Public expenditure on education 2017

Statistics Austria provides the data for the chapter on public expenditure in the annually published “Bildung in Zahlen” (“Education by the numbers” - at this point there is only a German version available).

This publication consists of two volumes, the first of which includes key indicators and analysis, while the second volume provides the detailed tables which give further information on the figures published in part one.

While the first part provides an overview of public education expenditure in selected school types of the Austrian education system, the tables in the second part offer a deeper insight into the public financing of education. For instance, data on the development of public education expenditure since the year 2000 as well as a regional breakdown by educational institution can be found in part two. In addition, a CD-ROM provides detailed data for further analysis.

The public expenditure on education amounted to €20 596.0 million in 2018. The major share of these expenditures was allotted to primary schools, lower secondary schools, special needs schools as well as pre-vocational schools (€6 078.3 million) and universities (€4 459.8 million).

Furthermore, Statistics Austria calculates data on public expenditure (including expenditure on research and development for educational institutions) for the annual report to the UNESCO/OECD/EUROSTAT (UOE) based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

According to this UOE report, education expenditure amounted to €19.840,6 million in 2017 which equaled 5.4% of the gross domestic product. The Federal Government (public corporations included) is accountable for approximately 51.6% (or €10.234,3 million), followed by the Länder (federal provinces) and Vienna with 35.0% (or €6.949,6 million) as well as municipalities and educational municipal associations with approximately 13.4% (or €2.656.7 million).

Differences between the figures on public expenditure as published in “Bildung in Zahlen” and the international data are a result of the differing purposes the two data collections are used for. While the national publication “Bildung in Zahlen” seeks to improve the transparency of payment flows within the Austrian education system, the UOE aims at providing internationally comparable data by implementing standardized methodologies. For this reason, in compliance with the guidelines issued by the UOE, the figures of the international report include estimated data on fictitious employer contributions to social security while expenditures of private households for public education services are deducted as they are recorded separately in UOE data.

Changes in calculation methods according to ISCED 1997

As of 2005 minor modifications in calculation methods were made:

  • Management data from public bodies was recoded back to the fiscal year 2000 according to characteristics of the Austrian education system (primary schools, lower secondary schools, etc.). These characteristics were then divided into ISCED 1997 classes, thus enabling Austrian characteristics in their entirety to be converted into ISCED 1997 characteristics. In the present depiction, this recoding was initially carried out for the fiscal years 2005 to 2011 only, since the conversion process into UOE data requires a series of offsets.
  • At Länder level, the revised method of processing education expenditure on general compulsory schools affects expenditure on special schools, resulting in a shift from ISCED 1997 level 3 to ISCED 1997 level 2 as of 2005. In particular, expenditure on teachers at general compulsory schools who are employed by the Länder was divided between the relevant types of schools (primary schools, lower secondary schools, special schools, pre-vocational schools) using weighted teaching staff data (according to the extent of employment, age and salary level).
  • Large increases in expenditure at federal level can be observed between 2005 and 2006 at ISCED 1997 level 3 and ISCED 1997 level 5A/6. The final accounts of the Federal Government between the fiscal years 2005 and 2006 show significant increases mainly in personnel expenditure for academic secondary schools (+€64 million), business colleges and business schools (+€14 million), social academies, colleges of tourism, social and economic occupations (+€21 million) and technical and commercial colleges (+€20 million). According to each university’s final accounts, the increase by approximately 124 million is also caused by additional expenditure of universities on personnel (ISCED 1997 level 5A/6).
  • According to the final accounts of the Länder excluding Vienna, high increases in expenditure were recorded at ISCED 1997 level 1 to 3. This is related to additional expenditure on elementary schools (+€45 million), on lower secondary schools (+€49 million) and on vocational schools (+€17 million). The expenditure on special schools which is split up among these three ISCED 1997 levels, increased by €16 million.
  • Approaches relevant to higher education at municipal level at ISCED 1997 level 5A/6 essentially include payments to universities of applied sciences associations and to university associations, study benefits and grants to university to students and student halls of residence.

Changes in calculation methods according to ISCED 2011

The revised International Standard Classification of Education 2011 (ISCED), which replaces the previous ISCED 1997 classification, was first applied in the course of calculations for the reporting year 2012. In this context several school types were reclassified, which also entailed a number of methodological changes in calculations. The quantitatively most significant changes concerned the Intermediate and higher vocational schools (Berufsbildende mittlere und höhere Schulen). While according to ISCED 1997 they were entirely allocated to level 3, according to ISCED 2011 the 4th and 5th year are now allocated to level 5. Also, after-school care centers (Horte) are now excluded from the data owing improvements in methodology, which results in a decrease in expenses at the pre-primary level.

In the depicted tables according to ISCED 2011 only data from the fiscal year 2012 onwards are available at present as the back-casting of the time series requires a series of offsets. However, a gradual revision back to 2000 is planned.

Additional Notes

Federal Government

According to Art. 14 of the Federal Constitutional Law (Bundesverfassungsgesetz) the Federal Government is responsible for maintenance of secondary schools, colleges and universities. On the one hand, this explains the high expenditures on upper level academic secondary schools and on technical and vocational schools and colleges from the ninth school year onward (ISCED level 3). On the other hand, the high share of Federal Government expenditures at ISCED level 5A/6 is due to global budget transfers to the 21 universities specified in the Universities Act 2002, transfer payments to universities of applied sciences and expenditure on education-relevant components of family allowance.

Länder excluding Vienna

Salaries of teachers employed by the Länder in the general and technical/vocational compulsory education system constitute a large proportion of education expenditure by the Länder. Reference should also be made to the high transfer payments pursuant to Sec. 4 Para. 1 of the Financial Equalisation Act (Finanzausgleichsgesetz). Under this Act, the Federal Government reimburses the Länder 100% of the salaries of teachers in their employment, including contract teachers employed by the Länder at public general compulsory schools, and 50% of the salaries of these teachers at vocational and technical compulsory schools and colleges. In accordance with UOE guidelines these transfers enter as education expenditure into Länder data.

Vienna

Expenditure by Vienna, with its special status as both a Land/province and a municipality, is determined separately on an annual basis. As a result of this special status, Vienna has a high level of expenditure in both the pre-primary sector and in the general and technical/vocational compulsory education system.

Municipalities excluding Vienna

Expenditure incurred by the large number of municipalities which are responsible for maintaining kindergartens, as well as schools at ISCED levels 1 and 2 is mainly made up of personnel expenses in the pre-primary sector and material expenses at primary, lower secondary, special and pre-vocational schools.

Educational municipal associations

Educational municipal associations (excluding music school associations) only play a role in the Länder of Carinthia, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and, in particular, Lower Austria. Lower secondary school associations, i.e. ISCED level 2, account for the majority of educational municipal associations.

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Division of Austrian Education Levels in Accordance with International Standard Classification of Education, Version 1997 (ISCED 1997)
Public education expenditure according to educational sectors and public bodies 2000 - 2011, ISCED 1997 classification
Public education expenditure according to educational sectors 2000 to 2011, ISCED 1997 classification
Public education expenditure according to educational sectors 2012 to 2017, ISCED 2011 classification
Public education expenditure according to educational sectors and public bodies 2012 to 2017, ISCED 2011 classification

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