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Tertiary Education in Switzerland

Tertiary Education in Switzerland by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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OECD reviews of national education policies provide a well-established means for member countries to engage their peers in reviewing their country’s policies. This report was prepared at the invitation of the Swiss authorities. It is divided into two parts: a background report, prepared by the Swiss authorities, and the OECD examiners’ report.

The Swiss university system is of a high international standard. It is complemented by a broad system of vocational training, parts of which were recently upgraded to the tertiary level. Tertiary education reform is in a dynamic phase in Switzerland as it grapples with national and global challenges emerging from the transition to a knowledge society. This review makes recommendations for further improvements to the tertiary education system in Switzerland.

Switzerland has made major strides in improving access to and providing greater diversity of tertiary education. The report recommends additional measures for improving permeability in access routes and for building closer relationships between different parts of the tertiary sector. It also advocates expanding areas of study in the newly created universities of applied sciences, and for more flexible arrangements to meet the learning needs of adults. The already high quality of research of Swiss universities needs to be strengthened in the area of social sciences. While the Swiss system gets high marks in coping with internationalisation, the flow of Swiss students studying abroad needs augmentation. The report also offers a range of recommendations in the area of the overall steering of the system and in improving effective internal management of the tertiary sector, two of the biggest challenges for reforms. There are also recommendations for improving the Swiss knowledge base on tertiary education.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2003
229 pages; ISBN 9789264103092
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Title: Tertiary Education in Switzerland
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development