BIG – Educational cooperation in the border region

Program Interreg CBC Österreich – Ungarn
Project name
Educational cooperation in the border region AT-HU
Project acronym
BIG
Project partners AT
LP – Amt der NÖ Landesregierung – Abteilung Kindergärten
Europa Büro des Stadtschulrates für Wien
Österreichische Kinderfreunde – Landesorganisation Wien, Abteilung Kindergärten und Horte
West Pannon Regional and Economic Development Public Nonprofit Ltd, Szombathely
University of West Hungary, Uni Sopron
Project duration 45 months: February 2016 – October 2019
Linguistic, intercultural and social skills, in particular a knowledge of the languages spoken in neighbouring regions, are of great importance for the future in this shared economic area and living environment and form the basis for successful cross-border cooperation between people in the various regions. This was the reason for the project’s launch. The aim of the project is to introduce children to the language and culture of neighbouring regions from nursery onwards. This gives participating children and young people the opportunity to recognise and exploit the regions’ potential beyond national borders; to establish and maintain contacts, and to network and develop the wide range of cultural, economic and social opportunities in the region of Austria-Hungary. Early language acquisition also adds to individuals’ personality and lays a strong foundation for competitiveness in their future professional careers. The project therefore focuses on promoting the above key competences from nursery age right through to school, and new innovative approaches are being developed to this end through cross-border cooperation between the various partners.

For the first time, an initiative has brought together nursery and school management bodies and training institutions in Vienna, Burgenland and Hungary under the leadership of the Nurseries Department of the Government of Lower Austria. The innovative aspects of the project are its systemic approach (nursery / parents / school / management / teacher training) and the development of the quality of integrated language teaching in the project region. The project also offers cross-border continuing professional development events for nursery and school teachers, exchange opportunities at an administrative level and between the various training institutions and, above all, numerous opportunities for cross-border activities for children, which also allows us to get parents and families involved.