Upper secondary level

Key terms: Expenditure on education / Bridge-year courses / Case management (vocational education and training) / Transition from lower to upper secondary level / Quality development and quality assurance in the field of education / Mobility and exchange / Occupational, educational and career guidance

After compulsory education, adolescents transfer to upper secondary level, which can be subdivided into general education programmes, and vocational education and training (VET) programmes.

  • The general education programmes include the Baccalaureate schools and the upper secondary specialised schools. They do not lead to professional qualifications, but prepare for tertiary level education programmes.

  • Vocational education and training (VET), in which adolescents learn a profession, is mostly completed at training companies (apprenticeship) combined with teaching at a VET school. It can also be completed at full-time vocational schools.

The majority of adolescents enrol in vocational education and training (VET) after lower secondary level. The adolescents complete upper secondary level at the age of 18/19 and receive a corresponding certificate. More than 90% of young people complete an upper secondary level programme.

Various measures (individual support, case management etc.) have been taken in order to optimise the transition from compulsory level to upper secondary level. For adolescents who do not enrol immediately in upper secondary level after compulsory education, bridge-year courses are available as interim solutions.

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Last update of this page: 28.10.2021