Integration of Ukrainian children into the Austrian education system – Vindobona.org

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education (BMBWF) is preparing to welcome up to 50,000 Ukrainian children and young people to Austria in the next school year. During the past school year, more than 11,000 Ukrainian children have already been integrated into the Austrian school system. Meanwhile, the BMBWF estimates that there are more than 16,000 Ukrainian children and young people in Austria.

According to the Ministry of Education, Minister Martin Polaschek is already throughout the summer in the exchange with all the educational departments, associations and other stakeholders on the measures for the coming school year. The measures implemented and the current development of the number of refugees are currently being assessed.

It is not possible to predict how many children and young people will still come to Austria, according to Minister of Education Martin Polaschek. Therefore, according to Polaschek, it is important to prepare for as many people as possible.

New measures in the school sector

From the new school year, compulsory education will also apply without restriction to Ukrainian children. According to the Ministry of Education, this must be clarified once again in a circular.

At the same time, voluntarily, opportunities are provided for students of Ukrainian students who can use the school infrastructure to take online courses from Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Education, additional German lessons will be implemented wherever it makes sense. So far, 211 German classes have been established in Austria.

During the past school year, the rules for compulsory school attendance have been handled very flexibly, Minister Polaschek pointed out. Many children and teenagers, especially those who arrived later, had accepted offers from Ukraine via distance learning, where the school year was already ending in early June. However, these are now reduced by the Ukrainian side.

Children who arrived only in May, for example, stayed there too short to be able to graduate in Austria – so they were allowed to obtain a Ukrainian certificate.

According to the BMBWF, a concept is currently being developed to examine to what extent students can have their Ukrainian certificates recognized in Austria.

Staff from Ukraine

As before, Ukrainian staff will also be employed as assistants through special contracts to support local teachers in their teaching. This applies not only to teachers but also to psychologists, for example.

The pool of personnel for the care of Ukrainian children and young people still needs to be expanded. According to the Ministry of Education, the number of social workers has already increased from 120 to 240.

In the future, more students, career changers and retirees will be brought into the system to teach. To this end, the possibility of setting up more transition courses is to be created, according to the Ministry of Education.

Measures in the university sector

Ukrainian students also continue to receive support in the academic sector. For example, Ukrainian students will also be exempt from tuition fees in the winter semester.

Also, according to the Ministry of Education, more than 300 Ernst-Mach scholarships for Ukrainian students have already been recognized nationally since the start of the war in Ukraine. Due to their success, the “Ernst-Mach-Scholarships” will continue to be awarded to financially support Ukrainian students.

At many Austrian universities, various support and assistance measures are offered. For example, according to the Ministry of Education, the University of Graz has created its homepage, where future students from Ukraine constantly receive an overview of answers to current questions. According to the Ministry of Education, the “room-TUlearn” project has also been expanded at the Vienna University of Technology for Ukrainian students, according to which teaching and learning rooms have been opened for these students in order to that they can continue their studies via online education at their home university.

BMBWF – Ministry of Education