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Tertiary level

Tertiary level professional education

Tertiary level professional education is a form of tertiary level education which provides programmes for demanding occupational fields and leadership positions. It serves the purposes of staff training and helps professionals to specialise. Tertiary level professional education comprises:

Tertiary level professional education is a Swiss speciality. Its education and training programmes and qualifications are less known abroad, in particular in countries which do not have a dual vocational and professional education and training system. In many countries, equivalent programmes are implemented at university institutions. To strengthen tertiary level professional education, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the stakeholders in vocational and professional education and training have developed English titles for tertiary level professional education qualifications.

Institutions for higher education

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 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.