School systems   Austria

Country   |   Overview   |   Disabled students   |   Developments
  |   Kindergartens   |   Primary schools   |   Secondary schools   |   Higher education


map: Europe - Austriamap: Austria

Austria (Republic of Austria) is landlocked country in Central Europe. The country covers an area of 83,871 km² and its population compromises of 8.3 million people. The official language is German.


scheme of school system in Austria

Education is compulsory from grade 1 to 9, from age of 6. It's free of charge. Parents can teach their children at home, but children have to make test every year to see whether their progress is satisfactory.


Kindergartens are not compulsory. Children have to be 3 years old (2 in some cases) to attend. Parents have to pay a fee (help from the government is available).

Primary schools

There are more then three thousand primary schools, with average size of 20 students. School starts at 8:00 in the morning and ends at 12:00-13:00. There are no school lunches available. In first years of primary there are no grades, but afterwards system 1 (best) to 5 (worst) is used.
At the end of the 4th year teachers decide whether a child can attend a secondary academic school or should rather go to a lower secondary school. A lot of schools use alternative approaches to teaching (e.g. Montessori).

Secondary schools

Classes consist of 25 to 30 students. Grading system used is 1 (best) to 5 (fail). Student counsellor visits each school from time to time, but is not present daily. Most school offer extracurricular activities (sports, languages). In higher secondary academic schools students can choose a few own subjects. There is a school leaving exam that enables students to attend university called "Matura".

Higher education

Students can only attend university if they took the leaving exam (“Matura”) or a similar exam. For some courses additional entrance exams at the beginning or after two semesters can take place. Fees are € 363.36 per semester, excluding books, copies etc.

Disabled students

In some classes, especially in primary and lower secondary schools, disabled students are taught alongside with non-disabled children. In order to give everyone the chance to learn with and from each other. However, there are also schools specially designed for disabled students.


Since the Austrian school system separates students at the age of 10, social selection within the system is prevalent. Therefore the Ministry of Education and the federal lands start trials on new systems from 2008 to separate children at a later stage and introduce new teaching methods. There are also tendencies to switch from the grade system to verbal assessing of students achievements.

School Systems