General education

In 2019, some 42 600 diplomas were awarded for general education courses at the upper secondary level, meaning an increase of almost 75% compared to the year 2000. This is for the most part due to the federal vocational baccalaureate, which has more than doubled since 2000. Between 2000 and 2019, the overall proportion of women in general education courses showed an increase (from 53% to 57%). For the academic baccalaureate it rose from 54% to 57% and for the vocational baccalaureate from 36% to 47%.

Diplomas in general education by training type, change in numbers since 2000
Training type 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019
Total 24 131 30 266 36 364 40 351 42 642
  Male 11 462 13 671 15 723 17 600 18 503
  Female 12 669 16 595 20 641 22 751 24 139
15 027 16 411 18 759 18 566 18 873
  Male 6 903 7 089 7 940 7 932 8 114
  Female 8 124 9 322 10 819 10 634 10 759
6 475 10 719 12 249 14 023 14 524
  Male 4 151 6 005 6 612 7 507 7 705
  Female 2 324 4 714 5 637 6 516 6 819
- - 1 357 2 525 3 077
  Male - -  212  487  668
  Female - - 1 145 2 038 2 409
-  148  487  773 1 027
  Male -  90  286  455  540
  Female -  58  201  318  487
- - - -  232
  Male - - - -  73
  Female - - - -  159
- - -  619  675
  Male - - -  328  337
  Female - - -  291  338
1 865 2 617 3 357 3 845 4 234
  Male  326  421  636  891 1 066
  Female 1 539 2 196 2 721 2 954 3 168
 764  371  155 - -
  Male  82  66  37 - -
  Female  682  305  118 - -
Source: FSO – Statistics on certificates (SBA)
Data as of: April 2020

General education covers the three types of baccalaureate as well as courses in one of the upper secondary specialised schools. The academic Baccalaureate is awarded, depending on the canton, after three or four years, the vocational Baccalaureate is awarded either during or after initial vocational education and the specialised Baccalaureate is awarded one year after the specialised diploma.

Between 2000 and 2019, the number of baccalaureates has increased dramatically (+70%). All three types of baccalaureate have contributed to this increase: the academic baccalaureate, with an increase in diplomas of 25%; the specialised baccalaureate, which was first introduced in 2006; and especially the vocational baccalaureate, which recorded a large rise in numbers between 2000 and 2005. A striking increase has been seen in the share of women taking baccalaureates: in 2000 the percentage of female candidates was just under 50%; in 2019 it was 55%.

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