educationsuisse – the Swiss education system

The Swiss education system is renowned for its high degree of freedom to choose educational paths. There are various ways of gaining a place on, switching or catching up on training or educational courses. Anyone holding the qualifications required can generally embark on the course of their choice.

Switzerland offers an extremely wide range of educational courses and training opportunities. Dual-track vocational training combining practice and theory is a special feature of the system. This basic vocational training can take place in a host company – whether a private company or a public body – combined with one or two days of school a week. There is also sometimes the opportunity to attend classes on a full-time basis (apprentice workshops or commercial schools). Lessons are also combined with hands-on training at tertiary level in higher vocational education. Two thirds of all young people undertake basic vocational training (apprenticeships) after compulsory education. Many of them also obtain their vocational school-leaving qualifications alongside their apprenticeship enabling them to study at universities of applied sciences later on.

Switzerland’s universities provide a wide range of outstanding courses. There are ten traditional universities which are public institutions (Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Berne, Basel, Lucerne, Zurich, St. Gallen and Svizzera Italiana) and two federal institutes of technology in Zurich and Lausanne. Many public universities of applied sciences also provide vocational courses at university level. The teacher training colleges train young people as qualified teachers to work at the various levels of the school system.

Please contact our staff via email, by telephone or make an appointment to visit in person (see contact details below or at if you have any questions about the Swiss education system or any general questions regarding education in Switzerland for young Swiss people abroad or concerning educationsuisse’s advisory services. Our employees speak German, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

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Auslandschweizer Organisation
Alpenstrasse 26
3006 Bern, Schweiz

tel +41 31 356 61 10
fax +41 31 356 61 01