|Entry and duration||Compulsory education: 11 years (except for Ticino). Usually Kindergarten entry at the age of 4. ||Students have to attend school until the age of 16. KG starts at the age of 5.|
|School system||Primary school / Primarschule Grades 1-6 (8 incl. 2 yrs of KG) |
Lower secondary school /
Oberstufe: Grades 7-9
Upper Secondary /
Mittelschulen: Grades 10-12.
NOT to be confused with US middle school!
|Elementary School Grades KG – 5|
Middle School Grades 6 – 8
High School Grades 9 – 12.
Junior High School (Grades 7 – 9) Senior High School (Grades 10 – 12).
school and ability levels
|Selective schooling after primary, either ability grouping (ability sets in single subjects) or ability tracking (different ability schools) (or both!).|
– Most children attend grades 7-9 in one of the 2, 3 or 4 different ability tracks.
|– Mostly comprehensive schooling.|
– Ability grouping in single subjects
-Advanced Placement options in high school.
|Finance||-Split across cantons, communes|
and the federal state (Federal state 17.3 %, cantons 52.2 % municipalities 30.5 %).
Subsidies for less wealthy cantons and communes.
– Little difference in terms of quality and resources at regional and subregional level.
– Switzerland annually spends 14’922 $ per student p.a.
|– Split across federal state and counties. |
– Federal state responsible for education budget, different state, different budget!
– County share through property tax, leads to big regional differences
– Overall 11’500 $ per student p.a.
|Private schools |
|5% private schools, under 0.5% homeschooling||10% private schools, 4-5% homeschooling|
|School subjects||2 modern foreign languages compulsory from primary school, (1 language in the lowest ability level in secondary) ||Only ten out of 50 federal states make learning one foreign language compulsory, usually Spanish|
|School system and syllabus||Regional differences |
but overall a unified
school system and similar curriculum
|Range of different organisational systems, federal states set their own standards and districts may set their own curriculum.|
|Curriculum||Standardised curriculum in middle/upper secondary. Very limited subject choice||From middle school: Core academic subjects and high number of electives|
|University entrance||Different university entrance qualifications – academic, specialised or vocational Matura diploma, IB.||High school diploma, IB|
|School exit certificate and exams||Exit examination for |
students in 4- or 6-yr academic Gymnasium or upper secondary schools (Matura exam). No general exit exam after the end of compulsory school.
|High school diploma at the end of year 12. Approx. 50% of federal states have high school exit examinations.|
|High school graduation rate||Overall matura diploma rate: 40 %.|
21,8% academic track/Gymnasium Matura/Maturité), 15,8% vocational university entrance qualification/
Berufsmatura, and 3,3% specialised upper secondary / Fachmatura
|High school graduation rate: 82%|
|School weeks and holidays||School weeks per year: 38/39 weeks.|
Annual school holidays: 13 weeks
|School weeks per year: 36 weeks Annual school holidays: 16 weeks|