The Swiss education system is widely recognized for its high quality and a strong emphasis on practical skills. It is highly decentralised, with the 26 cantons (states) responsible for the organisation and funding of education at the primary and secondary levels. The system is divided into four main parts: primary education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education, and higher education.
Primary education in Switzerland is compulsory and free for all children ages 6 to 12. Lower secondary education, also known as “Sekundarstufe I” or “gymnasium,” lasts for four years and is the next level after primary school. Upper secondary education, also known as “Sekundarstufe II” or “gymnasium,” lasts three years and is the final stage of compulsory education. Students generally attend upper secondary school from the ages of 16 to 19.
Higher education in Switzerland includes universities, universities of applied sciences, and teacher education colleges. Universities offer bachelor’s, master’s, and schoolal degrees, while universities of applied sciences offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in practical fields such as engineering, business, and design. Teacher education colleges prepare students to become teachers at the primary and secondary levels.
In addition to the public education system, there are also many international schools in Switzerland. These schools offer a curriculum and teaching style different from the traditional Swiss education system. They typically follow an international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), and the language of instruction is often English, French or German.
International schools in Switzerland serve a number of different purposes. They offer a valuable educational option for expatriates and international students who wish to continue their education in a familiar and internationally recognised system. They also provide a bridge for students who plan to attend university or pursue a career in an international setting. In addition, they can also offer an excellent opportunity to learn another culture, language, and meet people from different countries.
International schools play an important role in the Swiss education system by providing a diverse and multicultural learning environment. They also provide a bridge for students to connect with the global community and prepare them to succeed in a globalised world. They can be an excellent choice for students looking for an internationally recognised education and those who want to study in an environment different from the traditional Swiss system and experience a more global perspective.