Education System in Austria
|Primary||Primary||1–4||6–9||4||Primary Education (Volksschule)|
|Middle||Lower Secondary||5–8||10–13||4||Lower Secondary Education (Hauptschule)|
|Secondary||Academic Secondary Education (Allgemeinbildende höhere Schulen, Gymnasium)||10–17||8|
|Secondary||Upper Secondary||14–17||4||Upper Secondary (Oberstufenrealgymnasium)|
Primary EducationThe first 9 years of education in Austria are free throughout a network of coeducational public schools administered by the federal ministry of education. This begins with 4 years of elementary schooling at volksschule or people’s schools.
Middle EducationThereafter they proceed to a choice of general or academic middle schools for 4 years according to their streaming. At the beginning of every school year they may ask to switch between these choices.
Following this intermediary education period those who are considering tertiary education options go on to secondary school. Here they complete an academic education designed to join seamlessly with university.
More practically minded gifted students may go on to higher vocational school instead. Here they prepare themselves for one of many different professions, although they may also follow this route to university.
Some fees are charged for
tertiary education although bursaries are fairly generously available too.
There are 12 Austrian
Universities as well as a large variety of technical colleges. In a country where education was once only for
the elite and ruling classes everybody these days enjoys an equal opportunity.
The education system evolved from mediaeval monastic schools. The oldest tertiary institution still in operation is the University of Vienna founded in 1365. It enjoys a fine reputation and in the past produced graduates of the like of Sigmund Freud, Kurt Adler and pope Pius III.