Institutions for higher education

Key terms: Bologna Process / European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) / Coordination in the higher education sector / Mobility and exchange / Occupational, educational and career guidance

The remit of institutions for higher education includes initial education and training, continuing education and training, research and development and services for third parties. In Switzerland, there are three kinds of institutions for higher education - universities of teacher education belonging to the type of universities of applied sciences:

  • Universities

    Universities are the traditional academic institutions for higher education. These include the ten cantonal universities and the two Federal Institutes of Technology (FIT) managed by the Confederation. As a rule, the admission to a university requires a Baccalaureate. The studies have a scientific approach. Doctoral or PhD programmes can only be completed at a university.

  • Universities of applied sciences

    Universities of applied sciences supplement the university education and training with professionally-oriented programmes. There are currently eight public and one private university of applied sciences. As a rule, the admission to a university of applied science requires a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate, but admission with other qualification is possible. They provide science-based and practice-oriented education and training.

  • Universities of teacher education

    Universities of teacher education are responsible for the initial as well as continuing education and training of teachers. Typologically, they belong to the universities of applied sciences, but they are mandated for the regular education of school teachers. The regular admission qualification is a Baccalaureate.

In order to guarantee permeability, alongside the regular admission qualifications, there are other ways of gaining admission to institutions for higher education from upper secondary level education and the transition between the various types of institutions for higher education is possible.

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Last update of this page: 28.10.2021