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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

- General methodological notes for ISCED diagrams

Education system in Switzerland

Switzerland
Overview of the education system (EAG 2016)
  • Swiss graduation rates from upper secondary vocational programmes are among the highest of all OECD countries. Young adults in Switzerland also choose school- and work-based programmes at upper secondary level at a higher rate than the OECD average.
  • Women in the labour force earn less than men with the same education attainment although the difference varies with their level of educational attainment, and the average gender gap in earnings is lower in Switzerland than the OECD average.
  • The share of secondary teachers over 60 has increased in Switzerland at the same rate as the OECD average but the share of teachers over 50 has increased faster.
  • Teachers’ starting salaries in Switzerland rank second highest of all countries with available data. This is true from pre-primary to upper secondary levels. However, they increase more slowly over the course of teachers’ careers than the average among OECD countries.
  • In 2013, public expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions accounted for 14.9% of Switzerland’s total public expenditure, the fourth highest share among OECD countries.
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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.

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    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 9/43 ) 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. (92 %, rank 8/43 ) 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. (49 %, rank 9/44 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    Switzerland has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to graduate from short tertiary education programmes during their lifetime. (2 %, rank 26/32 ) 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. (48 %, rank 7/38 ) 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. (2 %, rank 8/27 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education during their lifetimes. (46 %, rank 9/24 ) 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. (35 %, rank 15/20 ) Download Indicator

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Switzerland has one of the lowest percentages of female graduates from tertiary programmes. (49 %, rank 31/31 ) 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. (44 %, rank 33/34 ) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in sciences is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (32 %, rank 36/42 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Annual expenditure per student from primary to tertiary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19052 USD Equivalent, rank 1/36 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5479 USD Equivalent, rank 24/30 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per primary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15930 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. (18994 USD Equivalent, rank 2/38 ) Download Indicator

    In Switzerland, public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (15 %, rank 5/34 ) 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. (103 Index, rank 4/28 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively big. (102 Index, rank 9/31 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (143 Index, rank 29/37 ) 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. (138 Index, rank 28/37 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (131 Index, rank 21/29 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a master's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (154 Index, rank 25/29 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 20-24 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively small in Switzerland. (12 %, rank 31/40 ) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    • Labour market outcomes are better among the higher-educated: on average across OECD countries, the unemployment rate is 12.4% for adults with below upper secondary education, while it is 4.9% for the tertiary-educated.
    • In all OECD countries, earnings differentials between adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education are generally more pronounced than the difference between the earnings of those with upper secondary education and those with below upper secondary education. This suggests large earnings advantages for tertiary education. On average, adults with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree earn almost twice as those with upper secondary education across OECD countries, and those with a bachelor's or equivalent degree earn 48% more, while those with a short-cycle tertiary degree earn only about 20% 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.
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    • Across all levels of educational attainment, the gender gap in earnings persists, and although women generally have higher educational attainment, a large gender gap in earnings is seen between male and female full-time workers with tertiary education.
    • Across OECD_countries, tertiary-educated women earn only 73% as much as tertiary-educated men. This gender gap of 27% in earnings for tertiary-educated adults is higher than the gender gap for adults with below upper secondary (24%) and adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education (22%).
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are 5-years-old. Some 71% of 3-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education across OECD countries.
    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that an average of 85% of today's young people in OECD_countries will complete upper secondary education over their lifetime.
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    • Based on current patterns of graduation, an average of 36% of today's young people across OECD countries are expected to graduate from tertiary education at least once before the age of 30.
    • In 2014, a majority of first-time tertiary graduates (72%) earned a bachelor's degree, 12% earned a_master's degree and 16% earned a short-cycle tertiary diploma, on average across OECD countries.
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    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 493 per student per year on primary through tertiary educational institutions: USD 8 477 per primary student, USD 9 980 per lower secondary student, USD 9 990 per upper secondary student and USD 15 772 per tertiary student.
    • In 2013, OECD countries spent an average of 5.2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on educational institutions from primary to tertiary education, ranging from 3.5% in Luxembourg to 6.7% in the United Kingdom.
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    • The average primary school class in OECD countries has 21 students, and this average increases to 23 in lower secondary education. These figures represent a decrease when compared to the OECD_average class sizes in 2005.
    • The difference in average class size between public and private institutions in primary education varies substantially across OECD countries, but is considerably larger in partner countries.
    • There are 15 students per teacher in primary education, on average across OECD countries. The_figure increases to 17 students per teacher, on average, at the tertiary level.
    • On average across OECD countries, pre-primary teachers' actual salaries are 74% of the earnings of a tertiary-educated 25-64 year-old full-time, full-year worker. Primary teachers are paid 81% of these benchmark earnings, lower secondary teachers 85% and upper secondary teachers 89%.
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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.