The higher education system in Austria is divided into three sectors: universities (Universitaeten) and the University of the Arts (Universitaeten der Kuenste); colleges (Akademien des nicht-universitaeren Bereich), which teaches social workers, high schools (Fachhochschule).
All universities in Austria are state. They are administered by the Federal Ministry of Science and Transport. University teachers and staff are civil servants. All major universities are funded from the federal budget (the exception is the University of Krems, only partially funded by the state). Accordingly, training for Austrian citizens is free.
According to a study of German magazine “Der Spiegel”, the Austrian universities occupy a stable position in the middle of the list of European universities. According to a survey conducted by the magazine, a ranking of the best universities in the continent were four faculties of three Austrian universities – in Vienna, Salzburg and Graz.
In Salzburg it is better to study law, in Vienna – the economy, in Graz – Engineering. In the universities of Austria trained about 210 thousand students, who are training by 18,000 teachers. Almost half of all students (96 thousand) studying at the University of Vienna, Vienna University of Technology and the University of Economics . A large number of students can also boast University of Karl Franz in Graz (Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz, 32,5 thousand students), and University of Salzburg (Universitaet Salzburg, 14,6 thousand students). Other universities are much smaller.
Vienna is truly a student city – there are more than half of Austrian and international students. Only in one of Vienna University, the largest in the country, has about 80 thousand students. Few people know that this university is the oldest in existence in the German-speaking region. It was founded by Duke Rudolf IV in 1365.
In the XIX century there were many Austrian specialized universities. These technical universities in Vienna and Graz, Mining University in Leoben, University of Culture land, veterinary and Economic University in Vienna.
In the Austrian education system also includes six art colleges and occupies a special place Danube University Graduate Education in Krems. It increase the training of specialists in the field of European law, international relations in Europe, mass media, economics, management, ecology and medicine.
Colleges in Austria
As for the other two sectors, they are less interesting for foreign students. Academy is a professional educational institution with a three-year training: teaching academy (Paedagogische Akademien), which train primary school teachers, the Academy for Training of social workers, medical and technical academy, producing mid-level medical staff and technical assistants.
High schools in Austria
Fachhochschulen – is the youngest sector of the Austrian High School, which was formed only in the early 90’s. It is focused on the 8-semester vocational training program. It is a part of their high school graduates are given mainly practical knowledge that allows those to get a job quickly.
International students must have a certificate, equivalent to Austrian Matura (Reifezeugnis), and a document certifying that they have already enrolled in the school of the host country. Requirements for admission to a particular faculty vary from year to year, so students must pre-specify the information available to the Austrian Embassy in their country. Applications must be submitted to the selection committee (Evidenzstelle) chosen university no later than 1 September for the start of classes in the winter and 1 February for the start of classes in the summer.
Required language skills
Good knowledge of German required. In order to become a full-time student at the faculty of a university, you have to pass a written and oral exam in language. Conditions for learning German established in almost all universities.
Academic year runs from October to June.