2.4.3 Funding

In 1993 there was a transition to more flexible curricula through the establishment of the autonomy of schools [Schulautonomie] via an amendment. This amendment enables schools to consider local and regional requirements and be more flexible in their work. This may include autonomous budget management or the change of time tables within a given range. Thus it is possible for schools to develop a specific focus. All things considered, Austrian schools have relatively few funds of their own at their disposal. At present, reforms are under way to increase their financial autonomy (Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture in cooperation with Federal Ministry for Science and Research, 2008).

Concerning additional programmes to promote cultural mediation [Kulturvermittlung] in schools, the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture reserved an amount of € 5.003.700 for 2007 (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur 2007).In 2008, € 1.000.000 was dedicated to cultural education programmes focusing on the mediation of Austrian film [Filmvermittlung] (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur 2008).From 2010, entrance to Federal museums and the Austrian National Library is free for children and young people up to the age of 19. With this policy measure, the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture also started an initiative to foster mediation programmes for young visitors. In 2010, this initiative is supported with € 600.000.The federal state encourages cultural education through various national programmes with a special focus on students. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture [Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur (bm:ukk)], most projects are carried out by KulturKontakt Austria (KKA) [KulturKontakt Austria].Through its department for arts & cultural education, KKA supports professional cultural education, mainly in the school sector. With the support of KKA, every year over 130.000 young people receive the opportunity to take part in arts education projects in their schools. A significant number of arts education projects is also offered to apprentices in vocational education. Some of the projects are described below:Dialog Events [Dialogveranstaltungen]So-called dialogue events organised for pupils to meet artists personally serve as an impulse for education in contemporary art for children and young people and are carried out at schools throughout Austria. In 2009 a total of 3,189 dialogue events were held in which around 165,000 students of all school types participated. Dialog events are aimed at pupils in secondary education and at apprentices in part-time compulsory vocational schools and colleges."Dialogue events are projects which bring innovative initiatives and methods regarding arts and cultural education to schools. They are based on participatory and activity-orientated communication in which pupils, teachers and artists experience a creative process together." (KulturKontakt Austria, 2008, p. 58)School Culture Budget for Federal Schools [Schulkulturbudget für Bundesschulen]This programme, promoted by KulturKontakt Austria, supports cultural education projects at federal schools. Federal schools are academic secondary schools and medium-level and higher-level technical and vocational schools and colleges with the exception of medium-level schools for agriculture and forestry.By involving students in arts and culture, these projects contribute to the positive perception of cultural diversity. The goals are

  • to strengthen the perception of oneself and of others;
  • to create a desire to experience unknown and new things;
  • to promote acceptance and dialogue;
  • to foster social skills;
  • to enable students to think and act creatively together.

There is a noticeable trend in favour of larger-scale projects which go beyond specific subjects or classes (KulturKontakt Austria, 2008). In the school year 2009/10, 285 schools submitted projects.School Culture Budget for Federal Schoolsp[ART]KulturKontakt Austria has supported partnerships between schools and cultural institutions since March 2009. In this programme called p[ART], each school works in cooperation with a cultural institution with the aim to initiate long lasting partnerships. The programme centres on the promotion of dialogue and communication. One of the main targets is that cultural institutions get to know children and young people better. At the same time students become aware of the work of cultural institutions.p[ART]K3 - Cultural Education with Apprentices/TraineesK3, a programme specifically developed for apprentices in vocational education, takes into account the special circumstances of the dual system in Austria. The programme offers three different modules: a long module, a leisure time module and a short module. Taking the working and living conditions of apprentices as a starting point, K3 supports collaborations between artists and students in order to foster creative activity, communication between all people involved and social competences. Since 1989, more than 10.000 apprentices from almost 2000 companies have taken part in a K3 project.K3Regional authoritiesIn Austria, the provinces have each developed very different structures to promote arts and cultural education in schools. In some provinces, cultural service institutions [Kulturservicestellen] have been established as part of the regional education authority [Landesschulrat], e.g. in Tyrol or Burgenland. In other provinces, it is the cultural department of the province that is responsible for funding arts education in upper secondary schools, e.g. in Salzburg.However, arts and cultural activities are to a high degree financed by parents and sponsors. Over the years the contribution of sponsors has increased.