UNESCO schools form a network of over 11,500 educational institutions in 182 countries worldwide. More than 98 Austrian UNESCO schools are part of this international network, which is gaining increasing popularity. Participation in the international and national network of UNESCO schools is designed to be a long-term commitment. The entire school community is called upon to continuously incorporate the concerns of UNESCO into all areas of everyday school life.
From nursery schools, elementary schools, middle schools, academic secondary schools, and vocational schools to teacher training colleges, public or private —the ASP-Network is open to all types of schools. Network membership is not to be understood simply as an award. Rather, it is a commitment to UNESCO’s goals and ideals; it signals a willingness to contribute to peace, international understanding, and sustainable development.
Advantages of membership
- Access to the international school network (ASPnet) with over 11,500 schools worldwide and participation in international activities
- Information, communication, and exchange of experience in the national network as well as implementation of joint projects
- Advice and support in the implementation of projects
- Annual networking meeting / Annual conference
- Participation in international meetings and exchange programmes
Admission to the network
Step 1: Contact and preliminary interview with the national school coordinator
Step 2: Application for membership with the Austrian Commission for UNESCO
Step 3: Two-year candidate phase
Step 4: Application for membership to UNESCO
Step 5: Admission
What distinguishes a UNESCO school
Whole School Approach
The school is committed to the UNESCO ideals, and everyone participates: school leadership, teachers, staff, students, and their families. The entire school community works to create a participatory, sustainable, non-violent, inclusive, and effective learning environment for all students.
Teaching and learning is based on the 4 pillars of the UNESCO concept of education: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together. The school is a pioneer and model for innovative, participatory, and creative methods and approaches. Complex content is taught in practical projects. Students learn skills and competencies for critical thinking and independent action as well as teamwork, appreciation, and mutual respect. Using tangible projects and practical as well as viable tasks, learners can recognise their own strengths and develop self-confidence.
The ASP-network makes an important contribution to the achievement of global and national goals. UNESCO regularly sets thematic priorities that contribute significantly to the achievement of these goals. In UNESCO schools, these topics are pedagogically prepared in such a way that they actually reach the classroom. The Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form the basis for the current focus areas:
- Global citizenship and a culture of peace and non-violence.
- Sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles
- Intercultural learning and appreciation of cultural diversity and heritage.
The school is in close contact and exchange with the national coordinator, other UNESCO schools in Germany and abroad, as well as the local community and various partners. Projects, activities, and experiences are widely communicated so that as many people as possible can benefit, learn, and be inspired. The school also appoints a teacher as the UNESCO officer to act as a contact partner for the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, and ensures that this person has the necessary information, sufficient time, and support to fulfil this function.
- Flyer Austrian UNESCO schools 1 MB (pdf)