A lot helps a lot – not at all!

Vienna/Washington | The more money you put into education, the better the learning results. This is the assumption made by lay people who have not studied the subject in detail. A good example to illustrate this is the Austrian education system. In the past decade, financial expenditure increased from 6.73 billion euros in 2008 to 8.821 billion euros in 2018. Only the Luxembourg school system is more expensive per pupil in the EU. Now one could argue that it could quietly be the most expensive school system in the world if it is also the best. But one in five 15-year-old Austrians can’t even read comprehensively after nine years of compulsory schooling and fails in the simplest math exercises. The reason for today’s high costs in the Austrian education system is above all the massive increase in the number of teachers and the availability of numerous small and very small schools. Some of these small and very small schools have only 3 or 5 pupils and are by no means located only in remote mountain villages, but apart from Vienna in each of the Austrian provinces.

Educational comparisons repeatedly show that there is no positive correlation between the costs and the quality of a national school system. The best proof of this is the USA, whose public schools are the most expensive in the world and are nevertheless in a catastrophic state, especially in the social ghettos. The consequence in the USA: Everyone who can afford it somehow sends his child to a private school.

As the person responsible for Corporate Learning, what conclusion can be drawn from the information just received? – First of all, relief can come, because it is not exclusively a high budget that makes high-quality education possible. At the same time, it is important to take a targeted look at the structures of continuing education so that it is ensured that these are efficient structures. It should also be examined where face-to-face training is indispensable and where Blended Learning or eLearning are used.

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