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Education in Switzerland


We have already discussed higher education in Germany and Austria with you earlier, we have analyzed the pros and cons. Today we offer you an article about higher education in Switzerland.

Switzerland has 12 state universities and 7 vocational colleges (Fachhochschule). More than half of the universities in Switzerland are among the best in the world. Education in Switzerland is very prestigious. The Swiss are pioneers in hospitality and tourism. The tradition of teaching these disciplines originated here, so local universities remain the benchmark in this field. Switzerland is also very well developed in the field of teaching finance and banking, which is not surprising. But it is almost impossible to get into medical school as a foreigner here. Preference is given to the Swiss. But in other areas there are a lot of Swiss students – foreigners.

The question that many people are concerned about is the cost of education. As in Germany and Austria, where students pay only semester fees, education at a public university in Switzerland will cost 900 – 1300 euros a year. The only exception is the University of Lugano, where foreigners pay twice as much. Naturally, if it is a private institution of higher education, the prices will be much higher. Life in Switzerland is not cheap. More expensive than in Germany and Austria, but like in other countries, students have the right to work 15-20 hours a week. In addition, students have access to all kinds of scholarships. The average scholarship for a foreigner in Switzerland is 1,600 euros per month (twice as much as in Germany, for example). The most popular scholarship is from the Eidgenössische Stipendienkommission für Ausländische Studierende (Swiss Student Scholarship Committee). Exchange programs are also available.

Another important issue is the language of instruction. Bachelor’s programmes are mainly in the cantonal language of the university: German, Italian or French. But there are many workshops in English.

And finally, we will tell you how to act. If it is a college of professional education, it is necessary to prove the existence of at least one year of professional experience in the chosen field and have completed secondary education. Graduates from the college receive a bachelor’s degree, but you can enter the university without graduating from the college. Fachhochschule is much cheaper than private preparatory schools.

Getting into university is not easy. Let’s start by saying that you must be at least 18 years old. The main document is the matriculation certificate. There are two ways to obtain it: to graduate from upper secondary school in Switzerland or to take all the necessary examinations. These exams are taken in Switzerland and only in Switzerland.

The basis for applying for a master’s degree is the completed bachelor’s program. Does the university recognize a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university? This should be specified in each individual case. Universities decide for themselves whether or not they will recognize your degree.

Swiss education has its advantages and disadvantages compared to Austria and Germany. However, knowledge of the German language is an important (if not obligatory) condition for entering an educational institution in that country.

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