Switzerland's higher education sector, with its universities and federal institutes of technology (ETH Zurich/EPFL), universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education, offers a wide range of courses in diverse subjects.
Universities and other higher education institutions
Programmes follow the international three-tier study model with bachelor, master and doctorate (the latter may only be awarded by a university). All higher education institutions in Switzerland also carry out research, offer continuing education programmes and provide third-party services.
Of the roughly 44,000 degrees and doctorates awarded annually, around two-thirds of recipients are from universities and one-third from a university of applied sciences.
Universities and federal institutes of technology
Universities and federal institutes of technology are the traditional tertiary-level academic institutions. They include ten cantonal universities and two federal institutes of technology. Admission is generally granted on the basis of a baccalaureate certificate. Doctoral degrees can only be completed at a university or federal institute of technology.
Universities of applied sciences
Universities of applied sciences were first established in the mid-1990s. They expanded the range of higher education available in Switzerland by offering career-oriented training courses, providing a science-based, practice-oriented education. Admission is generally granted on the basis of a federal vocational baccalaureate.
Universities of teacher education
The 14 universities of teacher education are responsible for the education and training of teachers. They are similar in type to the universities of applied sciences, but are managed differently. Admission is generally granted on the basis of a baccalaureate certificate.