Graduates and graduations

High-school graduates

In 2017 (observation period: 01-10-2016 to 30-09-2017), a total of 42 723 students passed their school-leaving examinations qualifying for university attendance (Matura) in Austria. This means that since 1960, the number of graduates has increased almost fourfold despite a declining overall population. Only in the past three years, due to the introduction of the standardized school-leaving exam, the number of graduates decreased from the all-time high of 44 462 students passing the Matura in the school year 2014.

The change in the relative numbers of young men and women is also striking. Females were severely under-represented in 1960, accounting for less than one third of all high school graduates and therefore clearly disadvantaged in terms of participation in education. Over the past few years significantly more women than men have gained the Austrian school-leaving certificate qualifying for university attendance (Matura). In 2017 57.5% of all high school graduates were female.

Less than half of the school-leaving certificates were obtained at academic secondary schools (AHS). In 2017 the proportion was 42.7%. A large number of pupils obtained their school-leaving certificates or diplomas from technical and vocational colleges.

Standardized school-leaving-examinations

In 2018, 37 781 students of the final high-school year (AHS and BHS) 2017/18 took the standardized school-leaving examination on the first examination date in summer 2018. 84.5% of them passed the exam on their first try. There were no differences in the success rate of the academic secondary schools (AHS: 84.2%) and the technical and vocational colleges (BHS: 84.7%).

There is also no great difference in the success rate between male (84.0%) and female students (84.9%). However more women (15.9%) than men (13.8%) passed the standardized exam with distinction.

Differences between the genders are found in the standardized written exams. Male students reached higher success rates in the subjects of Mathematics and English than their female schoolmates. While the portion of negative grades in Mathematics for women in AHS is 8.2% (25.5% before the oral compensation exam) the portion for male students is 5.6% (18.0% before the oral compensation exam).

The standardized school-leaving exams were first introduced in AHS in the school year 2014/15 and in BHS in the school year 2015/16. As an analysis by Statistics Austria shows, one year before the standardization in summer 2014, 87.7% of the students in their final year in AHS passed the final examinations, while one year later in summer 2015, the success rate of students in their final year (school year 2014/15) decreased to 82.0%. The same decrease in the success rate occurred in BHS: the rate decreased from 89.9% in summer 2015 to 80.8% in summer 2016. The lower success rates of the first examination date in summer were partially compensated by higher success rates in the second and third examination dates in autumn and winter. After all three examination dates the success rate of students in academic secondary schools increased to 93.1% (2014/15) and to 93.2% (2015/16) in technical and vocational schools. One year before the standardization was first introduced to each school type, the success rate was 95.2% (2013/14) in AHS and 96.3% (2014/15) in BHS.

Statistic Austria estimated a multivariate model which shows factors that have an impact on passing the standardized school-leaving examinations (summer 2017) on the first run. An important factor is the highest education level of the parents of the student: the higher the educational level of the parents, the higher is the probability for the student to pass the standardized examinations on the first examination date in summer. Also the birthplace of the parents has an essential impact of passing the examinations on the first try on the first examination date. However, the birthplace of the mother has a greater effect than the one of the father: the probability of passing the standardized examinations on the first date is lower if the mother of the student was not born in Austria. There are also further factors on the individual level, such as gender (women have a higher probability) or the school which the students attended before high-school (higher probability for AHS students than for students from new/general secondary schools). Also the class or the school which the student is attending is significant for the success. Factors with less of an impact are the colloquial language, the state or rather the location of the school, the birthplace of the students or the financial income of the parents. There is not one single factor which explains the success. It is a cooperation of multiple factors and effects which have either a positive or a negative impact on the success.

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

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Bildung in Zahlen 2018/19 - Schlüsselindikatoren und Analysen
Education in figures 2018/19 gives an overview about the state of education in Austria. Results and indicators of different statistical domains are presented in form of texts, tables and figures by ...

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This volume of tables, part of the publication Bildung in Zahlen (Education in figures), supplements the "Key indicators and analyses" volume and provides, in tabular form, comprehensive and detailed ...

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Education in figures 2017/18 gives an overview about the state of education in Austria. Results and indicators of different statistical domains are presented in form of texts, tables and figures by ...

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This volume of tables, part of the publication Bildung in Zahlen (Education in figures), supplements the "Key indicators and analyses" volume and provides, in tabular form, comprehensive and detailed ...

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Education in figures 2016/17 gives an overview about the state of education in Austria. Results and indicators of different statistical domains are presented in form of texts, tables and figures by ...

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