INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS
Types of higher education institutions:
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH)/Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPF) (Federal Institute of Technology (FIT))
Fachhochschule/Haute Ecole spécialisée (University of Applied Sciences)
Pädagogische Hochschule/Haute Ecole pédagogique (School for Teacher Education)
Höhere Fachschulen/Ecole Professionnelle supérieure (Advanced Vocational College)
School leaving and higher education credentials:
Maturitätszeugnis/Certificat de Maturité
Berufsmaturität/Maturité professionnelle/Maturità professionale
Fachmittelschulausweis/Certificat d'école de culture générale, Fachmaturitätszeugnis/Certificat de maturité spécialisée
Fähigkeitzeugnis/Certificat de capacité/Attesto di capacità
Fachhochschuldiplom/Diplôme de haute école spécialisée
Lehrdiplom für die Sekundarstufe I/ Diplôme d'aptitude à l'enseignement secondaire I
Primarlehrer-Diplom/Certificat d'Aptitude à l'Enseignement Primaire
Diplom/Diplôme or Lizentiat/Licence
Eidgenössisches Diplom/Diplôme Fédéral
Lehrdiplom für die Sekundarstufe II/ Diplôme d'aptitude à l'enseignement secondaire II
Master of Advanced Studies
Diplôme de Spécialité
STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM
Duration of compulsory education:
Age of entry: 7
Age of exit: 15
Structure of school system:
Type of school providing this education: Primary school (Primarschule)
Age level from: 7
Type of school providing this education: Lower secondary school/Sekundarschule (Secondary I)
Certificate/diploma awarded: In some cantons "lower secondary shool leaving certificate"
Type of school providing this education: Academic upper secondary school/Maturitätsschule (Secondary II)
Age level from: 16
Certificate/diploma awarded: Maturitaetszeugnis/Certificat de Maturité/Baccalauréat/Attestato di Maturità/Matura
Type of school providing this education: Vocational matura schoo/Berufsmaturitätsschule (Secondary II)
Age level from: 16
Certificate/diploma awarded: Professional Baccalaureate
Type of school providing this education: Vocational school/Berufsfachschule (Secondary II)
Age level from: 16
Certificate/diploma awarded: After 2 years: Eidgenössisches Berufsattest/Attestation fédérale de formation professionnelle/Certificato federale di formazione practica. After 3-4 years: Fähigkeitszeugnis/Certificat de Capacité/Attesto di Capacità/Federal Certificate of Competence
Compulsory education lasts for nine years and consists of primary and lower secondary education (secondary I). Primary education lasts from four to six years depending on the Canton. Lower secondary education lasts from three to five years depending on the Canton. Upper secondary education (secondary II) is not compulsory and varies in length from three to four years. There are two main types of upper secondary schools: academic schools (Maturitätsschulen) and vocational schools (Berufsfachschulen). Academic upper secondary schools prepare students for entry to Universities and Teacher Training Schools; vocational secondary schools prepare students for a wide range of occupations and Higher Vocational Schools (Höhere Fachschulen) as well as Universities of Applied Sciences (if combined with the Professional Baccalaureate) .
In Switzerland, the higher education system at University-level consists of ten cantonal Universities, two federal Institutes of Technology and seven Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen), as well as the recently founded Schools for Teacher Education and many Advanced Vocational Colleges. Private universities only offer postgraduate studies. There is no numerus clausus for subjects studied at University, except for Medicine at the German-speaking Universities. Studies in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Surveying must follow national requirements and are regulated by the Federal Government.Since the transfer of Advanced Vocational College, HTL (technology), HWV (economics) and HFG (design), etc. to Universities of Applied Sciences, Switzerland has a dual university system with two types of university : Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences including Schools for Teacher Education, UAS Schools of Art and Design, UAS Schools of Music and UAS Schools of Theatre. Studies at the Universities of Applied Sciences last for 3 to 4 years and are related to the specific profession and its environment. The Swiss Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences are introducing graduate study courses based on the Bologna Model. Some Universities have already changed their system, but others are still in the process of doing so. The implementation of the Bologna Reform is coordinated by the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities and the list of the converted courses is available on its website (www.crus.ch). As for the Universities of Applied Science, the conversion is coordinated by the Conference of the Universities of Applied Sciences (www.kfh.ch) and must be implemented as from the academic year 2005/06. The former one-stage system will continue to exist until 2010 at the latest or disappear as soon as all the Swiss universities and Universities of Applied Sciences use the new system.
Main laws/decrees governing higher education:
Decree: Bundesgesetz über die Berufsbildung vom 13 Dezember Year: 2002
Concerns: All profesional training
Decree: Bundesgesetz über die Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschulen (ETH-Gesetz) Year: 1991
Concerns: The two Federal Institutes of Technology in Zürich and Lausanne
Decree: Bundesgesetz über die Fachhochschulen (Fachhochschulgesetz, FHSG) Year: 1995
Concerns: Universities of Applied Sciences
Decree: Bundesgesetz über die Förderung der Universitäten und über die Zusammenarbeit im Hochschulbereich (Universitätsförderungsgesetz, UFG) Year: 1999
Concerns: Universitäre Hochschulen, providing for their coordination
Decree: Richtlinien für die koordinierte Erneuerung der Lehre an den universitären Hochschulen der Schweiz im Rahmen des Bologna-Prozesses (Bologna-Richtlinien) Year: 2003
Concerns: Canton and Federal Universities
Decree: Richtlinien für die Umsetzung der Erklärung von Bologna an den Fachhochschulen und den Pädagogischen Hochschulen Year: 2004
Concerns: Universities of Applied Sciences and Schools for Teacher Education
Classes from: Oct to: Jul
Languages of instruction: French, German, Italian
Stages of studies:
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):
Professional people extend their general education, upgrade their professional skills and/or qualify in organization and leadership which are necessary for a career at Advanced Vocational Colleges. Studies last for two to three years and lead to a final diploma. Under the new law on professional training, the Federal Administration is now responsible for the areas of Health, Social Studies and Arts. New minimum requirements are being elaborated for the recognition of educational courses and post-graduate studies at the Universities of Applied Sciences. Some of the Advanced Vocational Colleges are being converted into Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) but studies leading to professional diplomas will still be carried out at Advanced Vocational Colleges. The transfer began in 1997/1998 together with a quality improvement process.
University level studies:
University level first stage: Basic studies/Diploma studies/Bachelor studies:
Universities: The first period of long-cycle study is essentially devoted to broadly-based studies. It takes 2 to 6 semesters and generally ends with intermediate examinations called Vordiplomprüfungen, Akzessprüfungen, Demi-licence or Propädeutika (medicine), depending on the subject and the university. Universities of Applied Sciences: Undergraduate studies last from 6 to 8 semesters and culminate in the award of a Diploma. Leading to a Bachelor's degree, the first stage provides fundamental academic education and teaches methodical academic thinking. At the Universities of Applied Sciences, the Bachelor courses also focus on profession and practice. The Bachelor's degree is the pre-condition for going on to study for a Master degree. The Bachelor's degree also enables the graduate to enter a profession.
University level second stage: Main studies/Master studies:
The second period (main studies) is devoted to in-depth study, often with some specializations. After a further 4 semesters, a Lizentiat/Licence is conferred in Arts, Law and Science. A further 5 semesters are required for the Diploma/Diplôme in Engineering. In Medicine, a total of 10 semesters is required, whereas in Dentistry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, a total of 12 to 12 semesters is needed. An online Doctor in Nursing program can also lead to a Master degree, the second stage deepens and/or broadens knowledge of a subject and should include some research. The conditions for admission to Master studies must still be clarified.
University level third stage: Postgraduate studies:
Shorter postgraduate courses leading to the award of a Certificate or a Diploma are offered by Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences. They are usually part-time courses and have a vocational orientation. Meanwhile, some Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences are also offering further training via advanced Master programmes (at least 60 credits) to be known as MAS (Master of Advanced Studies). The Doctorate in Switzerland is regarded as a stage of postgraduate education. It is awarded by the 10 cantonal universities and the two Federal Institutes of Technology in areas of study such as Arts, Education, Science, Engineering, Theology, Law, Economics, and Medicine. The duration of study varies. In Science, the Doctorate may take a further two to five years and in Engineering between two and four years. In Law, Economics and Social Sciences, it may take from one to three years in the German-speaking institutions and up to four years in the French. The defence of the Doctoral thesis (Doktorpruefung/Examen de Doctorat) may be viva voce or candidates may have to sit for an oral and a written examination or have to pass two written examinations and three oral examinations in the chosen major and minor subjects.
University level fourth stage: Medical specialization, Professorship qualification (Habilitation):
Doctors in Medicine and Dentistry (in the field of Orthodontics) wishing to specialize may prepare a Diplôme de spécialité after practical work lasting between five and seven years as assistant Physicians. Doctors in Medicine add FMH (Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum) after their professional title. Doctors in Dentistry are given the title Kieferorthopäde SSO/Spécialiste SSO orthodentie after four years' postdoctoral study and an examination. These specializations are currently being revised. The Habilitation is the highest academic Degree and is only awarded in German-speaking universities in main fields. After submitting a thesis (Habilitationsschrift), candidates must give a public lecture. The Habilitation qualifies for a Professorship.
Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers
Situation in September 2005: The training of pre-primary/basic school teachers is carried out in 16 Schools for Teacher Education (Universities of Applied Sciences) except in one canton where they are trained at the University. The Schools for Teacher Education and the University offer the following degree courses:- Lehrerin/Lehrer für die Vorschulstufe/Enseignant/Enseignante du degré préscolaire (pre-school teachers): Teaching legitimacy for pre-school only.- Lehrerin/Lehrer für die Vorschulstufe und die Primarstufe/Enseignant/Enseignante des degrés préscolaire et primaire (pre-school and primary school teachers): Teaching legitimacy from pre-school education up to the 2nd, 5th or 6th primary classes.- Lehrerin/Lehrer für die Primarstufe/Enseignant/Enseignante du degré primaire (primary school teachers): Teaching legitimacy from the first up to the fifth or sixth primary classes.
Training of secondary school teachers
The pedagogical training of lower-secondary-school teachers and upper secondary schools teachers is mainly carried out at Schools for Teacher Education (Universities of Applied Sciences) and in some cases at Universities.But for all lower secondary teachers, training in the scientific subjects takes place in universities. Upper secondary school teachers must generally first obtain a Lizentiat/Licence or a Diplom/Diplôme and complete their studies at a School for Teacher Education (Universities of Applied Sciences) or at a University College of Education (Universities). The diplomas offered are: - Lehrerin/Lehrer für die Sekundarstufe I/Enseignant/Enseignante du degré secondaire I (lower secondary school teachers): Teaching legitimacy from the 5th, 6th or 7th up to the 9th class; training in two to four (Stufenlehrkraft/enseignant généraliste) or at least five (Fächergruppenlehrkraft/enseignant semi-généraliste) subjects. - Lehrerin/Lehrer für die Sekundarstufe I und für Maturitätsschulen/Enseignant/Enseignante du degré secondaire I et des écoles préparant à la Maturité (Lower and upper secondary school teachers): Teaching legitimacy from the 5th, 6th or 7th up to the 12th (upper secondary) class. These degree courses are mainly offered in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. - Lehrerin/Lehrer für Maturitätsschule/Enseignant/Enseignante des classes préparant à la Maturité (upper secondary school teachers): Teaching entitlement for usually 2 subjects at academic upper secondary schools. The name of the different teacher categories can vary from canton to canton; however, each name can be assigned to the overall list above.
Distance higher education
There are distance education study centres of the Fern Universität Hagen in Brig, Berne and Pfäffikon, the Centre Romand d'Enseignement à distance (CRED) in Sierre and the Open University in Geneva. The creation of a virtual campus is being organized.
Administration & co-ordination:
Staatssekretariat für Bildung und Forschung SBF/Secrétariat d'Etat à l'Education et à la Recherche SER (State Secretariat for Education and Research)
Head: Charles Kleiber, State Secretary
Tel: +41(31) 3229691
Fax: +41(31) 3227854
Role of governing body: Within the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the SER is the federal government's specialized agency for national and international matters concerning general and university education, research, and aerospace.
Schweizerischer Wissenschafts- und Technologierat - SWTR/Conseil Suisse de la Science et de la Technologie - CSST (Swiss Science and Technology Council)
Head: Susanne Suter, President
Administrative officer: Bernhard Nievergelt
International relations: Max Salm
Tel: +41(31) 3230048
Fax: +41(31) 3239547
Role of governing body: Advisory body of the Federal Council for science, research and technology policy composed of top scientists from Switzerland and abroad.
Schweizerische Universitätskonferenz der Kantonalen Erziehungsdirektoren - EDK/Conférence Suisse des Directeurs de l'Instruction publique - CDIP
Head: Hans Ulrich Stöckling, President
Administrative officer: Hans Ambühl, Secretary-General
Tel: +41(31) 3095111
Fax: +41(31) 3095150
Role of governing body: As part of the federal education system, EDK promotes cooperation between the cantons, a common policy and exchange of information and experience. Thus, it ensures a minimal uniformity in structures and qualifications. At the same time, it is an important platform for discussion on education and culture.
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung/Fonds national de la Recherche scientifique (Swiss National Science Foundation)
Head: Dieter Imbogen, President
Administrative officer: Daniel Höchli, Director
International relations: Jürg Pfister, Director
Tel: +41(31) 3082222
Fax: +41(31) 3013009
Role of governing body: Acting on a mandate issued by the Swiss Federal Government, the SNSF supports research undertaken inside and outside universities and fosters young scientific talents.
Schweizerische Universitätskonferenz SUK/Conférence universitaire suisse- CUS (Swiss University Conference)
Head: Mario Annoni, President
Administrative officer: Nivardo Ischi, Secretary-General
Tel: +41(31) 3066060
Fax: +41(31) 3021792
Role of governing body: As a joint federal and cantonal organ, it is responsible for coordinating university policies throughout Switzerland and can take decisions in some clearly defined areas.
Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten/Conférence des Recteurs des Universités suisses CRUS (Rector's Conference)
Head: Jean-Marc Rapp, President
Administrative officer: Mathias Stauffacher, Secretary-General/Generalsekretär
Tel: +41(31) 3066036
Fax: +41(31) 3066050
Role of governing body: Association which promotes exchanges of information and cooperation between the Swiss Universities.
Rat der Eidgenössisschen Technischen Hochschulen (ETH-Rat)/Conseil des Ecoles polytechniques fédérales (Council of Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology)
Head: Alexander J.B. Zehnder, President
Administrative officer: Sebastian Brändli, Secretary-General
Tel: +41(44) 6322367
Fax: +41(44) 6321190
Role of governing body: Management board of the ETH-sector, consisting of ETHZ, EPFL and their Research Institutions.
Vereinigung Schweizerischer Hochschuldozenten (VSH)/Association suisse des Professeurs d'Universités (APU) (Swiss Association of University Teachers)
Head: Jürg Martin Fröhlich, President
Administrative officer: G. Kostorz, Secretary-General
Tel: +41(31) 3020395
Fax: +41(31) 3020395
Role of governing body: Promotes teaching and research in Switzerland.
Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen (Centre of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities)
Head: Rolf Heusser, Director
CH 3008 Bern
Tel: +41(31) 3801150
Fax: +41(31) 3801155
Role of governing body: The purpose of OAQ is to ensure and promote the quality of teaching and research at the universities in Switzerland. It operates independently and bases its work on international practices and research findings. It manages its own affairs under the terms of its bylaws and has its own budget.
ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION
Admission to non university higher education studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Berufsmaturität/Maturité professionnelle/Maturità professionale
For entry to: University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)
Name of secondary school credential required: Fähigkeitzeugnis/Certificat de capacité/Attesto di capacità
For entry to: Higher vocational schools (Höhere Fachschulen)
Admission to university-level studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Maturitätszeugnis/Certificat de Maturité
For entry to: For all universities
Alternatives to credentials: Zulassung aufgrund von Vorbildung und Berufserfahrung/Accès sur dossier is a way of being admitted to higher education on grounds of previous life and work experience. It is intended for persons who do not fulfil the normal entrance requirements.
Numerus clausus/restrictions: There is no numerus clausus either nationally or locally for subjects to be studied at University except for Medicine in the German-speaking universities.
Foreign students admission
Definition of foreign student: A foreign student is a person enrolled at a higher education institution in Switzerland, country of which he/she is not a permanent resident.
Quotas: Foreign applicants are unlikely to obtain a place in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine if they do not hold a Swiss School-Leaving Certificate and a residence permit. There are also certain restrictions on the number of places available in certain other subjects
Admission requirements: The basic requirements for admission to a Swiss university are: a State-recognized Swiss School Leaving Certificate, or a foreign equivalent. Each university makes its own decision concerning admission.
Entry regulations: A valid passport is sufficient for students from other West European countries. Citizens of countries which require a visa should apply to the relevant Swiss diplomatic representation abroad. Students wishing to spend more than three months in Switzerland must apply for a residence permit, which must be accompanied by a valid passport, a certificate of admission issued by the University, and a certificate stating that the applicant has the necessary financial resources to complete his/her studies.
Health requirements: All universities require their registered students to join a recognized health insurance scheme.
Language requirements: Adequate knowledge of the language of instruction (German, French or Italian).
Recognition of studies & qualifications:
Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): The responsibility for higher education is shared between 26 cantons and the Confederation. Each Swiss university autonomously handles the question of academic recognition of both Swiss and foreign School Leaving Certificates and Academic Diplomas. Foreign School-Leaving Certificates are assessed according to the criteria adopted by the Conference of the Rectors of the Swiss Universities. Those from signatory States of the conventions on higher education of the Council of Europe entitle holders to admission to Swiss universities. As far as admission to postgraduate or Doctorate studies is concerned, the Academic Degrees Lizentiat/Licence or Diplom/Diplôme are usually mutually and unreservedly recognized. Higher education institutions are accredited by the Centre of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ) (http://www.oaq.ch).
Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):
Swiss ENIC, Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS)
Head: Christine Gehrig, Responsable
Administrative officer: Eva Grob, Collaboratrice scientifique
CH - 3012 Bern
Tel: +41(31) 3066041
Fax: +41(31) 3026811
Deals with credential recognition for entry to: Profession
Services provided & students dealt with: Provides information for foreigners on credential equivalences.
Special provisions for recognition:
For access to university level studies: The recognition of foreign entrance qualifications and School Leaving Certificates is the responsibility of individual institutions and their Faculties. They alone are in a position to provide precise information on recognition of foreign Certificates and Degrees.
For access to advanced studies and research: Is the responsibility of the university, the higher education institution or the Faculty.
For the exercise of a profession: For the exercise of a non-regulated profession in Switzerland, the assessment of the Diploma is the responsibility of the employer.
Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies
Name of agreement: Convention of the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European region (Nr. 165) - Lisbon Convention
Year of signature: 1997
Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in the States Belonging to European Region
Year of signature: 1979
Name of agreement: European Agreement on Continued Payment of Scholarships to Students Abroad
Year of signature: 1969
Name of agreement: European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications (Nr. 32)
Year of signature: 1959
Name of agreement: European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading to Admission to Universities (Nr. 15)
Year of signature: 1953
Name of agreement: European Convention on the Equivalence of Periods of University Study (Nr. 21)
Year of signature: 1956
Name of agreement: European Convention on the General Equivalence of Periods of University Study
Year of signature: 1990
Name of agreement: Principles of Good Practice in Academic Recognation Procedures Passed by the Standing Conference on University Problems of the Council of Europe
Year of signature: 1991
Name of agreement: Protocol to the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading to Admission to Universities
Year of signature: 1964
Name of agreement: Recommendation on the Recognition of Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education
Year of signature: 1993
Bilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign credentials
Name of agreement: Austria
Year of signature: 1993
Name of agreement: France; Germany
Year of signature: 1994
Name of agreement: Italy
Year of signature: 2000
References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies
Title: Studying in Switzerland
Author: Leander, Amherd; Tafani, Tiziana
Publisher: Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities
Year of publication: 2004
Title: Zur Regelung von Anerkennungsfragen im Bereich des höheren Bildungswesens in der Schweiz & im Europa
Author: Tremp, Marianne; Gehrig Christine; Nägeli Rudolf
Publisher: Swiss ENIC
Year of publication: 1999
Main student services at national level
Tel: +41(58) 4504000
Fax: +41(58) 4504001
Category of services provided: Social and welfare services
Services available to foreign Students: Yes
Studentenberatung/Conseil aux étudiants (all universities)
Category of services provided: Academic and career counselling services; Employment services
Services available to foreign Students: Yes
National student associations and unions
Verband der Schweizerischen StudentInnenschaften (VSS)/Union Nationale des Etudiant/es de Suisse (UNES) (National Union of Students in Switzerland)
Tel: +41(31) 3821171
Fax: +41(31) 3821176
Social security for home students: Yes
Social security for foreign students: Yes
Foreign student social security provisions: Foreign students contribute to old-age and disability insurance schemes, if they intend to stay in Switzerland after finishing their studies, if they are stateless or have the status of refugees. Medical insurance is compulsory. Exempt from this compulsory insurance are students who come to Switzerland on a mobility programme or who come from a country where medical insurance is compulsory. In the latter case, the coverage must be equivalent to that in Switzerland.
Special student travel fares:
By road: No
By rail: No
By air: Yes
Student expenses and financial aid
Average living costs: 20000 (Swiss Franc)
Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 1000 (Swiss Franc)
Maximum: 4000 (Swiss Franc)
Foreign students tuition fees: Minimum: 1000 (Swiss Franc)
Maximum: 8000 (Swiss Franc)
Bodies providing information on student financial aid:
Eidgenössische Stipendienkommission für ausländische Studierende (ESKAS)
Tel: +41(31) 3232676
Fax: +41(31) 3233020
Deals with: Grants
Category of students: Governmental scholarships for foreign graduate students.
Publications on student services and financial aid:
Title: Schweizer Studienführer
Publisher: AGAB, Düssendorf
Year of publication: 2001
Title: Study Abroad 2006-2007
Publisher: UNESCO Publishing
Year of publication: 2005
Title: Studying in Switzerland
Year of publication: 2005
Title: Swiss University Qualifications/Schweizer Universitätsqualifikation/Qualifications universitaires su
Publisher: Swiss ENIC
Year of publication: 2004
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES
Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:
Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities
Tel: +41(31) 3066044
Fax: +41(31) 3026811
Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes
Name of exchange programme: ISEP
Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO DA VINCI (silent partner)
Name of exchange programme: SOCRATES-ERASMUS (silent partner)
Name of exchange programme: YOUTH (silent partner)
Usual grading system in secondary school
Full Description: In most cantons, the 6-point scale is used: 6 = ausgezeichnet/très bien (outstanding); 4 = genügend/suffisant (pass); 3-2-1 = ungenügend/insuffisant (fail)
Highest on scale: 6=ausgezeichnet/très bien (outstanding);
Pass/fail level: 4=genügend/suffisant (pass)
Lowest on scale: 1=schlecht/mauvais (fail).
Main grading system used by higher education institutions
Full Description: There are three numerical grading systems used by Universities: a 1-6 scale, a 6-1 scale (sometimes, a 5-1 scale), and the 10-point scale.
Highest on scale: 6/1/10
Pass/fail level: 4/3(3)/6 (pass mark); 2(1)/6(5)/2 (fail mark)
Lowest on scale: 1/6(5)/1
Other main grading systems
The grading system for PhD and Doctorate is: genügend/passable/rite (pass); ziemlich gut/assez bien/cum laude; gut/bien/magna cum laude; sehr gut/très bien/insigni cum laude; ausgezeichnet/excellent; summa cum laude.
NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM
Foreign students who do not intend to sit for examinations, but wish to attend a Swiss University for a few terms, may attend as Gaststudenten/Etudiants hôtes (occasional students).
Data for academic year: 2005-2006
Source: IAU from Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities, Switzerland, November 2005