The JKU and "Verbund Mitte": Training Educators of the Future

Anna Schörgenhuber (25) from Haslach an der Mühl, and Julia Wolfinger (27) from Katsdorf, are the first two graduates of the new teacher education program for secondary-level education.

Julia Wolfinger und Anna Schörgenhuber
Julia Wolfinger and Anna Schörgenuber holding their diplomas

Together with nine other Upper Austrian and Salzburg universities in the "Verbund Mitte" association, the Johannes Kepler University Linz has been offering a teacher education program (secondary level) since 2016, ensuring teacher training complies with uniform standards to educate teachers of the future.

This means that students in the program can complete courses as part of their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program (the system in place since 2016) at several universities or colleges in Upper Austria and Salzburg, one of which is the JKU. The first two graduates spoke about what this means when it comes to their everyday studies:

In the future, Anna Schörgenhuber wants to teach mathematics, biology and environmental studies and remarked: "At the beginning of each semester, students create their own schedule and subsequently complete internships and courses at universities and teacher training colleges that have teacher education programs. Courses in a few subject areas are held in Salzburg so that means traveling to Salzburg once or twice a week."

Julia Wolfinger chose a combination of mathematics, psychology, and philosophy, and added: "I think it's great that the program is so diverse. You can choose two subject areas that you are interested in teaching and take subject-specific courses as well as didactic courses. The program also includes an educational sciences section, in which, for example, you are supervised during times you student-teach in the classroom."

In an effort to assist in organizing studies as part of the "Verbund Mitte" association and make enrollment, etc., as simple as possible, the LiLeS Service Center in Linz has been serving as a central contact point for students since the 2019/2020 Winter Semester.

Stefan Koch, JKU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, explains: "The LiLeS Service Center organizes various steps, beginning with the enrollment process, admission to the program, credit transfer, course selection, to graduation. The Service Center is responsible for these areas on behalf of the JKU, serving as Upper Austria’s initial point for admission to the teacher education program, thereby creating a clear, transparent structure for our students."

Now that the two graduates hold their respective Master’s degrees in teacher education studies, they are qualified to teach school students between the ages of 10 and 19 at the secondary level, i.e. general secondary school (AHS), vocational secondary school (i.e. HAK, HLW), middle school (MS), polytechnic schools, and/or special needs school.

Anna Schörgenhuber is already working as an educator at the Adalbert Stifter Praxismittelschule in Linz and looks forward to working with young people: "I decided to become an educator because I enjoy working with young people; watching them grow and learn makes me happy and I can get them excited about learning more about the subject areas I am passionate about. It’s also great when they become young adults and go their own way; this is exactly what we are trying to prepare them for at school as best we can."

Additional information about teacher education studies (secondary level) in Upper Austria:, opens an external URL in a new window

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