In Western Switzerland, the level of education is world-renowned for being among the highest:

  • Switzerland spends US$ 38,035 per student, ranking second in total expenses per student after the United States (2004).
  • The percentage of the population having at least a level of tertiary education is 26 % for the age groups 25-64, ranking 3rd in Europe after the United Kingdom and Belgium (2002).

The region has a dense network of universities, international schools and technological centres. It offers a vast choice of professional educational courses (more than 200). Companies profit directly from this diversity of knowledge and qualifications that match today’s requirements and those of tomorrow.

Globally, two big educational orientations exist:

  • one that is centred on “academic education”
  • the other that is more centred on “practical experience”

In both cases, the students follow compulsory education (primary and secondary school), which lasts for 9 or 10 years. Afterwards, they can choose between:

  • high school, leading to the federal Maturité (like the A-levels) giving access to universities
  • or an apprenticeship (training in a company that lasts for 3 or 4 years, along with theoretical courses) rewarded by a federal certificate of abilities (CFC). This “practical” training can be completed by professional A-levels giving access to the Universities of applied sciences (HES)

There are also numerous “business” channels and international schools that rank among the best in the world. The Swiss educational system gives access to both an excellent general culture and to specific knowledge. In Western Switzerland you will find numerous specialists active in fields linked to management, to industry or to high technologies.

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