Austria

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For entities in Austria see Category:Austria


by James Kay and Paul Bacsich (Sero)

Policies Survey notes:

Austria has numerous OER activities supported by several departments of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. Examples of these include a platform for creating and sharing content in Austrian schools and freely accessible mathematics exercises as applications via GeoGebra (an interactive geometry, algebra and calculus application). In the tertiary sector, several universities are active in OER, and there is also an open access (OA) movement:
University of Vienna: Phaidra (Permanent Archiving and Indexing of Digital Resources and Assets) is an open access database with a number of university members.
The Academy of Science developed its own OA database.
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) finances the OA publishing of each research project it has funded.
The University of Vienna is the Austrian contact point for OPEN DOAR (the OA initiative of the EU.)
The Austrian Ministry of Education’s open source projects usually carry a specific CC license: CC-SA.
Austria has an Open Access Policy for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) funded projects. In addition, whilst the Technology and Innovation Strategy makes no explicit reference to OER, it notes that the results of publicly financed or co-financed research projects must be accessible for the public in an appropriate manner.

Overview

Austria (German: Österreich), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It borders both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The capital is the city of Vienna on the Danube River.

The population of Austria is around 8,415,000.

The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the territory of Upper and Lower Austria became increasingly populated. The name "Ostarrichi" is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the Österreich.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states and is one of six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and one of the few countries that includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in its constitution. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.


Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Austria.

Education in Austria

For a general description of education in Austria see Education:Austria.


Eurypedia summarises the situation for the management of education as follows:

  • Competence for legislation in education and its implementation is divided between the Federation (Bund) and the States (Länder).
  • At States level, the competent legislative bodies are the States Parliaments (diets). Responsibility for implementation rests with the the administrative bodies (Ämter der Landesregierung) of the 9 Austrian States.
  • In specific matters enumerated in the Constitution, the Federation and the States have a shared legislative competence. The Federation enacts framework legislation, while detailed implementing legislation is laid down by the States.
  • However, the Federation has overwhelming responsibility for the system of education, which covers virtually all areas of school organisation, the organisation of school instruction, Private Schools as well as the service, remuneration and retirement law governing teachers. These matters are all governed by federal legislation.
  • The States are mainly responsible for the provision of teaching staff at Public Compulsory Schools. Moreover, they support the municipalities in the construction and maintenance of these Schools via dedicated school construction funds, which they administer. Nursing school (Kindergarten) education is a responsibility of the States.
  • Schools enjoy some autonomy in budgetary management and, up to a point, are free to adapt the curriculum to local needs

e-learning

For a description more focussed to e-learning see Austria/EL for schools and Austria/DL for a university focus.


Quality procedures

The organisation of quality assurance in Austria has changed considerably in 2012.

AQ Austria - Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria - was founded in 2012. It includes the competences and activities of three previous existing organisations:

  1. Österreichischer Akkreditierungsrat (Austrian Accreditation Council – ÖAR)
  2. Fachhochschulrat (FH Council - FHR)
  3. Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance (AQA). (AQA will complete ongoing evaluations and therefore keep its functions until mid 2013.)

AQ Austria is a legal entity governed by public law, set up to provide institutional and programme accreditation, audit, evaluations, studies and projects, information and supervision.

In more detail, it covers:

  • Developing and carrying out external quality assurance procedures such as audits for higher education institutions and accreditation procedures for higher education institutions and degree programmes, according to national and international standards
  • Continuous supervision of accredited higher education institutions and degree programmes regarding the accreditation requirements
  • Conducting studies and system-wide analyses, performing evaluations, and carrying out projects; providing information and advice in matters related to quality assurance and quality enhancement.

AQ Austria is a full member of ENQA, inheriting the status of its predecessors.

Note that the Eurypedia entry at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/eurydice/index.php/Austria:Quality_Assurance is in need of updating.

Internet in Austria

Survey of Austrian households in 2011 - 72% of the surveyed households used a broadband connection to access the Internet. In 2003, only 10% of the households used such a connection. Three out of four households (75%) have access to the Internet. (1)

Internet in Education

Copyright law in Austria

Copyright law in Education

In Austria, open source projects financed by the Ministry of Education generally follow the CC strategy, mostly via CC-SA. Austria has participated in several EU-funded projects for the school sector where it has accumulated expertise with these flexible licensing models. (2)

OER Initiatives in Austria

In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Austria reported that it is active in OER over the full spectrum of education, with the exception of International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) sector 4. Austria also reported that they strongly emphasise open access publication of research results and articles, some of which can also be used in teaching, but that there is a scarcity of information on OER due to the autonomy of higher education institutions. The Federal Ministry for Science and Research wants to set up a framework that encourages institutions to develop their own materials and make them available to all students. (2)

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

References

1. Statistics Austria - ttp://www.statistik.at/web_en/dynamic/statistics/information_society/059210

Reports

2. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38


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