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Post-compulsory education

Upper secondary level

After compulsory education, adolescents transfer to upper secondary level and may choose between general education programmes (Baccalaureate schools  or upper secondary specialised schools) and vocational education and training (VET)  programmes.

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.

Tertiary level education

At the tertiary level the Swiss education system offers a wide range of programmes which can be completed at universities or at professional education institutions.

Universities offer various academic or practice-oriented degree programmes. For access to a university institution, in general, a Baccalaureate, a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate, a Specialised Baccalaureate or a supplementary examination is required, depending on the institution (access with other qualifications is possible). Switzerland has the following universities:

Tertiary level professional education  enables (in particular) professionals who have completed vocational education and training (VET) to specialise and to enhance their skills and knowledge. Tertiary level professional education offers the following educational programmes:

  • Federal Diploma of Higher Education and Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education Examinations

  • Colleges of Higher Education diplomas