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Reform Support
Digitalisation of the Austrian education system

Supporting reforms that help unlock digital growth potential and deploy innovative solutions for citizens and businesses

Funding Programme
  • 2021

Digitalisation of the Austrian education system 

The European Commission supported the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research in the development of a digital upskilling curriculum for teacher educators and a new delivery model for digital-only teaching and learning materials in the framework of the Austrian Textbook Initiative.  


The project focused on two systemic obstacles for the implementation of Austria’s ambitious reform agenda for the digital transformation of the education system. Firstly, the lack of a systematic, curriculum-based approach to ensuring that teacher educators at Austrian university colleges of teacher education have the necessary skills to effectively develop teachers' digital competences. Secondly, the current delivery model for free and quality approved educational media for Austrian schools is based on print products (textbooks) and does not sufficiently integrate digital education media products. Emergency online schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to urgently address these shortcomings.

Support delivered 

Based on an analysis of the status quo in Austria and good practices from other EU Member States, this project developed and piloted a proposal for a digital upskilling curriculum for teacher educators. It also  made recommendations for its adoption and roll-out across the country.

Regarding the provision of educational media, the project developed a revised delivery model and a roadmap for its implementation.

Results achieved 

The main outcome of the project in relation to its focus on teacher educators is a new curriculum for the digital competence development of teacher educators, with a tailored competence framework and implementation guidelines.

The curriculum can be implemented at all Austrian University Colleges of Teacher Education and gives Austrian teacher educators the possibility to further develop their digital competences. Since teacher educators are considered role models for teachers, positive impacts on teachers as well as students can also be expected.

In relation to its focus on educational material the project has proposed a new delivery model for digital-only teaching and learning materials in the framework of the Austrian Textbook Initiative. It proposes legal changes to allow for funding usage licenses for learning materials, different licensing models, a refined quality assurance process for digital materials and describes the architecture of the technical infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the model.

If implemented, the new delivery model for digital-only teaching and learning materials will enable more diverse and innovative digital educational media to be funded under the Austrian Textbook Initiative. This will empower teachers in their didactical decisions to better address specific students’ learning needs and deal with heterogeneity in their classrooms. The new model furthermore enables and encourages didactical approaches spanning different subjects and provides the opportunity for content providers to collaborate in developing novel and innovative packages of learning materials.

More about the project

You can read the final report here: