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Relearning Excellence

Relearning Excellence

Time was when the Vienna school system was among the most respected in Europe: Its Gymnasien prepared pupils for its universities and its Realschulen for technical or trade schools. It was elite and selective, and very good, with results to show for it. “The central Gymnasien account for most of the major figures in Vienna’s […]

Austria’s Lost Generation

Austria’s Lost Generation

If there is one thing that gets Austrians riled up, it’s education. So with Education Minster Claudia Schmied retiring and new coalition talks under way, a draft for the new teacher’s employment law was circulated for comment. A mistake? A record-breaking response of 1,800, predominantly negative, comments flooded in – many of them from individual […]

Respect the Bean: Coffee as a State of Being

Respect the Bean: Coffee as a State of Being

On the quiet corner of Hahngasse and Pramergasse in Vienna’s 9th District, an aroma of freshly-ground coffee floats out each time a visitor opens the doors. A new coffee shop? Well, not exactly, at least not by Viennese standards. This is the Vienna School of Coffee, an offbeat, a one of a kind coffee manufacturer […]

No more endless summer?

“Nine weeks of summer vacation is too long for primary school children,” Susanne Brandsteidl, president of the Vienna School Board, told the Austrian weekly NEWS.  Middle school summer and catholic holidays should also be cut. Since high school students do internships and language courses, their nine weeks are safe. Bulgarian primary school children get 16 […]

Daily gym class in schools

On 18 April, the initiative for more exercise for children and youth, called Tägliche Turnstunde (Daily Gym Class), brought to life by the Bundessportorganisation (BSO, Federal Sports Organisation), succeeded by gaining 150,844 signatures in favour of making a daily hour of physical exercise in schools mandatory. On 24 April, the Tägliche Turnstunde was already a […]

Kurz Cares About The Card

Kurz Cares About The Card

Say you’re from a non-EU country – America, say, or Singapore, or South Africa – and decide to study in Austria. Maybe you arrived here with your parents as a child, or you fell in love with an Austrian, or simply decided to study here because it was cheap. Whatever the reason, you’re here now, […]

Book Review: Smells Like Teen Spirit?

Book Review: Smells Like Teen Spirit?

Young Gerber is an 18-year-old facing the archaic school-leaving oral interrogation known as the Matura. At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced the fear of academic failure, staring blankly into examination notebooks or being struck dumb when asked a difficult question in the classroom. This fear – and the paralysis and crippling self-doubt […]

Hungary’s New Curriculum: Writing Wrongs?

Hungary’s New Curriculum: Writing Wrongs?

It is not uncommon in Hungarian living rooms to find the walls lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Nor is it odd to find on those shelves a novel or two by the 20th-century Transylvanian writer József Nyirő. Nyirő’s heroes are ordinary folk. In books such as Jezusfarago ember (The Jesus Carving Man, 1924) […]

OECD Education at a Glance

OECD Education at a Glance

Education: A Pricey Commodity, 11 Sept. by Peter Mayr & Conrad Seidl […] The OECD survey emphasises that Austrian educational opportunities are essentially inherited. Young adults, especially men from less-educated families only rarely obtain higher education. According to the report [Education at a Glance 2012], Austrian parents exert a lot of influence, yet not enough […]

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