Social and Economic Conditions of Student Life

The survey on the social and economic situation of students (SSEE) collects information on the living and study conditions in Swiss higher education institutions. These institutions consist of universities (UIT), universities of applied sciences (UAS) and universities of teacher education (UTE).

The following table shows that in 2016 the majority of the UIT students (52%) have at least one parent who attained higher education degree. Conversely, the share of students who have at least one parent who attained higher education degree is lower in the universities of applied sciences (33%) and in the universities of teacher education (26%). Regarding housing situation, less than half of students are living with their parents (UIT: 38%, UAS: 40% and UTE: 45%). UTE students work the most (83%) as compared to UIT students (71%) and UAS students (78%).

Social and economic situation of students by type of institution, 2016, in %
  Total (all students) UIT students UAS students  UTE students
  % % % %
At least one parent attained higher education degree 43 52 33 26
Students with migration background 30 33 29 18
Students with children 5 4 5 16
Living with parents 40 38 40 45
Paid employment 75 71 78 83
Financial support from familiy 83 89 74 77
With grants or scholarships 12 12 13 9
With study-related dept 12 10 14 14
UIT: Universities
UAS: Universities of applied sciences
UTE: Universities of teacher education
Source: SSEE 2016

The survey on the social and economic situation of students provides reliable and up-to-date data on the main aspects of the study and living conditions of students in higher educational institutions:  

  • Social background of students
  • Income, expenses and scholarship
  • Paid employment
  • Time budget
  • Housing situation
  • Health
  • Study and family conciliation
  • Transition from Bachelor program to Master program
  • Students’ choice of field of study
  • Mobility

Further information

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Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Education System
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 483 93 66

Monday to Friday
09.00-12.00 and 13.30-16.30



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