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Austria:Overview

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Overview Austria

Contents

Austria:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Austria:Historical Development

Austria:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Austria:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Austria:Political and Economic Situation

Austria:Organisation and Governance

Austria:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Austria:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Austria:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Austria:Organisation of Private Education

Austria:National Qualifications Framework

Austria:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Austria:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Austria:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Austria:Funding in Education

Austria:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Austria:Higher Education Funding

Austria:Adult Education and Training Funding

Austria:Early Childhood Education and Care

Austria:Organisation

Austria:Teaching and Learning

Austria:Assessment

Austria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Austria:Primary Education

Austria:Organisation of Primary Education

Austria:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Austria:Assessment in Primary Education

Austria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Austria:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Austria:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Austria:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Austria:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Austria:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Austria:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Austria:Higher Education

Austria:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Austria:First Cycle Programmes

Austria:Bachelor

Austria:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Austria:Second Cycle Programmes

Austria:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Austria:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Austria:Adult Education and Training

Austria:Distribution of Responsibilities

Austria:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Austria:Main Providers

Austria:Main Types of Provision

Austria:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Austria:Teachers and Education Staff

Austria:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Austria:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Austria:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Austria:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Austria: Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Management and Other Education Staff

Austria:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Austria:Management Staff for Higher Education

Austria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Austria:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Quality Assurance

Austria:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Austria:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Educational Support and Guidance

Austria:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Austria:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Austria:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Austria:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Austria:Mobility and Internationalisation

Austria:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Mobility in Higher Education

Austria:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Austria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Austria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Austria:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Austria:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Austria:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Austria:National Reforms in School Education

Austria:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Austria:National Reforms in Higher Education

Austria:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Austria:European Perspective

Austria:Legislation

Austria:Institutions

Austria:Bibliography

Austria:Glossary

 

According to the Austrian Federal Constitutional Law Article 14 - as amended (Bundesverfassungs-Gesetz, B-VG, Art. 14) democracy, humanity, solidarity, peace and justice, openness and tolerance towards everyone regardless of race, social status and financial background are fundamental principles of education in Austria.

Key features related to governance

  • Concerning kindergartens and crèches the provinces (Bundesländer) are responsible for legislation and implementation and maintained to high degree by municipalities (Gemeinden). However, there is also a large private sector.
  • Concerning schools responsibilities for legislation and its implementation are divided between the federation (Bund) and the provinces (Bundesländer) where it is executed by the parliaments of the provinces and the Ämter der Landesregierungen. In specific matters enumerated in the Constitution, the federation sets the framework, while detailed legislation is implemented by the parliaments of the provinces (Landtage). The federation has overwhelming responsibility for the education system, including virtually all areas of school organisation, the organisation of school instruction, private schools as well as the remuneration and retirement law governing education staff.
  • Legislation and execution of all matters pertaining to universities and higher education is a federal responsibility. The freedom of scholarship and teaching, and the freedom of art, are guaranteed in constitutional legislation.

Key features related to organisation and structures

Since 2010 obligatory kindergarten attendance was introduced for 5 year olds (i.e. children one year before school entry).
An important aspect of the Austrian school system is the strong diversification of programmes at all levels of education. Austria has put in place a strong vocational education sector.
Traditional early streaming (at ages 10 and 14) has been subject of on-going educational reforms.
General compulsory schooling lasts until the age of 15 in Austria. Since the 2016/17 school year all youths who have not yet reached the age of 18 will be required to engage in education or training after completing general compulsory schooling. They should as far as possible complete some form of education or training that goes beyond the compulsory school-leaving qualification.
Quality assurance and development was driven forth in the school sector by the following measures:
  • National educational standards
  • Standardised, competence-oriented matriculation (and diploma) examinations (Reifeprüfung/Reife- und Diplomprüfung)
  • National Report on Education
Based on the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria) was set up.
Reform of teacher training and reform of teachers service code and renumeration. The new teacher training scheme provides for the following cornerstones:
  • Training is in principle geared towards the pupils’ age brackets (primary level, secondary level)
  • Bachelor’s degree programme, eight semesters, 240 ECTS points
  • Master’s degree programme, two to three semesters, 60 to 90 ECTS points. The master’s degree programmes can be completed on a part-time basis
  • One-year professional entry phase (induction), supported by experienced pedagogues as mentors.
The switch to bachelor’s degree programmes in the primary sector was completed in 2015/16, in the secondary sector in 2016/17. The new master’s degree programmes will begin by the winter semester 2019/20 at the latest.
New Legislation on the Employment of Teachers: This new legislation on employment and payment extends the room for manoeuvre and decision-making at school level (expansion of school autonomy). The new law concerns new entrants to the profession, who have a five-year-option to choose between the existing regulation and the new one. It fully applies to new teacher students. It was agreed upon higher initial salaries and an increased teaching assignment of 24 teaching units (50 minutes) per week.
As a result of the LLL Strategy, in 2012 the Adult Education Initiative (IEB) was launched by the federal and provincial governments. This initiative aims to enable adults who lack basic skills and/or have not acquired a compulsory school qualification to resume and complete their education and training and to obtain their qualifications even after completion of general compulsory schooling.

Stages of the education system

In September 2010 obligatory kindergarten attendance was introduced for 5 year olds.
School education is compulsory for nine years and starts at the age of 6.
Primary school is the general compulsory school for pupils aged 6-10 (years 1 to 4).
The lower secondary level (years 5 to 8) comprises:
  • New secondary school (Neue Mittelschule)
  • Lower level of academic secondary school (Allgemein bildende Höhere Schule).
The upper secondary level (years 9 to 13) comprises a
  • general education branch and a
  • vocational branch.
Higher education is provided by
Adult learning programmes may lead to legally regulated qualifications (also called formal qualifications). They include second-chance programmes, for example: These are programmes that aim at the acquisition of qualifications by adults in the formal education sector (e.g.

Useful links

Further information may also be found on the following websites:

Federal Ministry of Education:
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy:

Schematic structure of the national education system

2016 diagram AT.pngsource: Eurydice 2016

Common European Reference Tools Provided by the Eurydice Network