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Austria: Catholic schools, over 72 thousand students. A meeting in Götzis with school directors

50,158 is the exact number of students who attend a school run by a religious order in Austria in the current academic year. The figure was found by the two conferences of Superiors of the religious orders of Austria, and will be the starting point for the work of the plenary meeting of the directors of Catholic schools of all ranks and levels, that will be taking place from today to Friday 31st March in Götzis, Vorarlberg. The overall number of students in the Catholic schools is 72,397, because, in addition to children and adolescents of the 234 schools owned by religious orders all over the country, there are 22,239 students who attend Catholic-inspired schools that are supported and run by diocesan organisations. The director of the Local Community and Religious School office, Rudolf Luftensteiner, points out that Catholic schools provide “a key, innovative factor on the educational scene”: according to Luftensteiner, “the stronger diversity we create together and between them make the schools of religious orders and the schools of local diocesan educational associations sensitive to specific social concerns, and the inspiration provided by the founders is always very prophetical and extremely helpful”. The meeting of schools in Götzis will address “Education to justice – Reality or Fiction” and is organised by the religious communities of Austria, the diocesan office of Voralberg for education, and Krems, the ecclesiastic college for education of Vienna.

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