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Austria  [2]  Context of EU policies and programmes

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In 2005 and during the first half of 2006 Austrian policy was strongly influenced by the preparation and holding of the EU presidency. In education and training policy some initiatives have been taken which were strongly related to research.
  • The ongoing emphasis on quality development and quality assurance (QD/QA) has been reinforced by a European study about good practices in QD/QA in VET and Higher Education (http://www.equi.at/pdf/report%20jqnc%20_10-04-2006__web.pdf), which was also utilised as a basis for a European conference for the exchange of experience. This initiative is embedded in a broad process for QD/QA in the Austrian VET system (http://www.qibb.at/) and in the other parts of education and training too. Related to the PISA-results various initiatives have developed in this area, which will be gradually implemented into the systems.

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  • Another initiative related to higher education has been a study conducted for the directors in higher education and the European rectors about the relationship of the new proposal for the European Qualification Framework and the Bologna process (http://www.equi.at/pdf/ihs-duk-eqf-lassnigg-vogtenhuber-pellertcendon. pdf); a separate piloting study has also been conducted about the EQF/NQF in the area of VET, which will be taken further in the future.

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  • A third initiative from labour market policy concerned the conditions and barriers which confront disadvantaged young persons in employment and on the labour market. A set of studies has been conducted (or is under way) which has analysed in greater detail the development on the youth labour market in Austria nationally, and also as a part of the broader European picture (national: http://www.equi.at/pdf/aut-disyouth-de.pdf; European: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/social_inclusion/docs/youth_leaflet_en.pdf). Those studies are giving further insights to the policy development in the youth labour market which has been a main policy priority during the last decade or more.

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  • A fourth initiative has been the further development and popularisation of a network of professionals in the area of educational guidance and counselling (http://www.bib-infonet.at/) which was supported by an international conference. In this policy field the recent OECD reviews about the Austrian practice have been taken up, and several reform issues are under debate for implementation in this area. The further development of guidance and counselling is also related to the initiatives of the public employment service (AMS) to provide information about the labour market (http://www.ams.or.at/neu/1216_458.htm), and follow-ups to the project about the matching of supply and demand have been further developed.


Under those initiatives a group of experts and researchers has also been commissioned to develop a more comprehensive lifelong learning strategy for Austria, which will be carried on in the future.

Austrian education and training policy has been also quite strongly related to the Lisbon follow-up process, and a platform for reform priorities has been set up (http://www.eu-bildung-2010.at/index.php?) which should contribute to the improvement of Austrian education and training due to the European targets. However, this process is more strongly related to general and academic education than to VET (which nevertheless has its part in the process).

Moreover, the following policy areas must also be mentioned:

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Austria (bibliographical details see Reference)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO