An efficient educational system

Excellence in all domains

With the combination of vocational schools oriented towards practical experience and the quality of the university programs, the Swiss educational system is well-suited to meeting the needs of a competitive economy, as illustrated by international comparisons.
Quality of the educational system
  • 1. Switzerland
  • 2. Finland
  • 3. Netherlands
  • 4. Norway
  • 5. Denmark
Source : IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017

A well-trained workforce

Following the compulsory school years, two-thirds of students choose to follow an apprenticeship program, which provides them with a federal certificate.  Upon completion of their vocational training, students have the possibility to continue their education and obtain a professional diploma, thereby allowing them to attend the Swiss universities of applied sciences.  The approximately 230 vocational programs offered have been designed to teach the professional skills most needed in the job market, which has in turn helped Switzerland maintain one of the lowest unemployment rates among young people in all of Europe.

Renowned academic institutions

The Greater Geneva Bern area has an incredibly rich concentration of higher educational institutions, most notably the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) in Thun, five cantonal universities and two important educational networks:  the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)  and the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).

Internationally recognized public and private schools

Switzerland’s public and private schools enjoy an excellent international reputation. Swiss students consistently achieve high scores in the PISA surveys (Program for International Student Assessment) and perform better in mathematics than their European contemporaries.  Swiss universities are regularly placed at the top of international rankings with regard to higher education.  The EPFL was named the best university under 50 years old by the magazine The Times Higher Education.

Best universities under 50 years old

  • 1. Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • 2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)
  • 3. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • 4. Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea)
  • 5. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea)
Source : Times Higher Education 150 Under 50 ranking (2017)  

Internationally oriented

The educational system also meets the needs of expatriate families:  The GGBa offers by far the greatest number of international schools per million inhabitants, ahead of London, New York, and compared to the Swiss average.  Children of expatriate employees are able to follow an international curriculum or a program in their native language, and they can be perfectly prepared for final examinations in their home country – for example, the International Baccalaureate (IB), the German Abitur or the French Baccalaurate, as well as for admission to the American university system.

For more information on this subject, please visit the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation:  www.sbfi.admin.ch

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