European Education Area Progress Report 2020

Education and Training Monitor 2020


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview

Austria EU-27
2009 2019 2009 2019
Education and training 2020 benchmarks
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) 8.8% 7.8% 14.0% 10.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) 23.4% 42.4% 31.1% 40.3%
Early childhood education
(from age 4 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
91.3% 96.0%18 90.3% 94.8%18
Proportion of 15 year-olds underachieving in: Reading 27.6% 23.6%18 19.3% 22.5%18
Maths 23.3% 21.1%18 22.2% 22.9%18
Science 20.9% 21.9%18 17.8% 22.3%18
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-8 (total) 87.9% 89.0% 78.0% 80.9%
Adult participation in learning (age 25-64) ISCED 0-8 (total) 13.9% 14.7% 7.9% 10.8%b
Learning mobility Degree mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 5.8%18 : 4.3%18
Credit mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 9.1%18 : 9.1%18
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 5.1% 4.8% 18 5.1% 4.6%18
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €8 99012 €10 27817 €6 072d, 12 €6 240d, 16
ISCED 3-4 €10 40512 €11 07017 :12 €7 757d, 16
ISCED 5-8 €12 44812 €13 29317 €9 679d, 12 €9 977d, 16
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native-born 6.4% 5.7% 12.6% 8.9%
Foreign-born 22.0% 19.2% 29.3% 22.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) Native-born 23.2% 43.5% 32.0% 41.3%
Foreign-born 24.1% 40.0% 25.1% 35.3%
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-4 87.1% 86.3% 72.2% 75.9%
ISCED 5-8 90.1% 91.4% 83.7% 85.0%

Sources: Eurostat; OECD (PISA); Learning mobility figures are calculated by DG EAC, based on UOE 2018 data. Further information can be found in Annex I and in Volume 1 ( Notes: The 2018 EU average on PISA reading performance does not include ES; b= break in time series; d = definition differs; : = not available; 12 = 2012; 16 = 2016; 17 = 2017; 18 = 2018.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG EAC, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2019, UOE 2018) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • Austria is reviewing its education policies including previous reforms.
  • Schools and higher education institutions successfully managed the COVID-19 crisis but have to avoid a widening education gap between pupils from wealthier backgrounds and those from disadvantaged or migrant backgrounds.
  • Improving digital skills at all levels of education and strengthening capacity for blended learning have been top priorities since the COVID-19 crisis for government and stakeholders.
  • Participation in early childhood education and care has increased, but more focus on the quality of provision is required.

3. A focus on digital education

Not all Austrian students have information and communications technology (ICT) devices (laptops or tablet computers) and access to equipment in school varies by school type. In 2018, Austrian secondary schools were better digitally equipped and connected than the EU average at both ISCED 2 and ISCED 3 levels. At ISCED 2 level, 72% of schools were digitally well equipped and connected (EU average: 52%) and at ISCED 3 level, 86% of schools were digitally well equipped and connected (EU average: 72%). However, fewer primary schools are similarly well equipped: only 11% of primary schools are well equipped and connected, (EU average: 35%) (European Commission 2019a). The share of schools giving ICT classes with student-owned devices is 5.9% at non-academic lower secondary level, 6.4% at academic lower secondary, and 14.6% at secondary level in general. Working with equipment owned by students allows two thirds of secondary classes to work with ICT (Masterplan Digitalisation). Depending on the type of school, about half of secondary schools have Wi-Fi in all classes, but only about a third have high-speed access at more than 100 Mbit/s.

The amount of e-learning varies considerably by education level and school type. Computer usage in school increases with education level: 43% of students at ISCED 2 use their computer at school at least once a week for learning purposes (EU average: 37%), compared to 65% at ISCED 3 (EU average: 56%). In 2016, 90% of federal schools (mainly upper secondary schools) engaged in e-learning, compared to 42% of lower secondary compulsory schools, and only 25% of primary schools (Breit, 2018). In secondary school, depending on the type, about one third up to half lack pedagogical programmes to use ICT in class (Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (2020b). Austrian teachers are generally less self-confident about their digital skills than their EU counterparts, in particular at ISCED levels 1 and 3. However, they are more confident than the EU average at ISCED 2. These self-assessed confidence levels may reflect the amount of professional training teachers receive – at ISCED 3 it is only about half the EU average. Nevertheless, Austrian teachers do not express a strong desire for more training. While 72%of parents in primary school are highly confident about teaching their child to use the internet safely and responsibly (6% above the EU average), this share drops to 47% in lower secondary school, significantly below the EU average of 67% (European Commission 2019a). Self-confidence in ICT skills among 16-19 year olds has increased: 76% consider their skills to be above basic, an increase on the 2015-2019 average of 61%. This is considerably above the 54% EU average and approaching levels found in the most advanced countries (Eurostat, [isoc_sk_dskl_i]).

After years of bottom-up activities, Austria has increasingly integrated digitalisation in education into its strategic framework. From 2000 onwards, different initiatives in schools (‘the E-fit initiative’, ‘Schule 4.0’) promoted different aspects of digital learning. And in 2018, Austria began to develop its digital masterplan for education. The national education report in 2018: (i) called for better consolidation of existing activities; (ii) called for greater consistency (for instance between curricula at all levels); (iii) drew up a list of digital skills (digi.komp8); and (iv) called for greater consistency in media-literacy education (Breit, 2018). In June 2020, Austria adopted an ‘8-point plan for digital learning’, investing EUR 200 million.

Figure 3 - Percentage of teachers who reported that they `frequently´ or `always´ let students use ICT for projects or class work, 2018

Source: OECD database, TALIS 2018, participating EU countries.

Box 1: 8-point plan for digital learning

As of 2020/2021, a single gateway, the ‘Digital Schule’ portal, should become the main platform for applications and communication between students, teachers and parents. Uneven ICT skills among teachers became more apparent during the COVID-19 school closures. The 8-point plan aims to prepare all teachers for blended and distance learning. This will include intensified continuing professional development as early as summer 2020. Eduthek, Austria’s government-owned online education platform, provided access to learning and teaching material during the crisis. Now its content is to be more closely harmonised with curricula. In 2021/2022, a purchasing programme starting with school levels 5 and 6 (age 10 and 11) will upgrade IT infrastructure so that all students have access to devices.

In response to COVID-19, Austria successfully converted all schools to distance learning. Students that stayed home from mid-March had all returned to school premises by June 3rd. And at the end of the school year, students were split into groups for blended learning and organised so that they would come to the school premises in rotation. This allowed a blended combination of on-site and distance learning. The success of the move by schools to distance learning depended on: (i) prior ICT experience/strategies among teachers and students; and (ii) available equipment and software, both at home and in schools. Around 66% of teachers and students said they felt stressed or strongly stressed1 by the process. At the end of the lockdown, 75 % of teachers reported that they had managed rather well, and 80 % that they had all necessary devices. Teachers found it difficult to adjust the work load for students, and students generally felt more burdened while studying at home. The main approach taken was to go deeper into existing content rather than to teach new content.

Inequalities linked to social disadvantage risk being further aggravated. A big concern has been the potential deepening of the educational divide affecting students from disadvantaged and/or migrant backgrounds. Success in home schooling depended on students’ ability to self-organise, their learning conditions, and the support they received. All of these were generally less favourable for learners with a disadvantaged background. Teachers could not reach around 10% of their students – 16% of students did not own a digital device and 21% indicated that they did not receive support from their parents. The numbers of students at risk of falling behind in their schooling is estimated to be at least around 45 0002. The Ministry of Education set up a comprehensive online platform, the Distance Learning Portal, to support teachers, parents and students. Thousands of computers were ordered – albeit sometime after lockdown began – for students who needed them for home schooling. A two week voluntary summer school for 23 000 students, organised two weeks before the school restarted, allowed weaker students to catch up, mainly in German. School leaving exams were held3 as normal but were slightly delayed and with some adaptations. The 2020 country specific recommendation recommends Austria to take action to ‘ensure equal opportunities to education and increased digital learning’.

4. Investing in education and training

General government expenditure on education in 2018 remained stable as a proportion of GDP (4.8%), and close to the EU average (4.6%). Expenditure on education as a share of government expenditure was 9.8%, also unchanged since 2017. Real expenditure has slightly increased at all educational levels. Teachers’ remuneration remains the largest expenditure category (64% of total educational expenditure), around the EU average. But the distribution of spending by educational level — 30% in pre-primary/primary, 43% in secondary and 15% in higher education — diverges from the EU average: with a slightly greater percentage at pre-primary/primary level and a slightly smaller at secondary level.

Austria has generally sought to implement education reforms without using more money or staff. However, even before the COVID-19 crisis, this was becoming difficult in view of the many actions proposed in the government agreement and the expected increase in students. In pre-primary education, a new constitutional agreement with the regions is to be concluded. In compulsory secondary school, additional resources may be required to cover commitments on supporting staff, disadvantaged schools, inclusion, and summer/holiday support. Matching resources with educational requirements is a goal which is being tested in the pilot project Chancenindex. This project is being piloted in 100 schools and eventually extended up to 500 schools by 2022, Once the pilot experience is evaluated ‘Chancenindex’ could target additional funding at the 60 000 ‘most disadvantaged’ students who are found in 295 schools, and an additional 170 000 ‘disadvantaged’ students in 224 schools (Radinger et al., 2018). COVID-19 has triggered additional investments in ICT. Funding levels for higher education are expected to remain unchanged between now and 2027.

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Although participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is increasing, participation is still low for children under the age of 3. The percentage of children aged between 4 and 6, the start of compulsory primary education, who attend early childhood education (ECE) increased to 96% in 2018, up from 93% in 2008. The difference in participation in ECE between regions (i.e. between the region with the most participation and the region with the least participation) narrowed from 10 pps in 2013 to 6.2 pps in 2018. The share of children under the age of 3 attending formal childcare increased from 4% in 2005 to 22.7% in 2019. This is still considerably lower than in comparable countries, like Denmark (66.0%) and Finland (38.2%), and also well below the Barcelona target of 33%. About two thirds of children under 3 attend formal childcare for less than 29 hours a week.

Austria has taken steps to improve quality but more may be required. Responsibility for ECEC in Austria lies mainly with the regions. The 2009 cross-regional education framework plan4 sets basic requirements while allowing differing implementation in the regions (Breit, 2018). Staff starting salaries in ECEC are just above the OECD average, but below comparable countries like the Netherlands, Sweden or Denmark, and progress little after 15 years (OECD 2019c). Austria remains one of only six EU countries to train ECEC educators below Bachelor level (European Commission 2019d). There are also different regional regulations for external and internal evaluation (European Commission 2019d). Austria is now making efforts to better streamline the system. The current agreement between the government and the regions for 2018-2022 specifies that regions:

  • expand available places – in particular for children under 3;
  • ensure linguistic support, in particular for 4 to 6 year olds before formal schooling starts;
  • further harmonise staff qualifications;
  • strengthen the teaching of common values;
  • keep ECEC obligatory and free of charge for children over the age of 5.

Experts consulted for Austria’s 2018 education report also recommended:

  • increasing funding for ECEC to 1% of GDP;
  • intensifying research to support evidence-based policy making for ECEC;
  • increasing evaluation/monitoring and move to a system where core staff are educated to Bachelor level;
  • promoting interaction between ECEC and primary school to facilitate transition.

Box 2: Compensation for socioeconomic disadvantage through ECEC depends on its quality.

High quality ECEC is considered in research and policy (OECD 2019c) to be an important measure to compensate for socioeconomic disadvantage. A variety of factors determines quality of ECEC. Attending ECEC in Austria clearly influences PISA results in later life. Young people who had not attended ECEC did worse in PISA tests by a margin above the OECD average (OECD 2019c). In Austria, as elsewhere, advantaged children attend ECEC more often and more intensively than their disadvantaged peers (OECD 2019c). The 2018 Austrian education report underlines that compensation for socioeconomic disadvantage requires high quality ECEC. Mediocre quality ECEC is not neutral and may even have an adverse effect on children’s education outcomes. The report therefore stresses the need for children from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds to receive ECEC of particularly high quality. Thus differing perceptions of quality in the regions may hinder equal opportunities. Austria introduced compulsory attendance in ECEC from age 5 to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds catch up with children from more advantaged backgrounds. However, it is not certain that this has been effective. The education report could not, given how ECEC is currently organised, conclude that participation by children from disadvantaged or migrant backgrounds helps them catch up with more advantaged children.

Basic skills levels are close to the EU average and show little improvement over time. According to the OECD’s 2018 PISA test, Austria’s mean performance is around the EU-27 average in reading (484; EU average: 487), science (490; EU average: 487) and mathematics (499; EU average: 492). There is no positive trend in any of the disciplines compared to PISA 2015. The share of low achievers remains just above the EU-27 average in reading (23.6%; EU average: 22.5%) or just below in science (21.9%; EU average: 22.3%) and mathematics (21.1%; EU average: 22.9%), again with no significant change in recent years. A similar pattern holds for top achievement in reading (7.4% are top achievers; EU average 8.5%), science (6.3% are top achievers; EU average: 6.3%) and mathematics (12.6% are top achievers; EU average: 11%) with no significant change over time.

Socioeconomic and/or migrant background continue to be a major determinant of basic skills. The difference in reading performance between advantaged and disadvantaged students is 93 points, and socioeconomic background explains 13% of performance differences in reading. This performance gap is close to the EU-27 average5. The share of Austrian students with a migrant background has continued to increase, rising to 22.7% in 2018. 76.3% of first-generation migrants and 72.4% of the second generation speak a language other than German at home. The latter share is one of the highest in the EU. Those who do not speak German at home score 46 PISA points lower in reading6. Generally, foreign-born students score 63 points behind native-born students in reading, while second-generation students score 54 points behind those without a migrant background. Accounting for socioeconomic status, the difference shrinks to a still-significant 33 points. In mathematics, girls on average score 13 points worse than boys, about twice as large a difference in performance with boys than the EU average of only 7 points.

Figure 4 - Difference in reading performance between pupils with non-migrant and migrant background, in score points, 2018

Source: OECD 2019, PISA 2018, Volume II.B1.9.3.

Wellbeing in schools has been stable over time. According to PISA 2018 only about a quarter of students feel they do not belong in school, a level that is relatively unchanged over time. The feeling of not belonging is associated with a significant difference in reading performance in PISA before (-31 points) and after (-18 points) accounting for socioeconomic background (compared to an EU average of -16 and -8 respectively). Bullying is no more frequent in Austria than in other countries.

Austria must make teaching more attractive and further promote the quality of the teaching profession. Because the number of students keeps increasing and the teaching workforce is seriously ageing (European Commission, 2019b), Austria must attract more suitable candidates into teacher training. Austrian teachers earn 87% of the average earnings for tertiary-educated workers in Austria, while school heads earn 115%. For teachers, these earnings are just below the EU-23 average, while for school heads these earnings are significantly below (-19 pps) the EU-23 average (OECD 2019f). Statutory salaries of teachers at lower secondary level increase by 29% after 15 years, equivalent to only 68% of the average progression for other tertiary-educated workers in the country. Nevertheless Austrian teachers are comparatively satisfied with their salary (69.9% are satisfied compared to only 35.3% on average in the EU-22) (OECD 2019a).

Working conditions in Austrian schools are generally favourable, although teacher training scores less favourably. According to data from the 2018 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), student-staff ratios in Austria in lower secondary schools are favourable (7.4 pupils per staff member) and have improved since 2008 when there were 8.7 pupils per staff member (OECD 2019). Class-size ratios are also favourable (20.6 pupils per teacher, up from 30.1 pupils per teacher in 2008). However, teacher training needs to be improved: only 65.3% of Austrian lower secondary teachers feel well prepared for teaching, 16.3 pps below the EU-23 average. These teachers score particularly low on ICT, teaching in a multicultural or mixed-ability setting, and behaviour and classroom management (OECD, 2019). The Austrian education report identifies that initial teacher training lacks sufficient attention to the link of language learning and intercultural and interreligious aspects (Breit, 2018). Austrian teachers are generally satisfied with their career choice, with 85.1% expressing satisfaction, 14.2 pps above the EU-23 average. However, only 16.1% of teachers consider that their profession is valued by society. The government has committed to: (i) evaluate the recently implemented reform of teacher training; (ii) enhance professional development; and (iii) improve opportunities for people to join the teaching profession without initial teacher training (Republic of Austria, 2019).

Austria is reforming education management to give schools more autonomy. Currently, schools have a high level of autonomy in choosing learning material and imposing discipline. They have less autonomy on issues of budget, assessment, admissions and course content; and little to no autonomy on hiring and dismissing teachers and on teacher salaries (OECD 2019a). According to the education report, Austria is seeking to give more autonomy to schools to allow them to team up in clusters and seperately to establish new hybrid school-governance systems that combine regional and federal tasks into newly formed school directorates (Breit, 2018).

6. Modernising vocational education and training

Vocational education and training (VET) remains an attractive option for Austrian students, offering excellent employability to graduates. The proportion of students enrolled at upper secondary level attending vocational programmes remains quite stable at 68.4% in 2018 (compared to 70.2% in 2013), and well above the EU-27 average of 48.4% (UOE, 2018). The employment rate of recent VET graduates in 2019 remained high at 88% (EU average: 79.1%) (LFS, 2019) and comparable that of tertiary graduates.

Efforts are being made to further improve the attractiveness of school-based VET and to address regional imbalances. A newly introduced learning phase in the final year usually takes place in a company for 10 to 12 weeks. The new curriculum applies to most school-based programmes for intermediate VET with a technical, crafts or art focus. The ‘supraregional apprenticeship placement-project’ was implemented nationwide in 2019, after several years of piloting. It targets the mismatch of vacant apprenticeship places and unemployed young people, and is open to all young people with a particular focus on refugees.

The Ministry of Education and educational providers have developed new five-year and three-year programmes to make the nursing profession more attractive. Starting in school year 2020/2021, these programmes will be directly accessible after completion of compulsory schooling at age 15, and they will include compulsory work-based learning. Graduates of the five-year programme can enter higher education.

A ‘dual academy scheme’7 is under development, which will address the current low attractiveness of apprenticeship training for upper secondary school graduates. After a pilot in Upper Austria in 2018/2019, this scheme is now being offered in other provinces. The incentives include: (i) a shorter training period for matriculation certificate holders (usually between 1.5 and 2.5 years, instead of the more usual 3-4 years); (ii) cooperation with additional training partners, such as universities of applied sciences; (iii) additional training content in future-oriented skills, including stays abroad; and (iv) an attractive starting salary from the first day of training.

On 1 May 2020, an amendment to the Vocational Training Act8 came into force that allows part-time apprenticeships in certain circumstances, such as childcare obligations or certain health restrictions. The amendment makes it possible for companies and apprentices to agree on a reduction of the daily or weekly training time for up to half of the normal working time. Correspondingly, the duration of the apprenticeship can be increased to up to 2 years.

In contrast to academic tertiary education, with its uniform Europe-wide degree architecture (Bachelor-Master-PhD), higher-qualifying VET is characterised by a marked heterogeneity. There are many different providers and qualifications, which impairs transparency, understanding and trust in these qualifications. At the same time, the skills associated with these qualifications are of great importance for the economy. It is crucial to make higher-qualifying VET more comprehensible for companies, better-known and more attractive. To achieve this, Austria’s IBW institute for research and development in VET issued an expert report9 on behalf of the Ministry of Education to stimulate further discussion and decisions.

7. Modernising higher education

Levels of tertiary educational attainment remain stable. Tertiary educational attainment (30 – 34 year old) stood at 42.4% in 2019, just above the EU average. The employment rate of recent tertiary graduates is 89%, 8 pps above the EU average. Tertiary graduates also enjoy a significant wage premium over those with an upper secondary degree (46% higher earnings, and up to 74% higher for PhDs) (OECD, 2018a). Tertiary educational attainment is highest in Vienna at 50.6%, and lowest in Vorarlberg at 19.9%. People born in Austria were more likely to have tertiary education than people born outside the EU (43.5% v 34.9%) in 2019. University financing levels are guaranteed until 2027, and managed access to university will be further improved. A new medium-to-long-term higher education plan is expected to specify further the roles and tasks of specific sectors as well as their future development. A review has also started on how to improve the employment conditions of mid-level staff. Already before COVID-19, greater emphasis was being placed on the digitalisation of university education.

8. Promoting adult learning

The government programme for adult learning includes many projects designed to strengthen lifelong learning10. These include: (i) revising the legal foundations for adult learning; (ii) improving the strategic orientation of adult education and its management; and (iii) further developing the three-year performance contracts with the federal associations of non-profit adult education. The lifelong learning strategy11 will be further developed. Other proposals include: (i) the financing of continuing education and training through education vouchers for special qualification measures; (ii) the strengthening of financial literacy and entrepreneurship education; and (iii) the promotion and strengthening of democracy/citizenship education. An overall strategy will also be developed for the continued training of employees.

Austria continues to implement its adult education initiative which aims to improve access to adult learning for the socioeconomically disadvantaged and increase their level of education. It enables adults who lack basic skills or who never graduated from lower secondary education to continue and finish their education free of charge.

The Austrian digitalisation strategy also includes initiatives to foster the acquisition of digital skills by adults. The Fit4internet12 initiative allows all Austrians to assess their digital skills and to receive proposals for training as a basis for their further personal development. The KMU digital13 initiative involves building digital literacy in small and medium-sized enterprises, and many media-literacy courses have also emerged in the field of general education. Austrian provinces and chambers of labour offer many support programmes for employees to acquire digital skills, as does the Public Employment Service for unemployed people.

Monitoring and evaluation of the adult learning sector needs to be improved. The 2018 national report on education deals with school education and initial vocational training, but not with adult learning. Coordination with other policies should be strengthened.

9. References

Breit, S., Eder, F., Krainer, K., Schreiner, C., Seel, A. and Spie, C. (2019), Nationaler Bildungsbericht Österreich 2018, Band 2, Graz: Leykam.

Cedefop ReferNet (2020), Austria: 2020 update of VET policy developments in the deliverables agreed in the 2015 Riga conclusions. Unpublished.

Cedefop ReferNet Austria (2019), Austria: dual academy takes off.

European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), 2019 Country Report Austria.

European Commission (2019a), 2nd Survey of Schools: ICT in Education.

European Commission (2019b), Education and Training Monitor – Austria.

European Commission (2020), European Semester, Country Report Austria 2020.

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2019), Digital Education at School in Europe. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

European Commission/ECEA/Eurydice (2019b), Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care (2019). Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Federal Chancellery (2020), National Reform Programme.

Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (2020a), Digital Education:

Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (2020b), Digital Masterplan.

Oberwimmer, K., Vogtenhuber, S., Lassnigg, L. and Schreiner, C. (Eds.) (2019), Nationaler Bildungsbericht Österreich 2018, Band 1, Graz: Leykam.

OECD (2018), Engaging Young Children – Lessons from Research about Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care.

OECD (2018a), Education at a Glance 2018, Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD (2019), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2019a), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2019b), Helping our Youngest to Learn and Grow – Policies for Early Learning.

OECD (2019c), Starting strong 2018, Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD (2019d), Working and Learning Together: Rethinking Human Resource Policy for Schools, OECD Reviews of School Resources, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019e), PISA 2018 Country Note Austria.

OECD (2019f), Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2019 Vol. I), PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What Students Know and Can Do, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019 Vol II), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019 Vol III), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Radinger, R., Ernst, D. and Mayerweck, E. (2018), Sonderauswertung Analyse zum Chancenindex. Vienna: Statistics Austria.

Republic of Austria (2019), Aus Verantwortung zu Österreich, Programme 2020-2024.

Schmich, J. & Itzlinger-Bruneforth, U. (Eds.) (2019). TALIS 2018: Band 1, Graz: Leykam.

Schmich, J. & Opriessnig, S. (Eds.) (2020). TALIS 2018: Band 2, Graz.

Suchań, B., Höller, I. and Wallner-Paschon, C. (Eds.), (2019), PISA 2018: Grundkompetenzen am Ende der Pflichtschulzeit im internationalen Vergleich, Graz: Leykam.

Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Early leavers from education and training edat_lfse_14 + edat_lfse_02
Tertiary educational attainment edat_lfse_03 + edat_lfs_9912
Early childhood education educ_uoe_enra10
Underachievement in reading, maths and science OECD (PISA)
Employment rate of recent graduates edat_lfse_24
Adult participation in learning trng_lfse_03
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Learning mobility:
- Degree-mobile graduates
- Credit-mobile graduates
DG EAC computation based on Eurostat / UIS / OECD data

Annex II: Structure of the education system

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2019/2020: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.


1 University of Vienna, Inclusive Home Learning Study, Schwab, S. et al. (not published). This study identified that 60% of teachers and 65% of students felt stressed or strongly stressed.

2 ‘Lernen unter Covod-19-Bedingungen’,

3 Grading was based both on the result of the exam and on the student’s average performance throughout the year.

4 ’Bundesübergreifender BildungsRahmenPlan’.

5 37.2% of students are in the bottom quarter of ECTS.

6 Only 5 EU countries have larger differences in the reading performance of children speaking a language at home that is not the language of formal education: LU (96), LT (70), LV (69), MT (63), SE (48).








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