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Education in Austria
Education in Austria
Austria has a diverse school and university system which can be quite confusing especially when you come from abroad. There is a four-year compulsory elementary school for everyone. In general, compulsory school attendance is 9 years. After elementary school you can decide between attending secondary school for four years or grammar school for eight years. However, after four years in secondary school or four years in grammar school, you can switch to a vocational school which typically focuses on technical or economic professions. Vocational schools are usually attended for five years (giving you a general qualification for university entrance diploma) or three years (providing you with a master craftsman's diploma for a certain profession).
A university entrance diploma grants access to all subjects which are offered at university. There are no further restrictions (e.g. like a grade point average in certain subjects at school), however, some studies have a test at the beginning (for instance Medicine).
As in many European countries, Austria's traditional system of academic degrees is two-tiered, with a Diplom/Magister stage (after 4--6 years of study) followed by the doctorate. However, most of Austria's universities have been moving to a three-tiered degree system in the past few years, with a bachelor's degree (3 years) followed by a master's degree (an additional 2 years) and finally the doctorate.
Studying in Austria is subject to fees (about €726 per year or €363 per semester for EU nationals, twice as much for others, although citizens of some developing countries are exempt). Due to recent changes in laws (mid 2008) this fees are expected to be abolished for citizens of the European Union, and halved for other foreigners.
Austria has many great universities, the majority of which are located in Vienna, Graz, and Innsbruck. A relatively recent development in tertiary education are the Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences), vocational colleges that typically focus on engineering and business education with less emphasis on research than traditional universities, but a stronger view toward practice.
If you plan to study in Austria go here: to see the requirements. If you need advice, you can contact the national students union at .
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Austria Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.