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Switzerland
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Diagram of the education system



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Key
  • Diagram of education system in country language

  • Old diagram using ISCED 1997 classification

  • Methodological notes for this diagram
  • Education system in Switzerland

    Switzerland
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2015)
  • International students make up 17% of all tertiary students in Switzerland, rising to 27% at master's or equivalent level, and 52% for doctoral programmes.
  • In Switzerland, 71% of young people are expected to graduate from vocational upper secondary programmes, well above the OECD average of 46%. In Switzerland 60% of all upper secondary students are enrolled in combined school-work vocational programmes.
  • The rate of upper secondary attainment of 25-64 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds in Switzerland is quite high, at 88% and 91% respectively. This is higher than the OECD averages of 76% and 83% and the EU21 averages of 78% and 85%.
  • The employment rate for adults with below upper secondary education is high in Switzerland with 69% (OECD average 56%).
  • Annual spending from primary through tertiary education in Switzerland is among the highest of those OECD and EU21 countries with data available. Based on data from public institutions only, Switzerland spent USD 17 485 per student compared with the OECD average of USD 10 220, and USD 10 361 for EU21 countries.
  • Switzerland has the highest level of expenditures per student at tertiary level among OECD countries, reaching more than USD 25 264. Spending per student is USD 13889 at primary level and USD 16 731 for secondary. Switzerland is one of five countries with the highest total public expenditure on primary to tertiary education as a percentage of total public expenditure, at 15.3% in 2012, but is at the OECD average in terms of spending as a percentage of GDP (4.9%).
  • After 10 years of experience, primary teachers' salaries average USD 63 504, almost double the average salaries for their peers across OECD countries of USD 37 556. The picture is similar at the upper secondary level, where teachers earn on average USD 83 153 after 10 years compared with the OECD average of USD 41 160.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

    Show indicators for which your country ranks among the top or bottom: Sort by:

    Educational outcomes

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88 %, rank 9/41 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (91 %, rank 8/41 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (84.3 %, rank 9/41 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (46 %, rank 10/40 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (39.3 %, rank 6/31 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old men who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (37.4 %, rank 7/30 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old women who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (41.3 %, rank 6/30 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old men who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (89.7 %, rank 5/41 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 55-64 year-old men who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88.7 %, rank 6/41 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45.9 %, rank 5/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (46.2 %, rank 6/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 35-44 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.6 %, rank 4/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 45-54 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45.3 %, rank 2/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 55-64 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (40.8 %, rank 4/42 ) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (22.5 %, rank 5/42 ) Download Indicator

    Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of 25-64 year-olds whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (17.3 %, rank 4/33 ) Download Indicator

    Switzerland has one of the largest shares of 25-64 year-old men whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (19.3 %, rank 2/33 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who attained a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (3.2 %, rank 1/30 ) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (4 %, rank 1/30 ) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old women who attained a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (2.3 %, rank 1/30 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of young people expected to graduate from vocational programmes in upper secondary education in Switzerland is comparatively high (71.1 %, rank 5/36 ) Download Indicator

    In Switzerland, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from upper secondary education during their lifetimes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (95.1 %, rank 6/28 ) Download Indicator

    In Switzerland, the percentage of today's young men expected to graduate from upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (93.8 %, rank 5/28 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from a doctorate or equivalent programme in Switzerland ranks as one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.2 %, rank 2/40 ) Download Indicator

    Switzerland has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to graduate from short tertiary education programmes during their lifetime. (2 Index, rank 22/30 ) Download Indicator

    Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime. (46 Index, rank 5/34 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime. (43 Index, rank 6/25 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to complete a doctorate or an equivalent education during their lifetime. (1.6 %, rank 8/24 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to complete a doctorate or an equivalent education before the age of 30. (1.2 %, rank 5/21 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education during their lifetimes. (45 Index, rank 8/19 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education before the age of 30. (34.5 %, rank 12/16 ) Download Indicator

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Switzerland has one of the lowest percentages of female graduates from tertiary programmes. (49 Index, rank 23/24 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of international students among graduates from doctoral or equivalent programmes is high compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (51 Index, rank 2/24 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational or pre-vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (66 %, rank 6/38 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Switzerland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3 %, rank 36/37 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Switzerland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (41.4 %, rank 34/38 ) Download Indicator

    The average age of entry into bachelor's, master's or equivalent programmes (tertiary-type A) in Switzerland is comparatively old. (23.8 Years, rank 10/34 ) Download Indicator

    In Switzerland, the percentage of international students enrolled in tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.8 %, rank 4/35 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of young people expected to enter a doctorate or equivalent programme during their lifetime in Switzerland is relatively high. (4.9 %, rank 2/36 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students younger than 30-years-old entering doctorate or equivalent programmes in Switzerland is relatively high. (73.1 %, rank 6/33 ) Download Indicator

    The share of international or foreign students enrolled in doctorate programmes in Switzerland is comparatively large. (52.1 %, rank 2/36 ) Download Indicator

    The share of international or foreign students enrolled in masters programmes in Switzerland is comparatively large. (27.4 %, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    The share of international or foreign students enrolled in bachelor's programmes in Switzerland is comparatively large. (10.1 %, rank 6/36 ) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The proportion of male graduates in social sciences, business and law from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (23.4 %, rank 5/30 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in sciences is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (31.8 %, rank 31/36 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Annual expenditure per tertiary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (25264 USD Equivalent, rank 3/38 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student from primary to tertiary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17485 USD Equivalent, rank 2/37 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5457 USD Equivalent, rank 22/28 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per primary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13889 USD Equivalent, rank 2/38 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per secondary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16731 USD Equivalent, rank 2/38 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student in post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16370 USD Equivalent, rank 2/35 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student for core and ancillary services, from primary to below-tertiary institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15512 USD Equivalent, rank 2/39 ) Download Indicator

    The change in the number of students between 2005 and 2012 at the tertiary level is comparatively large. (128 Index, rank 9/29 ) Download Indicator

    In Switzerland, public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (15.3 %, rank 5/32 ) Download Indicator

    The change in public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure between 2008 and 2012 is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (105 Index, rank 6/27 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student on research and development in tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13632 USD Equivalent, rank 1/33 ) Download Indicator

    The estimated average annual tuition fee for national students in government-dependent private institutions for a master's or equivalent level education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1015 USD Equivalent, rank 2/6 ) Download Indicator

    The estimated average annual tuition fee for national students in government-dependent private institutions for a bachelor's or equivalent level education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1015 USD Equivalent, rank 3/7 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in expenditure on educational institutions (from primary to tertiary level) as a percentage of GDP, excluding subsidies, is among the biggest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (102 Index, rank 7/30 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively big. (105 Index, rank 9/30 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The ratio of upper secondary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.08 Ratio, rank 3/21 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for teachers with minimum training in primary education are especially high. (50891 USD Equivalent, rank 3/35 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (63504 USD Equivalent, rank 2/33 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (77992 USD Equivalent, rank 3/32 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for lower secondary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (57538 USD Equivalent, rank 2/35 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of lower secondary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (71929 USD Equivalent, rank 2/33 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of lower secondary teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (88130 USD Equivalent, rank 2/32 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for upper secondary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (64883 USD Equivalent, rank 2/34 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of upper secondary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (83153 USD Equivalent, rank 2/32 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of upper secondary teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (99370 USD Equivalent, rank 2/31 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for pre-primary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (45839 USD Equivalent, rank 2/29 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of pre-primary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (56901 USD Equivalent, rank 2/27 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of pre-primary teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (70124 USD Equivalent, rank 3/26 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual upper secondary teacher's salary is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (83412 USD Equivalent, rank 2/24 ) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    The number of grades that are part of compulsory primary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6 Years, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively high. (88.9 %, rank 4/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (69.2 %, rank 4/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (82.3 %, rank 3/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old men with upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (87.6 %, rank 6/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education is comparatively high. (92.3 %, rank 3/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old women without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (62.4 %, rank 3/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old women with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (77.7 %, rank 3/37 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education is comparatively high. (84.4 %, rank 5/37 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (5.1 %, rank 34/37 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (80 %, rank 3/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (55 %, rank 5/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (84 %, rank 5/25 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (151 Index, rank 26/34 ) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education with income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (85.5 %, rank 1/33 ) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with upper secondary education and income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (84.2 %, rank 4/33 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (88.9 %, rank 3/38 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (2.9 %, rank 32/38 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (83.1 %, rank 4/29 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (78.4 %, rank 5/29 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 20-24 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively small in Switzerland. (12.4 %, rank 28/36 ) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • On average, over 80% of tertiary-educated people are employed compared with over 70% of people with an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education and less than 60% of people with below upper secondary education.
    • Across OECD countries, compared with adults with upper secondary education with income from employment, those with a tertiary degree earn about 60% more.
    • Adults with higher qualifications were more likely to report desirable social outcomes, including good or excellent health, participation in volunteer activities, interpersonal trust, and political efficacy.
    • First generation tertiary-educated adults and tertiary-educated adults whose parents also hold a tertiary degree share similar employment rates and pursue similar fields of study.
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    *The radar plot will by default not display more than five countries to avoid cluttering.
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    • OECD countries have made significant progress in narrowing gender gaps in educational attainment, pay and labour market participation. Nevertheless, in tertiary education, young women are still under-represented in the fields of mathematics, physical science and computing.
    • One in five 20-24 year-olds is neither employed nor in education or training. In addition, young people with lower attainment levels are more likely to be unemployed than their counterparts with higher attainment level.
    • Participation in employer-sponsored education is strongly related to proficiency levels in key skills such as literacy and numeracy as well as to educational attainment. About 57% of employed adults with good skills in ICT and problem solving participate in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education, while only 9% of adults who cannot use a computer and lack of problem solving skills do.
    • When parents' education is taken into account, adults with tertiary education are 23 percentage points more likely than those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education as their highest level of education to be among the top 25% in monthly earnings.
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are 5 years old. Some 74% of 3-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education across OECD countries.
    • The average primary school class in OECD countries has 21 students, and this average increases to 24 in lower secondary education. Larger classes are correlated with less time spent on actual teaching and learning and with more time spent on keeping order in the classroom. Specifically, one additional student added to an average-size class is associated with a 0.5 percentage-point decrease in time spent on teaching and learning activities.
    • Graduating from upper secondary education has become increasingly important in all countries. Analysing countries for which comparable trends data are available for 2005 and 2013, the first-time graduation rate at the upper secondary level increased from 79% to 84%.
    • Across OECD countries, 77% of individuals with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary qualification are employed - a rate that is 7 percentage points higher than that among individuals with a general upper secondary education as their highest qualification.
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    • Even though tertiary attainment is increasing, entry rate to more advanced tertiary degrees such as master's and doctoral levels tend to be lower than bachelor. More than one in two students is expected to enter a bachelor degree programme, compared to about one in five for master degree programmes
    • In most OECD and partner countries, labour market opportunities are better for adults with a master's degree or equivalent than for adults with a bachelor's degree.
    • Doctoral students tend to be much more internationally mobile than other students in tertiary education, and they are also more likely to study sciences and engineering. Women are still under-represented in doctoral programmes. In most OECD countries in 2013, around 45% of advanced.
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    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 220 per student per year from primary through tertiary education, with large variations between levels of education : Educational institutions spend an average of 1.2 times more per secondary student and 1.8 times more per tertiary student than per primary student.
    • Public funding accounts for 83% of funds for educational institutions from primary to tertiary education; varying from 91% for primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary educational institutions to 70% for tertiary institutions.
    • OECD countries spend an average of 5.3% of GDP on educational institutions from primary to tertiary education.
    • The share of private funding in tertiary education is increasing over the last 10 years, and the differentiation of tuition fees is increasing: About two thirds of private funding of tertiary institutions comes from households, through tuition fees.
    • More than 60% of current expenditure relates to compensation of teaching staff at primary and secondary levels. In most countries, salaries increased less since 2005 than between 2000 and 2005, and, only half of OECD countries show an increase in real terms between 2008 and 2013.
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    • Pre-primary and primary teachers earn 79% of the salary of a similarly-educated, 25-64 year-old full-time, full-year worker, lower secondary teachers are paid 81%, and upper secondary teachers are paid 83% of that benchmark salary.
    • Public school teachers teach an average of 1 005 hours per year at the pre-primary level, 772 hours at the primary level, 694 hours at the lower secondary level, and 643 hours at the upper secondary level of education. In countries with available data, the amount of teaching time in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education remained largely unchanged between 2000 and 2013.
    • The teaching workforce across OECD countries is ageing with the proportion of secondary teachers aged 50 or older climbed by 3 percentages points between 2005 and 2013, on average among countries with comparable data.
    • Teacher appraisal is legislated/required by policy or regulation in three-quarters of OECD and partner countries with available data.
    • Despite the increased use of ICT in a student's life, the use of ICTs in learning and pedagogy remains scarce. This may be because, among other things, teachers feel they are not sufficiently skilled in using ICT.
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    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.