HAK and HLW score with a variety of teaching offers. – Austrian projects and international contacts ensure greater attractiveness and full classes.
VIENNA: The PC rooms and the latest state of the programs, that’s what suits her best. And she also wants to go to university after graduating from high school, she thinks of social studies, says Claudia Cuk during a tour of Straßergasse. Her classmate, Christina Huschka, is fascinated by the school’s sommelier department, she also mentions the school library, but she doesn’t decide on her career choice. Social, perhaps a baby nurse or a language course.
900 pupils attend the Secondary School for Economic Professions Straßergasse in Vienna-Grinzing (HLW 19). When recently during a discussion of Lower Austrian AHS directors, a headmaster from the Weinviertel region slightly desperately claimed that the media would only report about business schools, but not about an AHS in which Spanish is taught from the third grade onwards, then at least one thing is true: Vocational secondary schools often address the public with individual topics that are often not suspected in school life. And they come up with one or the other media report.
“Russia takes Austria as its role model – Russian delegation visits Vienna Business School Schönborngasse” was the headline of the previous week’s commercial academy Schönborngasse in Vienna’s eighth district. Russian-speaking students received the delegation from the Moscow School Administration, who wanted to get an idea of this specifically Austrian school sector. It is also mentioned that the President of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce visited the Vienna Business School in Akademiestrasse last year. And when the Higher Federal Institute for Tourism and Economic Professions in Vienna-Hietzing-Bergheidengasse starts a wine auction of products from its model vineyard, it still attracts the media. Although the profile of this school does not lie in winegrowing.
Elisabeth Gehrer, the former Minister of Education, was often accompanied by the director of the Higher Tourism School in Krems during her visits to Albania, as there is an interest in qualified tourism training in this Balkan country. The type of HTL is again developing into an export article in the Far East.
“Farewell dumpling academy.
Back to Straßergasse. With the slogan “Knödelakademie ade, jetzt kommt die HLW” (Goodbye, now the HLW is coming), designed by some pupils, the affected people themselves show that despite kitchen and service lessons, despite cheese and wine sections, they have other lessons offered by their school in front of their eyes: The five-year secondary school offers training in company environmental management, cultural tourism, social management and – as is mentioned with some pride – European Studies (with project week in Brussels). In addition, there is the three-year technical school, the three-year advanced training course, the one-year business school and the offer of additional course certificates under the same roof.
Christina Huschka and Claudia Cuk express how much they are infected by the CPR bacillus. They graduated from the three-year technical school and then decided to take the three-year advanced training course. That’s 14 school years until the school-leaving examination.
Parallel to the lack of girls at the HTLs, the schools for economic professions are primarily stormed by schoolgirls. Of the 900 in HLW 19, just 18 percent are boys who are to be found to a greater extent in the areas of company environmental management and cultural tourism. Boys Days is used to advertise for boys’ attractiveness.
Director Gabriele Hohensinner emphasizes the “humanistic part” in teaching. “We have a wide range of general education subjects, including biology, psychology and philosophy.” Also the voluntary school attempt ethics is accepted by the pupils. Accordingly, the further paths taken by graduates after the Matura are many and varied: from nurses and dentists to social workers and business university students to traffic office assistants and theatre pedagogues.
Fight for every pupil
The “fight” of AHS, HAK and HLW against each other flares up again and again – primarily during the open days. The advantage of the BHS: They have their information days when the students are in the fourth Hauptschul- or AHS-class. This year there is no AHS long form advertising tour of its own. The BHS then emphasizes why it should be chosen. Because in times of declining student numbers (due to declining birth rate) it is about every single student.