources

Web links



Individual evidence

  1. Jan Kusber: Education for the elite and the people in the Tsarist Empire during the 18th and first half of the 19th century: Studies on discourse, legislation and implementation. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-515-08552-1 , pp. 183ff.
  2. RGBl. No. 62/1869 (= p. 277 ff.)
  3. a b The standard. March 4, 2009, p. 6.
  4. Statistics Austria : Schoolchildren by type of school and gender 1971 to 2001. ( Memento from December 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Population censuses 1971 to 2001. Compiled on: June 1, 2007.
  5. PISA 2000: National Report ( Memento of December 10, 2006 in the Internet Archive ), comparison between the countries (PDF; 448 kB)
  6. PISA 2003: National Report (PDF) ( Memento of May 15, 2005 in the Internet Archive ), Further information ( Memento of April 4, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ( Page no longer available , search in web archives: website of the initiative klasse: Zukunft ) and the short version of the reform concept (PDF) ( Memento from May 10, 2005 in the Internet Archive )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  8. ^ Corrections to the PISA data for Austria
  9. In addition, the portfolio of art affairs has developed independently since Viktor Klima (today again at the Ministry of Education), and sports policy has also gone its own way since Franz Vranitzky and - apart from school sports - is now at the Ministry of Defense .
  10. The OECD differentiates between central government (in Austria the federal government), federal (the states), regional / subregional (in Austria no equivalent), local (community level) and school level
  11. a b c Austria's schools are not very autonomous . In: Salzburger Nachrichten . January 25, 2014, Education & Career , p. 54 .
  12. ^ Nine education directorates for Austria. on: , November 17, 2015, accessed on November 17, 2015.
  13. § 2 PrivSchG
  14. a b c More and more students at private schools , ORF, January 29, 2008.
  15. Margarethe Engelhardt-Krajanek: Private schools in Austria. Alternative with high costs, ORF, June 26, 2006.
  16. EFFE - Austria
  17. Tuma: Certification of non-school educational institutions , Federal Ministry of the Interior, January 4, 2006 (PDF; 30 kB).
  18. Establishment and residence: Certifications - educational institutions , Federal Ministry of the Interior.
  19. School Organization Act, Section 6, Paragraph 4 (curricula), Section 8 (Definitions), Section 8a (Basic definition of the minimum number); School Education Act § 12 (optional subjects, non-binding exercises and remedial lessons, obligation), § 30a, § 30b, § 31 (transfer to other types of school), § 68 (independent ability to act)
  20. ^ , exemplary Vienna Kindergarten Act
  21. Compulsory kindergarten year from 2010 , ORF Steiermark, May 12, 2009.
  22. August 27, 2019: In Austria, more and more students are attending an AHS lower level
  23. Borg Mistelbach. Retrieved March 10, 2020 .
  24. We are not a Knodel Academy. ( Memento from June 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: Presse . March 30, 2008.
  25. HBLA Oberwart
  26. HBLA Klagenfurt
  27. HBLA Lentia ( Memento of the original from September 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  28. HLA Mode Wirtschaft Krems
  29. HGBLA fashion school Ebensee
  30. HLW Steyr
  31. Ferrarischule Innsbruck
  32. Modeschule Graz
  33. HLMW9 - Michelbeuern
  34. HBLA Herbststrasse
  35. Human vocational schools in Austria
  36. BMUKK Department II / 5 (Ed.): Educational Institutes for Kindergarten Pedagogy - Educational Institutes for Social Pedagogy . Federal Quality Report. Version 2 edition. Vienna May 2009. online ( Memento from October 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  37. a b BMUKK (ed.): Federal Quality Report . 2009, Appendix 1, p. 22nd ff .
  38. ^ Agricultural and forestry schools
  39. HLFS origin
  40. HBLFA / LFZ Raumberg ; LFZ Raumberg Gumpenstein
  41. HBLFA Schönbrunn
  42. Vocational compulsory school ,
  43. BMBF vocational schools
  44. Statistics Austria , school year 2011/12, schools in the school year 2011/12 by type of school (PDF; 42 kB), accessed October 16, 2013.
  45. ErlV 141 BlgNR XXV. GP 2.
  46. Federal Law Gazette I No. 48/2014
  47. a b c APA / Universities, cit. in: Inge Baldinger: Tuition fees through the back door - candidates for the introductory phase. In: Salzburger Nachrichten. October 27, 2010, p. 3.
  48. BUNDESGESETZBLATT 2006 495, Ordinance: University curriculum ordinance - HCV (PDF; 77 kB), §13