Education in Switzerland

Last updated
The Zentrum campus of the ETH Zurich. ETH Zurich from Polyterrace.jpg
The Zentrum campus of the ETH Zurich.
The campus of the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Lausanne, at the shores of Lake Geneva. Vue aerienne EPFL 07-2009.jpg
The campus of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Lausanne, at the shores of Lake Geneva.

The education system in Switzerland is very diverse, because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system mainly to the cantons. The Swiss constitution sets the foundations, namely that primary school is obligatory for every child and is free in public schools and that the confederation can run or support universities.

Contents

The minimum age for primary school is about six years in all cantons but Obwalden, where it is five years and three months. After primary schools, the pupils split up according to their abilities and intentions of career paths. Roughly 25% of all students attend lower and upper secondary schools leading, normally after 12 school years in total to the federal recognized matura or an academic Baccalaureate which grants access to all universities.[ citation needed ] The other students split in two or more school-types, depending on the canton, differing in the balance between theoretical and practical education. It is obligatory for all children to attend school for at least 9 years.

The first university in Switzerland was founded in 1460 in Basel, with a faculty of medicine. [1] This place has a long tradition of chemical and medical research in Switzerland. In total, there are 12 Universities in Switzerland; ten of them are managed by the cantons, while two federal institutes of technology, ETHZ in Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, are under the authority of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. [2] In addition, there are seven regional associations of Universities for Applied Sciences ( Fachhochschulen ) which require vocational education and a special Berufsmatura, or a Fachmatura (a graduation by a Fachmittelschule ) to study. Switzerland has a high rate of foreign students in tertiary education including one of the highest in the world of doctoral level students. [3]

Many Nobel prizes have been awarded to Swiss scientists. More recently Vladimir Prelog, Heinrich Rohrer, Richard Ernst, Edmond Fischer, Rolf Zinkernagel, Didier Queloz, Michel Mayor, Kurt Wüthrich, and Jacques Dubochet have received nobel prizes in the sciences. In total, 113 Nobel Prize winners stand in relation to Switzerland and the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded nine times to organizations residing in Switzerland. [4] [5] Geneva hosts the world's largest particle physics laboratory, the CERN. [6] Other important research centers are the Empa and Paul Scherrer Institute which belong to the ETH domain.

Primary

Simplified Swiss education system Schweizer Bildungssystem.svg
Simplified Swiss education system

The obligatory school system usually includes primary education (Primarschule in German, école primaire in French, scuola primaria / elementare in Italian and scola primara in Romansh) and secondary education I (Sekundarschule or Sekundarstufe I in German, secondaire I in French and scuola secondaria / media in Italian and scola secundar in Romansh). Before that, children generally go to Kindergarten , with one or two years is required in most cantons. In the Canton of Ticino, an optional, third year is available for three-year-old children. In some German speaking cantons kindergarten and the first one or two years may be combined into a Grundstufe or Basisstufe where they are all taught together in a single class. In French speaking cantons kindergarten is combined into a four-year cycle primaire 1 or cycle 1 which is followed by a four-year cycle primaire 2 or cycle 2 which completes their primary school. [7]

The minimum age for primary school is about six years in all cantons but Obwalden, where it is five years and three months. The cantons Thurgau and Nidwalden allow five-year-olds to start primary school in exceptional cases. Primary school continues until grade four, five or six, depending on the school/canton. Any child can take part in school if they choose to, but pupils are separated depending on whether they speak French, German or Italian.

At around age 11–12, depending on which canton in Switzerland the child goes to school in, there could be a screening exam to decide how to separate the students for secondary school. Some cantons have a system of examination in the second semester of the final year of primary school, some cantons have an exam in second semester and continuous evaluation in both first and second semesters. In some cases, parents or legal guardians of the child are also asked for their recommendations (see Indicator C below) along with a self-evaluation done by the child. Parents' recommendation in combination with child's self-evaluation is called the third indicator (Indicator C) for evaluating the student, the first being teacher's evaluation (Indicator A), the second the results of tests (Indicator B) held in first semester. The fourth criteria is the final exam that takes place in the middle of the second semester of the final year primary school (usually held before Easter Break). [8]

Secondary

At the end of primary school (or at the beginning of secondary school), pupils are separated (see Indicator C for Fribourg under Primary School) according to their capacities and career-intentions in several (often three) sections for a period of 2–3 years (Sekundarschule) in either Pre-higher secondary school section, General section, or Basic section (Basic may be called Realschule in German or Classe d'exigence de base in French). Students who aspire for an academic career enter Mittelschule (also named Gymnasium, or Kantonsschule, a public school by the canton/state) to be prepared for further studies and the Matura (normally obtained after 12 or 13 years of school usually at the age of 18 or 19). Students intending to pursue a trade or vocation complete three to four additional years before entering Vocational Educations which are regulated by federal law and are based on a cooperation of private business offering educational job-positions and public schools offering obligatory school-lessons complementary to the on-the-job education. This so-called "dual system" splitting academic and vocational training has its continuation in the higher education system. While the academic training leads to the matura and free admission to universities, successfully completed vocational education gives access to third level of practical education, the Höhere Fachschule (Schweiz) . If in addition to the vocational training the Berufsmaturitätsschule is completed the Fachhochschule may be visited instead. Rather recently introduced is a third, middle path via the Fachmittelschule which leads to a direct access to a Fachhochschule after a successful graduation of a Fachmatura . [9] [10] In some cantons, students with a Fachmatura may also get access to universities after a successful additional year. In the science literacy assessment of PISA, 15-year-old students in Switzerland had the 16th highest average score of 57 countries.[ citation needed ]

In the lower second level, there are several different teaching and school models that may exist. Some cantons define a specific model, while others allow the individual municipalities to determine which model to follow.

Separated model

Pupils are allocated to institutionally separate school types, according to their performance levels. The structure is based on the principle of equal capacities among pupils. Generally, each school type has its own adapted curricula, teaching material, teachers and, in some cases, its own range of subjects. In general, there are 2 to 3 school types (4 in a minority of cantons), the names of which vary. In the structure with 2 school types, a distinction is made between the performance-based group at basic level (with the least demanding requirements), and the performance-based group at advanced level. In the structure with 3 school types, there is a performance-based group at basic level, a performance-based group at intermediate level and a performance-based group at advanced level. The requirements of the performance-based group at advanced level are the most demanding and this school type generally prepares pupils for transfer to the matura schools. [12]

Cooperative model

The cooperative model is based on core classes with different performance requirements. Each pupil is assigned to a core class according to his or her performance level. The pupils attend lessons in certain subjects in differentiated requirement-based groups (whereby the core classes are mixed). [12]

Integrated model

The integrated model does not use different school types or core classes. Pupils with different performance levels attend the same class and mixing is maintained. In certain subjects, teaching occurs on differentiated requirement-based levels. [12]

International education

As of January 2015, the International Schools Consultancy (ISC) [13] listed Switzerland as having 105 international schools. [14] ISC defines an 'international school' in the following terms "ISC includes an international school if the school delivers a curriculum to any combination of pre-school, primary or secondary students, wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country, or if a school in a country where English is one of the official languages, offers an English-medium curriculum other than the country’s national curriculum and is international in its orientation." [14] This definition is used by publications including The Economist. [15]

Switzerland was the birthplace of the International Baccalaureate in 1968 [16] and 50 schools in Switzerland offer one or more of the IB programmes (Primary, Middle Years, Diploma and Career-related Programmes). [17]

Tertiary

Tertiary education depends on the education chosen in secondary education. For students with a matura, university is the most common one. Apprentices who attended a vocational high school will often add a Fachhochschule or a Höhere Fachschule to their curriculum.

There are 14 public and generic universities in Switzerland, 10 of which are maintained at cantonal level and usually offer a range of non-technical subjects. Of the remaining 4 institutions, 2 are run by the Swiss Confederation and are known as "Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology".

Switzerland is well known for its advanced business education system. A number of world-class universities and MBA programmes, such as the International Institute for Management Development, HEC Lausanne, St. Gallen, Kalaidos FH and University of Zurich belong to that category. All of them are also registered in the Financial Times ranking. See also the list of universities in Switzerland.

Switzerland has a high rate of international students. In 2013, 16.9% of the total tertiary enrollment in Switzerland came from outside the country, a rate that is the 10th highest of the 291 countries included in the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This rate was just higher than Austria (16.8) and just lower than the United Kingdom (17.5). However, due to the much smaller tertiary system in Switzerland their 47,000 foreign tertiary enrollments are dwarfed by much larger countries such as the United States (740,000), the United Kingdom (416,000), France (228,000) and Germany (196,000). [18] Many international students attend Swiss universities for advanced degrees. In 2013 masters programs enrolled about 27% foreign students (fourth highest rate) and doctoral programs were 52% foreign (second behind Luxembourg). [3]

Switzerland also has a high rate of PhD students and inhabitants with doctoral degrees. In 2014 Switzerland had the highest rate of inhabitants (2.98%) with doctoral degrees in the world. [18] In 2010, with 2.5%, Switzerland had the second-highest rate of inhabitants with doctoral degrees in Europe. [19] In 2008, the number of students graduating with a PhD was 3209 (up from 2822 in 2000) of which 45% were foreigners (up from 31% in 2000). [19]

Educational rankings

In 1995 Switzerland took part in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessment. [21] TIMSS is an international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth- and eighth-grade students around the world. It was developed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) to allow participating nations to compare students' educational achievement across borders. In 1995, Switzerland was one of forty-one nations that participated in the study. They did not participate in later studies. Among 8th graders, Switzerland ranked 15th overall, 8th in math and 25th in science. [22]

A National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) study that used the TIMSS assessment among 12th graders found similar results. The Swiss students were in their upper secondary education and were attending either a gymnasium, general education, teacher training or advanced vocation training. In math, the Swiss scored a 540 (the average score was 500), and were 3rd out of 21. Their science score was 523, which was 8th out of 21. In physics, they scored 488 (the average was 501) and were tied for 9th place out of 16. The advanced mathematics score was 533 which was 3rd out of 16. [23]

The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2010-11 ranked Switzerland as first overall. Under the fifth pillar of the report, Higher education and training, the Swiss had a score of 5.79, which is the fourth highest among all the countries surveyed. [24]

Cantonal school systems

While compulsory schooling in Switzerland is between 9 and 11 years long, many of the specifics of the system vary by canton. In most cases, kindergarten lasts 1 to 2 years, primary level lasts 6 years, and the lower secondary level 3 years. In Ticino, there is a third, non-mandatory, kindergarten year, primary lasts 5 years, followed by 4 years of lower secondary. In some German speaking cantons kindergarten and the first one or two years may be combined into a Grundstufe or Basisstufe where they are all taught together in a single class. In the French speaking cantons (FR, GE, JU, NE, VD, VS) kindergarten is combined with primary to create 2 primary levels, each 4 years long. [25] In 17 cantons, it is compulsory to attend pre-school. In almost all cantons, the municipalities are obliged to provide at least one year of pre-school classes. [26]

This table shows the school system for 2017/2018 and how the lower secondary schools are organized: [25]

Education demographics

During the 2008/09 school year there were 1,502,257 students in the entire Swiss educational system. In kindergarten or pre-school, there were 152,919 students (48.6% female). These students were taught by 13,592 teachers (96.0% female) in 4,949 schools, of which 301 were private schools. There were 777,394 students (48.6% female) in the obligatory schools, which include primary and lower secondary schools. These students were taught by 74,501 teachers (66.3% female) in 6,083 schools, of which 614 were private. The upper secondary school system had 337,145 students (46.9% female). They were taught by 13,900 teachers (42.3% female) in 730 schools, of which 240 were private. The tertiary education system had 234,799 students (49.7% female). They were taught by 37,546 teachers (32.8% female) in 367 schools. [28]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Matura</i> name of final exam of high school in many countries

Matura or its translated terms is a Latin name for the secondary school exit exam or "maturity diploma" in various European countries, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Education in Poland education system

Compulsory education in Poland starts at the age of six from the mandatory "0" reception class. At the age of seven kids start the 1st grade of primary school lasting for 8 years and finished with an exam. Afterwards, until 2017, pupils have joined the mandatory junior high school for three years and at the end, take another compulsory exam.

Education in Hungary educational system

Education in Hungary is predominantly public, run by the Ministry of Human Resources. Preschool kindergarten education is compulsory and provided for all children between three and six years old, after which school attendance is also compulsory until age of sixteen. Primary education usually lasts for eight years. Secondary education includes three traditional types of schools focused on different academic levels: the Gymnasium enrols the most gifted children and prepares students for university studies; the secondary vocational schools for intermediate students lasts four years and the technical school prepares pupils for vocational education and the world of work. The system is partly flexible and bridges exist, graduates from a vocational school can achieve a two years program to have access to vocational higher education for instance. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in Hungary among the bests in the world for maths and science.

Mittelschule is a German term literally translating to "Middle School". It is used in various senses in the education systems of the various parts of German-speaking Europe, not necessarily equivalent the English term middle school.

Education in the State of Palestine overview about the education in the State of Palestine

Education in the Palestinian Territories refers to the educational system in Gaza and the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Enrollment rates amongst Palestinians are relatively high by regional and global standards. According to a youth survey in 2003, 60% between the ages 10–24 indicated that education was their first priority. Youth literacy rate is 98.2%, while the national literacy rate is 91.1%. Enrollment ratios for higher education were 46.2% in 2007, among the highest in the world. In 2016 Hanan Al Hroub was awarded the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for her work in teaching children how to cope with violence.

Corbières, Gruyère Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Corbières is a municipality in the district of Gruyère in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. On 1 January 2011 the former municipality of Villarvolard merged into the municipality of Corbières.

Crésuz Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Crésuz is a municipality in the district of Gruyère in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Bas-Intyamon Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Bas-Intyamon is a municipality in the district of Gruyère in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. The villages of Enney, Estavannens and Villars-sous-Mont formed it.

Education in Jordan Wikimedia list

Jordan prides itself on its advanced education system. Jordanians are well educated since education is considered a core value in Jordanian culture. Jordan has the highest ratio of researchers in Research and Development among all 57 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states. In Jordan, there are 8060 researchers per million people, higher than the EU average of 6494, and much higher than the world average of 2532 per million.

Surpierre Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Surpierre is a municipality in the district of Broye, in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. In January 2005 Surpierre incorporated the formerly independent municipality of Praratoud and In January 2017 Surpierre incorporated the formlery independent municipality of Villeneuve.

Delley-Portalban Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Delley-Portalban is a municipality in the district of Broye, in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. The municipality was created on 1 January 2005 from the merger of Delley and Portalban.

La Verrerie Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

La Verrerie is a municipality in the district of Veveyse in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It was formed on 1 January 2004 by the union of the municipalities of Le Crêt, Grattavache, and Progens. The municipality is administered from Le Crêt.

Le Flon Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Le Flon is a municipality in the district of Veveyse in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It was created in 2004 through the merger of Bouloz, Pont (Veveyse) and Porsel.

Torny Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

Torny is a municipality in the district of Glâne in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It was created in 2004 through the merger of Middes and Torny-le-Grand.

Lurtigen Former municipality of Switzerland in Fribourg

Lurtigen is a former municipality in the district of See in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. Its French name, little-used today, is Lourtens. It is one of the municipalities with a large majority of German speakers in the mostly French speaking Canton of Fribourg. On 1 January 2016 the former municipalities of Courlevon, Jeuss, Lurtigen and Salvenach merged into Murten.

Salvenach Former municipality of Switzerland in Fribourg

Salvenach is a former municipality in the district of See in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It was one of the municipalities with a large majority of German speakers in the mostly French speaking Canton of Fribourg. On 1 January 2016 the former municipalities of Courlevon, Jeuss, Lurtigen and Salvenach merged into Murten.

La Brillaz Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

La Brillaz is a municipality in the district of Sarine in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It was created from the 2001 union of Lentigny, Lovens, and Onnens.

La Sonnaz Place in Fribourg, Switzerland

La Sonnaz is a municipality in the district of Sarine in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. The municipality was created in 2004 through the merger of Cormagens, La Corbaz and Lossy-Formangueires. The municipal administration, the kindergarten and the primary school are in Lossy.

Sarine District is one of the seven districts of the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It is largely French-speaking, with a German-speaking minority. Its territory is drained by the Sarine river, and by its tributary, the Glâne. It has a population of 106,136.

Lycée français Marie Curie de Zurich Primary, middle, and high school in Dübendorf, Switzerland

Lycée Français Marie Curie de Zurich (LFZ), German: französische Gymnasium) is a French international school in four campuses in Dübendorf in the Zurich metropolitan area.

References

  1. "Swissuniversity - University of Basel (UNIBAS)". Studyinginswitzerland.ch. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  2. "swissuniversities". Crus.ch. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  3. 1 2 Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators. Education at a Glance. OECD Publishing. 2015. doi:10.1787/eag-2015-en. ISBN   978-92-64-24208-1.
  4. "Mueller Science - Schweizer Nobelpreisträger Nobelpreise Schweiz - Swiss Nobel Prizes - Nobel Prize Winners Switzerland". Muellerscience.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  5. Goetz, Ulrich (2009-09-07). "Switzerland's Nobel boom – bust? - SWI". Swissinfo.ch. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  6. "Home". Swissworld.org. Archived from the original on 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  7. Swiss education server - Compulsory education Archived 2017-08-24 at the Wayback Machine accessed 24 August 2017
  8. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Bildungslandschaft Schweiz 2012/13" (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS, Sektion Bildungssystem. Archived from the original on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  10. "Bildungslandschaft Schweiz 2012/13 (vereinfacht)" (PDF) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS, Sektion Bildungssystem. February 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  11. Swiss Federal Statistical Office Archived 2016-08-20 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 9 August 2016
  12. 1 2 3 Swiss education server - Lower secondary level: overview Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine accessed 24 June 2010
  13. "International School Consultancy Group > Home". Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  14. 1 2 "International School Consultancy Group > Information > ISC News". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  15. "The new local". The Economist. 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  16. Archived June 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  17. "Find an IB World School". International Baccalaureate®. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  18. 1 2 "Education Dataset-Inbound Students". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 2017-06-10.
  19. 1 2 "SWITZERLAND: Second top with PhDs - University World News".
  20. 1 2 Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Studierende an den universitären Hochschulen nach Jahr, Fachbereich, Studienstufe, Staatsangehörigkeit und Hochschule (in German) accessed 13 September 2016
  21. "IEA: TIMSS 1995". Iea.nl. Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  22. TIMSS data, in The Economist March 29th, 1997, p.25
  23. U.S. Department of Education (1998). Pursuing Excellence: A Study of U.S. Twelfth-Grade Mathematics and Science Achievement in International Context (Report). U.S. Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  24. World Economic Forum, the Global Competitiveness Report accessed 7 February 2011
  25. 1 2 "www.edk.ch - Cantonal school structures". www.edk.ch. 2017-08-24. Archived from the original on 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  26. Swiss education server - Pre-school education Archived 2013-06-03 at the Wayback Machine accessed 15 August 2013
  27. 1 2 Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Lernende nach Kanton, Jahr und Bildungsstufe Archived 2017-10-10 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 13 September 2016
  28. Swiss Federal Statistical Office Ueberblick - Schulstufen Archived 2010-10-26 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 15 November 2010