School system

In South Africa, all children from 7 to 16 years of age must attend school. The school year begins in January, and most schools have a uniform. State schools do not meet Swiss standards, which is why foreign nationals often enroll their children in private schools.

Swiss schools

There are no Swiss schools in South Africa.

International schools

South Africa's major cities have international schools, some of which follow the same term times as the country of origin instead of the host state. School programmes are aligned with the South African curriculum, include English and German from the seventh year on, and go up to baccalaureate level. Pupils are usually also given the opportunity to take an additional exam (German Abitur) which, on passing, will allow them to continue their studies in Switzerland.


South Africa is home to over 50 polytechnics and 26 universities, two of which are in Pretoria (the University of South Africa [Unisa] and University of Pretoria) and several others in Johannesburg. In addition to these national universities, a number of private international universities offering degrees recognised abroad (EU, US) also have branches in South Africa. Unisa is an open distance learning institute. The SAQA should be consulted for admissions requirements and recognition of foreign qualifications in individual cases.


Innovation and Partnerships

Consular Directorate CD
Effingerstrasse 27
3003 Bern


Helpline +41 800 24-7-365 / +41 58 465 33 33

Start of page