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The Austrian Education System

The website informs about the Austrian education system. At secondary level II, they then attend the Upper Level of the Academic Secondary School or the Medium or Upper Level Secondary Technical and Vocational School. Once students have completed 9 years of compulsory education they can also take up an apprenticeship within the dual system of practical training combined with part-time vocational school, or follow a programme of training leading to a healthcare profession.

Compulsory education lasts nine years in Austria.

Upon completion of secondary level II the Austrian education system offers additional educational opportunities, ranging from short-cycle tertiary education in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET) to degree-level programmes at university colleges of teacher education, universities of applied sciences and universities.

The diagram showing the Austrian Education System on is based on ISCED 2011, the International Standard Classification of Education, which was developed by UNESCO to classify and characterise types of schools.

> Early childhood education

Early childhood education encompasses formal childcare from the age of three until entering primary education as well as early childhood education up to the age of three. It corresponds to the ISCED level 0.

The elementary level (ISCED 0) in Austria refers to the following childcare institutions: crèches, kindergartens, after-school care facilities and children’s groups. Playgroups and nannies also offer their services. Pre-school education for children of school age who are not yet ready for school belongs to the elementary level as well.

> Primary Education

Primary education encompasses Primary School and begins at the age of compulsory education. It corresponds to the ISCED level 1.
Compulsory education in Austria starts at the age of 6 and lasts for nine years.

The primary level lasts four years. Schools of this level are primary/elementary schools as well as special needs schools and integrative/inclusive education in regular schools.

> Lower secondary education

Lower secondary education encompasses the first 4 years after primary education. It corresponds to the ISCED level 2.

Pupils can choose between the following types of schools (different admission requirements): General Secondary School (Hauptschule), New Secondary School (Neue Mittelschule), Academic Secondary School Lower Level (AHS Unterstufe) as well as special needs schools and inclusive education.

> Upper secondary education

Secondary level I is followed by secondary level II (9th school year). Upper secondary education encompasses educational institutions which focus on general or vocational education. In Austria, these include Pre-Vocational School (Polytechnische Schule, preparing pupils for an apprenticeship or job), Vocational school and Apprenticeship (dual system), School for Intermediate Vocational Education (BMS), Colleges for Higher Vocational Education (BHS) (excluding the 4th and 5th forms), Academic Secondary School Upper Cycle (AHS Oberstufe) as well as the Pre-Vocational Year (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr) and Integrative Vocational Training.

> Post-secondary non-tertiary education

Post-secondary non-tertiary education encompasses qualifications that are considered to be beyond secondary education, but are not included in the tertiary sector. These courses include Schools of Nursing and certain Continuing Education Courses at Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and University Colleges of Teacher Education. It corresponds to the ISCED level 4.

> Short-cycle tertiary education

Short-cycle tertiary education covers all post-secondary qualifications that teach graduates professional knowledge, skills and competences typically in a practice-oriented way, focusing on specific occupations. It includes Colleges for Higher Vocational Education (BHS) from the 4th Grade, Schools for People in Employment, Add-on Courses (Aufbaulehrgänge), Post-secondary VET Courses and Industrial Master College, Building Craftsperson and Master Craftsperson School. It corresponds to the ISCED level 5.

> Tertiary Level

After having completed a general or vocational education people can study at a university, university of applied sciences or a university college of teacher education.

The tertiary level encompasses Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral educational levels or equivalents. These are the highest attainable levels of formal education. It corresponds to the ISCED levels 6-8 (6: Bachelor’s or equivalent; 7: Master’s or equivalent; 8: Doctoral or equivalent.)

The graphic of the Austrian education system is available as a poster and a leaflet in German, English, French, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Russian and Turkish can be ordered at Euroguidance Austria.

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