About a third of Swiss students go onto baccalaureate school, which provide a general education in preparation for admission to university. Children start compulsory education when they are about four to six years old until about when they turn 15 years old. On a per-capita basis, this level of spending puts Switzerland in first … The cantons also regulate this. Subjects include the first language, a second national language, English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities (e.g., geography, history, ethics, religion), music, art, physical education, and health. Close. Many of these students attend top universities in Switzerland for their advanced degrees. Nature. Switzerland’s education ranking has regularly been among the top 100 worldwide when it comes to higher education. Connectivity assesses the … You can enquire about your canton’s specific education requirements at one of the cantonal education departments. Education System in Switzerland provides a unique learning method that helps students to think forward, innovate and creative way. In Switzerland, the higher education system at University-level consists of ten cantonal Universities, two federal Institutes of Technology and seven Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen), as well as the recently founded Schools for Teacher Education and many Advanced Vocational Colleges. Topics taught at the lower secondary level are usually: the language of the school, a second national language (and an optional third), English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geography, history, civic education, music, art and design, physical education and health, home economics, career guidance, and vocational preparation. Here is the intention is to provide a basic academic education, while assessing the future path of each child individually. Switzerland is the go-to choice for many students looking to study internationally. While the Cantons are responsible for compulsory education, the Cantons and the Federal Government share responsibilities for post-compulsory education (general education schools, vocational and professional education and … Students study core subjects and additional subjects related to the specific occupation. The International School Zurich North teaches students aged between three years (nursery) and 17 years old (grade 12). There are no school uniforms in Switzerland. Have a cookie Core subjects are: first national language, second national language and a third language (a third national language, English, Latin or Greek), mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, history, geography and visual arts/music. Kindergarten is not compulsory in all of the cantons, but primary school is. Education. Upper secondary school is regulated jointly by the Confederation and the cantons so there are variations in organization and curricula across the country. A Baccalaureate school is the choice of ⅓ Swiss students. There is no stigma with repeating a year, however. This allows admission to universities of applied science and pre-school and primary teacher courses at teacher training universities. Children usually move onto lower secondary level at the age of 11 or 12 at a middle school called either a Gymnasium or Kantonsschule. Depending on their performance, they are granted a certificate called Matura and are then eligible to start cantonal universities, institutes of technologies, and teacher-training universities. If you did not have enough grades to enter university, what can you do to further your studies considering the fact that you’re older than 30 yrs. Here, two kindergarten years are included in a four-year ‘cycle 1’ or cycle primaire 1. Around 5 percent of students go onto upper secondary specialized schools. If you want to study in Switzerland, then you need to know which of its universities are right for you. A distinctive characteristic of the Swiss education system is taking into account the wishes and the abilities of students. If they finish that successfully, they get the upper-secondary specialized school certificate and continue their education in PET colleges. Kindergarten, primary and secondary schools are free. The decentralization has it’s perks, although it can make it hard for people to move their children from one canton to another. After the students finish their lower secondary education, they can choose what kind of career they want to pursue. Children receive assessments by specialist agencies within the canton and may attend a mainstream school with support, or a special needs school. Special needs education in Switzerland implies that general compulsory education applies also to children and youngsters with visual or hearing impairments, physical and learning disabilities, mental retardation, and speech and behavioral disorders. If you’re moving to Switzerland with family, you’ll find an array of schools that cater to international families, including public, private, and international schools. VET programs can lead to a Federal VET certificate, a Federal VET diploma, or the Federal vocational baccalaureate (Berufsmaturität /maturité professionelle) which allows admission to universities of applied science. Basic vocational education lasts between two and four years and provides practical and technical training. These dual-track programs combine classroom lessons at a VET school with an apprenticeship at a training company. They also take tests at the end of the school year, where they get to test their gathered knowledge. Switzerland is one of several European countries with a so-called “dual” vocational education and training (VET) system in which students combine learning in school with learning in workplace settings. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. Pupil assessment varies from canton to canton. Education in Switzerland is a largely decentralized system. For more information, contact your canton’s education department and the Home School Association of Switzerland. Children and young people with special educational needs in Switzerland have a right to schooling and support from specialists from birth up to their 20th birthday. Depending on the canton, primary school lasts between four and six years. If your canton allows homeschooling, you’ll have to register annually/notify the education department and work within their guidelines. From early on, students also learn one of the other official Swiss languages, as well as English. The upper secondary education is equivalent to the high schools in American education systems regarding the age of the students. My questions are: The primary responsibility for education lies with the 26 Cantons (states). 2. They can then enroll at cantonal universities, institutes of technology, and teacher training universities. Admission criteria varies but may include an entrance exam or interview. Read Expatica’s guide to special needs schooling in Switzerland, or contact your canton’s education department. These courses are not always entitled to scholarships. The website of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education offers a good introduction to the complex Swiss education system: Swiss education system. Cantonal qualifications are valid across Switzerland. Pupils usually enroll at baccalaureate schools in the last year of lower secondary education. The two countries to rank higher overall were Norway and Finland (Finland finishing in first). Switzerland is a federal and multilingual country with a decentralised education system. The central government has established the principle that all children must attend school for a total of 9 years and that primary school is free. They last from 2 to 4 years and allow the students to gain technical and practical knowledge. Depending on the cantons, the combinations might differ. Scholars, and those particularly from French, German and Italian-speaking backgrounds work right across the higher education system. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. You may change your settings at any time. Laws regarding it vary from canton to canton – in some cantons it’s possible, in others it’s not. The Swiss education system is decentralised and you can find the exact details for schooling in your area on the canton’s education department website. Grades are from one to six with six being the best grade and one being insufficient. Each canton sets its school calendar, curriculum, and criteria. “Admission may be based on students’ grades, teachers’ recommendations and/or an entrance exam”, advises Daniel. At this level, children are not divided into achievement groups. Compulsory Education Pre-school level (Kindergarten, 1 or 2 years) At least one year of kindergarten compulsory in 15 cantons, optional in 11 cantons Starting age: 4 years old Focus on social issues Training of pre-school teachers now at Universities of Teacher Education (B.A.) That is where they get to learn skills in school and see how it is done through the first-hand experience in companies that provide apprenticeships and cross-company courses. All three top countries were effectively developing and utilizing about 85 percent of their full human capital potential, the report noted. The system is well established and functional with delegated accountability and administration. Swiss Education System (PDF, 1 MB, 03.07.2019) SERI 2019 Vocational and professional education and training in Switzerland – Facts and figures 2020 (PDF, 3 MB, 17.04.2020) Top of page Like Switzerland itself, education has a multilingual focus. Being from Switzerland is not normally a pre-requisite for the position. In Switzerland, the school year starts between mid-August and mid-September. Primary education in most of Switzerland is considered kindergarten and the first learning cycle. Pupils who have overall average grades can progress to the next year of school. Lower secondary education usually lasts for three years except in Italian-speaking Ticino, when it lasts for four years. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. Vocational education plays a major role in the Swiss education system. Homeschooling is not common in Switzerland. Your email address will not be published. High school in Switzerland is not compulsory, and its structure is unique. How well the child does at primary level determines the level the child goes to in the lower secondary level. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. The three-year specialized school program ends with a final exam (written and/or oral) in at least six subjects, at least one of which must be related to the specific occupation. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Thank you for this article. Fachhochschule also differs from the traditional university in Switzerland because of its practical-based teaching as opposed to a theory-based orientation. Still, it is very much different from an American high school. This system is overseen by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). In kindergarten, children are taught about basic manners and knowledge. The Swiss school system as a trajectory for educational inequality: an objectivist and subjectivist exploration It did clear a lot of questions that i had concerning the education system. The basic structure of the Swiss education system is as follows: primary education – kindergarten or a first learning cycle; lower secondary education; upper secondary level education – vocational education and training (VET), baccalaureate schools and upper-secondary specialized schools; tertiary level education – professional training, university. In Switzerland, it’s the 26 cantons – not the federal government – who are responsible for their compulsory education system. Preschool was first introduced in the first half of the nineteenth century in a few large cities, in Geneva in 1826 and Zurich in 1845. Swiss education system on educa.ch Description of the Swiss education system with information about all educational levels (legal situation, statistical data, course content, terms of admission etc.) Children aged four to eight years are in the same class. Education is compulsory for all children in Switzerland, even those who do not have legal residency status. There’s a wide range of subjects offered to study at Swiss universities. Compulsory Education: Education in Switzerland is compulsory for all who reside in the country, regardless of legal residency status. Baccalaureate programs usually last for four years but three years in some cantons and six years in others. primary education – kindergarten or a first learning cycle; upper secondary level education – vocational education and training (VET), baccalaureate schools and upper-secondary specialized schools; tertiary level education – professional training, university. They also have to present a baccalaureate essay. The Swiss education system. Each of the 26 cantons has primary responsibility for their education and, in fact, run their own education systems. The lower secondary education and upper secondary education. Working in higher education in Switzerland. There is also usually a meeting with pupils and parents to discuss the student’s performance, which will include behavior and attitude towards learning. The basic structure of the Swiss education system is as follows: In Switzerland, primary education usually consists of pre-school (kindergarten) and primary school. Switzerland has three main geographic regions: the Alps covering around 60% of the country's total surface area, the Swiss Plateau (30%) and the Jura (10%). Even though the cantons set the rules regarding education, compulsory education lasts for 9–11 years. Students who take the additional one-year specialized baccalaureate course (not available in all cantons) usually have to complete traineeships or practical experience in their particular field as well as course work. The Swiss education system Education in a multilingual and federalist country In Switzerland, education is government responsibility (cantonal and/or federal) from the beginning of compulsory education up to and including tertiary level (universities and professional education and training). Most students in Switzerland attend local schools, which are of high standard and free. Lower secondary schools in Switzerland are called Gymnasiums or Kantonsschule. A baccalaureate program consists of core subjects, a main specialism, and a secondary specialism plus a baccalaureate essay. Upper secondary education in Switzerland is optional although more than 90 percent of Swiss students do decide to continue their education around the age of 15/16. Swiss higher education system is top for connectivity. Primary school lasts eight years; however, only six of them are mandatory. In Switzerland there are many courses which prepare young people for education in the shape of an apprenticeship or studies. Switzerland education system is one of the world’s most strict and meticulous protection for students, for more course detils kindly contact us Cantons set their own timetables. The Education System(s) in Switzerland Source: www.educa.ch . Although most children attend kindergarten for two years, in some cantons it isn’t compulsory. In German-speaking cantons, some municipalities combine kindergarten and the first two years of primary school into the first learning cycle called Grundstufe or Basisstufe. COPYRIGHT © 2020 STUDYING IN SWITZERLAND. The higher education systems are rated based on four main criteria. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the federal body overseeing education in Switzerland. Switzerland ranked as the best education system in the world but ranked third overall in the entire human capital report. It is called kindergarten in German-speaking Switzerland, école enfantine in the French-speaking area, and scuola dell'infanzia in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. Even where pre-school is not compulsory, most children attend kindergarten before primary school. According to Daniel Sarbach, director of the International School Zurich North – who welcomes students from the international community from early years (3-6 years old) to the upper secondary –, Swiss education standards are high. Other subjects like history, civic education, music, art and design, physical education and health, home economics, career guidance, and vocational preparation are also taught. French-speaking cantons differ. In the French-speaking cantons, two years of kindergarten are combined with two other years and make the first cycle of primary education. Vocational education and training (VET) schools. In the canton of Bern, mandatory schooling lasts 11 years beginning with kindergarten (2 years), followed by primary school (6 years) and secondary level I (3 years). Find out how to apply to a program at a Swiss university with Expatica’s guide to studying in Switzerland. Education in Switzerland is relatively high. Although the cantons administer the education system, a thing they all have in common is that they have this diversity. A guide to special needs education in Switzerland, including the legal and financial needs of those with disabilities. After nine years of compulsory education, adolescents continue to the upper secondary level, which is split into vocational and general education. Switzerland has 12 universities in total, 10 of which are run and regulated by the cantons and offer theory-oriented mayors. There are upper secondary specialized schools in 22 cantons, both canton and privately run. Switzerland is a confederation of cantons with a surprising degree of administrative independence. 1. Most students learn at a state school in the local area. Your choices will not impact your visit. These schools usually last from 3 to 6 years, depending on the canton. The admission age throughout Switzerland is six. Home schooling is uncommon in Switzerland. Resources encompasses government and private sector expenditure on tertiary institutions and on research as a share of GDP. The system and rules vary by region, with some cantons starting mandatory schooling at age four and others at six. More than 65% of students in upper secondary education are enrolled in pre-vocational or vocational programmes at the upper secondary level, compared with an average of only % across OECD 44 countries. Are shorter than secondary school is is well-established closed one day or afternoon..., email, and its structure is unique choose what kind of career they want to study Switzerland... 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