Property buying guide for Austria
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Education in Austria
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Education in Austria

Austria is famous for the quality of its secondary and higher education systems. Every year more than 160,000 international students are educated in the country. Most of them come to Austria study in Vienna.

Primary and secondary education system

Children under three go to nurseries and kindergartens, either public or private. This is a paying service. Each child attending a kindergarten in Vienna must get a Child Number (Kindernummer) at the Municipal Department 10 (MA 10). The following documents are required to complete the registration:

  • parents' passports
  • Residence Registration Form (Meldezettel)
  • child's birth certificates
  • medical and vaccination records
  • Austrian social insurance number (Sozialversicherungsnummer)

Primary and secondary education in Austria is free (including transport and textbooks) and compulsory. Further, upper secondary schools offer various vocational training programmes and preparatory courses for university.

1. Primary school for children of six to ten years old

School types:

  • elementary school (Volksschule)
  • primary school (Grundschule) which provides a more “classical” education than elementary school
  • special needs school (Sonderschule)

2. Secondary school for children of ten to fourteen years old

School types:

  • standard secondary school (Hauptschule)
  • academic secondary school (Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen)
    • Gymnasium for arts, languages and humanities
    • Realgymnasium for mathematics and science
    • Wirtschaftskundliches Realgymnasium for economics

3. Upper secondary school (Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen) for teenagers of fourteen to eighteen years old

Universities and higher education

In Austria there are two types of higher education institutions:

  • institutes of higher learning (Fachhochschulen or FH)
  • universities (Universitäten)

Austrian universities offer the standard EU academic cycles (ECTS): Bachelor’s (six semesters), Master’s (four semesters) and Doctorate (six semesters).

FH have academic programmes focused on the applied knowledge of engineering. Acceptance is dependent on entrance exam results in Mathematics and Physics as well as a personal interview and B2-C1* certificate of German language. It is common to follow a language course in one of Vienna’s universities (Vorstudienlehrgang der Wiener Universitäten or VWU) before applying to a FH.

Top Austrian universities

1 University of Vienna (Universität Wien)
2 University of Innsbruck (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck)
3 Vienna University of Technology (Technische Universität Wien)
4 Medical University of Vienna (Medizinische Universität Wien)
5 University of Graz (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz)

Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015

Documents required:

  • completed application
  • passport
  • secondary school leaving certificate
  • university diploma (for post-graduate applications)
  • certificate of diploma equivalency for non-EU students (Nachweis der besonderen Universitätsreife), issued by a university in applicant’s home country proving eligibility for admission to the Austrian university course
  • professional training certificates (if applicable)
  • CV

All documents must be translated into German and notarised. They can be submitted immediately after graduating from secondary education.

University fees

Citizenship Fee, EUR
Austria, EU, long-term visa holders (Daueraufenthalt) Free
Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, South Africa and some other countries 400
Countries with no bilateral agreements 700

*Levels A-B-C refers to the European standards for foreign language proficiency

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    Anna Boyarchukova
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