POSTED ON OCT 24, 2020

Features of Austrian Education

Features of the Austrian educational system from pre-school education to higher education in Austrian universities. How much does education cost and how to get free international students.

Features of Austrian education and how to get an Austrian university diploma for a foreigner

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According to the United Nations Development Program, Austria is ranked 25th in the world in Education Index. Studying in Austria is popular among applicants because of the high level of teaching, modern equipment of educational institutions, a wide selection of specialities and affordable tuition. Vienna schools are among the top 100 universities in the world, and some specialities take pride of place in the global ranking of the TOP-20.

From 2011 to the present, the city of Vienna has continuously been ranked first in the Economist ranking and is recognized as the most liveable city in the world.

Kindergarten and school

Kindergartens in Austria are paid, both public and private. From 3 years old, the child is used to attend the crèche, and from 4 to 6 years old - a kindergarten. Moreover, the system of preschool education in Austria does not include training in reading and spelling techniques, so a visit is not necessary. In addition to the last preparatory year before school.

The school system includes three levels:
Elementary school
Compulsory schooling for a child begins at the age of 6. In most cases, children attend a regular elementary school (Grundschule), in which they receive a traditional education with a wide range of subjects. Folk Primary School (Volksschule) provides basic theoretical knowledge. Education for children with disabilities is carried out either in specialized educational institutions (Sonderschule) or in ordinary schools, where a unique program is developed, and qualified specialists are involved.
Secondary school
Training is conducted from 10 to 14 years. In addition to the usual secondary school (Hauptschule), there is also an academic school, which is divided into three types: a gymnasium with traditional education (Gymnasium), a gymnasium with an in-depth study of scientific disciplines (Realgymnasium) and a gymnasium with an economic bias and housekeeping (Wirtschaftskundlisches Realgymnasium).
High school
From 14 to 18 years old is studying at a higher secondary school (Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen). Optionally, the student can enter a vocational college. The last year in higher secondary school is devoted to preparatory courses for admission to the university.
In Austria, you can study for free.
In Austria, you can study for free.
General education in Austria at the state level is free of charge. There are also paid private schools. The choice of the educational institution remains with the parents.

Features of Austrian universities

There are more than 50 higher education institutions in Austria, which annually take pride of place in international rankings. Universities offer more than 100 study programs with quality training and a wide selection of specialities. Universities of Austria are divided into three categories:
State universities (Universitäten)
These are traditional educational institutions with a classical approach to learning, which provide fundamental knowledge of most specialities.
State universities of applied disciplines (Fachhochschulen)
The training program of these universities is aimed at obtaining applied knowledge in the field of technical sciences with practical courses.
Private universities for a fee (Privatuniversitäten)
In Austria, there are more than ten accredited private universities that implement an academic program to train more than 150 specialities.

Higher education in Austria corresponds to the Bologna system and is divided into three levels:

⦁ undergraduate (6 semesters);
⦁ magistracy (4 semesters);
⦁ doctoral studies (6 semesters).
The main feature of Austrian universities is that the submission of documents for admission takes place twice a year, for the winter or summer semester. Before entering, you can take language courses at the university. An additional advantage for the student is the ability to choose at his discretion a list of subjects studied, and independently organize the learning process.

The list of famous higher education institutions in Austria is based on the annual publications of QS Ranking University ratings:
The list of famous higher education institutions in Austria is based on the annual publications of QS Ranking University ratings:

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University of Vienna (Universitat Wien)

The largest university located in the capital of the country was founded in 1365. There are 18 faculties in which more than 90,000 students are trained in 54 undergraduate programs, 112 master's programs, and 11 doctoral programs. The University of Vienna every year confidently takes place in the TOP-100 of the best universities in the world. Among the graduates of the University of Vienna, there are 9 Nobel Prize winners.

Vienna Technical University (Technische Universitat Wien)

It was founded in 1815. Currently, more than 16,000 students are studying, mainly young men. The university has eight faculties in the field of natural sciences. Modern equipment for scientific and practical research is provided. The most popular educational programs among applicants in the IT-technology and engineering areas.

University of Innsbruck (Universität Innsbruck)

Since 1669, a university has been operating in the city of Innsbruck, with 15 faculties. The priority is considered to be the faculty of mathematics, computer science, and physics. In 2004, the Faculty of Medicine was taken to a separate educational institution. It has prestige due to vigorous research activities.

University Graz named after Karl and Franz (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz)

The foundation of the university in Graz occurred in 1585. It teaches the humanities and natural sciences. The advantage of the university lies in the quality training of specialists in the field of chemistry, mathematics, and molecular biology. Various studies are carried out, developments in the field of robotics are popular. Six graduates of the University of Graz became winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry and medicine.
View of the University of Graz named after Karl and Franz
View of the University of Graz named after Karl and Franz

Vienna Medical University (Medizinische Universität Wien)

It was founded in 2004 as a result of the expansion of the medical faculty of the University of Vienna. Currently, it is considered the most significant medical research and educational institution in Austria. Over 8,000 students are studying. Modern training programs and experienced teachers provide an opportunity to receive a world-class medical education for successful medical practice worldwide.

University of Linz Johannes Kepler (Johannes Kepler Universität Linz)

It was founded in 1966 in the city of Linz. About 19,000 students study. The university entered the TOP-100 of young higher educational institutions according to the QS rating. Popular among applicants because of special educational programs in mathematics and engineering.
Admission to most public universities in Austria takes place without entrance exams - this is another distinguishing feature of higher education in the country. Entrance examinations in mathematics and physics are required only for those applicants who decide to enter state universities of applied disciplines for technical specialities.
Besides, an interview is required to confirm German language proficiency at B2-C1, and in some universities, they additionally require online testing.

Conditions for admission to a higher education institution in Austria to a student from the Russian Federation

The popularity of Austrian higher education institutions among Russian applicants has increased due to high-quality training for future employment and reasonable tuition fees. Admission to Austrian universities for Russian students can take place not only by transfer from a Russian university but also:

Straight after school

Submission of documents immediately after school is allowed. For Russian schoolchildren, this is a great advantage, since they do not have to study at the university of their native country for two years. For enrollment, the following documents will be required:

⦁ School certificate.
⦁ A certificate confirming compliance with the requirements for applicants of Russian universities (Studienplatznachweis).
⦁ Application form.
⦁ Certificate of knowledge of the German language.
⦁ Certificate of knowledge of English (for training in English).
⦁ Autobiography.
⦁ Copy of passport.

A certificate confirming compliance with the requirements for applicants to Russian universities is not a document, the design of which falls under state standards. This certificate proves that you have the right to study in your chosen speciality at the university of your native country.

For example, if you want to study Journalism in Austria, you need to take a certificate that you can study Journalism in the Russian Federation. The only condition is that the document must be printed on the letterhead of the higher educational institution, with the name of the executive person, signature, and seal. The issuance of such a certificate must be agreed with the administration of the university.

Also, you need to make copies of the license of a higher educational institution for the right to conduct educational activities and state accreditation.

Legalization of the certificate

The prepared documents, certificate, and certificate of compliance with the requirements of the applicant must be legalized - bring the Apostille of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation to the table, then do a translation into German and notarize it. Most universities in Austria require original documents along with copies. You can prepare and send all documents to the university selection committee either in Russia or through an intermediary in Vienna or another city where the educational institution is located.

Preparatory courses

With insufficient knowledge of the German language, preparatory courses are provided. For four semesters, the student fully learns the language at the B2 level and successfully passes the language exam. Enrollment in such courses gives you the status of a free student, you can attend lectures, enjoy benefits, but you cannot take exams and transfer to the second year.

Dates of receipt

The division of the academic year in Austrian universities provides for the winter semester from October 1 to January 31 and the summer semester from March 1 to September 30. Vacations last three months (July, August, September) and a month between semesters in February. Sending documents to the selection committee of the selected university should be in strict time. For admission to the winter semester - until September 5, for access to the summer semester - until February 5.

Obtaining a student residence permit

To obtain a student visa for up to 6 months, you will need to provide the following documents:

⦁ An invitation to study from an Austrian university.
⦁ Confirmation of financial viability depending on the age of the student.
⦁ Certificate of residence in Austria (rental agreement, proof of residence in a student hostel).
⦁ Confirmation of family ties in the homeland and economic relations of the applicant to the motherland (certificates of employment and income, confirmation from the place of study, documents on civil status, etc.).

To obtain permission to stay in the country for more than six months, it is necessary to submit an application three months before the planned entry into Austria and provide additional documents to the main ones:

⦁ birth certificate.
⦁ Certificate of no criminal record (valid for three months from the date of issue).

Tuition and Accommodation Cost

The cost of studying in Austria corresponds to the average European level: 1620-1650 euros/year for foreigners, 725-765 euros/year for citizens + the cost of living 800-1600 euros/year depending on the university and conditions. Master programs can cost 1800-2000 euros/year.
Austrian higher education institutions do not provide international students with a free hostel. Thus, you need to pre-engage in the search for suitable housing.

How to enter university for free

Many well-known universities around the world use special programs to attract students. Universities in Austria offer the following methods of admission free of charge:

According to the exchange program

All Austrian public universities annually accept international exchange students. It is worth noting the University of Vienna, which implements the Erasmus Sokrates program, aimed at financing talented specialists. Any applicant can apply for participation in the program.
Enrollment in exchange training takes place on the principle of consistency, that is, they do not select the very best, but the very first who submitted the documents.

Grants and scholarships

The community of higher education institutions in Austria provides grants and scholarships for the best applicants in various fields:

⦁ Grant Berta von Zuttner in the field of humanities and theology.
⦁ Ernst Mach Scholarship in the field of medicine, law, economics, etc.
⦁ Grant by Franz Werfel in the field of linguistics and literature.

An exclusive website,, Was created on which you can learn in detail which of the students was awarded another grant and scholarship from universities in Austria.


⦁ Austria is a country with prestigious and affordable higher education for international students.
⦁ Higher education corresponds to the Bologna system and is divided into three levels: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies.
⦁ Documents for enrollment are submitted twice a year, for the winter or summer semester.
⦁ Universities of Austria are included in the international ranking of the best educational institutions.
⦁ Admission to most public universities takes place without entrance exams.
⦁ Access to the university can take place immediately after school for Russian students.
⦁ The cost of training corresponds to the average European level.
⦁ You can apply for an exchange program or use a grant.

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