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Teacher education and training

Training of teaching staff

The training of teaching staff for primary school level (including kindergarten or a first learning cycle), lower secondary level, Baccalaureate schools, upper secondary specialised schools and teaching professions in the field of special needs education is provided by universities – mostly universities of teacher education.

Due to their practice-oriented degree programmes and their research which is oriented towards occupational fields, the universities of teacher education are typologically classed as universities of applied sciences. However, they are governed differently. The legal basis at national level is the recognition regulation issued by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). The remit of the universities of teacher education comprises initial and continuing education and training, application-oriented research and development, and services for third parties.

The degree programmes in teacher education and training provide professional qualifications and include scientific components, teaching-specific components, educational science components and practical training components. They combine theory and practical work and teaching and research. The goal is to impart adequate knowledge and competence for educating and teaching pupils and students at the various educational levels, as well as children and adolescents with special needs. Teacher education and training is realised within a two-tier model with Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes in accordance with the Ordinance of the university council on the coordination of education at Swiss higher education institutions. The study attainments and performance of students are measured with ECTS credits. The duration of studies depends on the selected degree programme. Graduates receive a teaching qualification for the specific educational level, or a professional qualification in the therapeutic-pedagogical field, as well as a Bachelor's or Master's degree (exception: teachers for Baccalaureate schools only receive a teaching qualification). The Master's degree is obtained through their scientific study. The teaching and professional qualifications are recognised throughout Switzerland.

  • teacher for primary level (including kindergarten or a first learning cycle)

  • teacher for lower secondary level

  • teacher for Baccalaureate schools and upper secondary specialised schools

  • education and training in the field of special needs education: specialisation in the fields of early remedial education and remedial education at school

  • education and training in speech and language therapy and psychomotor therapy

Training of VET teachers

The education and training of vocational teachers in training companies, of teachers at VET schools and colleges of higher education, and of teachers in job-related continuing education and training, takes place at university institutions and other educational institutions. The education and training of VET teachers is regulated by the Confederation. The programmes vary according to the level to be taught at and the teaching workload (part-time or full-time).