There are three types of higher education institutions: universities and institutes of technology (UIT), universities of applied sciences (UAS) and universities of teacher education (UTE). UAS and UTE offer courses which mainly have a practical orientation. All higher education institutions award bachelor and master degrees following the application of guidelines from the Bologna declaration. A doctorate may only be obtained at UIT.
The number of students at higher education institutions has more than doubled since 2000. The development of UAS and the establishment of UTE have made a considerable contribution to this growth. The percentage of women and foreign students, especially students who have attended school abroad, has also increased over the past few years.
In the autumn semester 2020/21, a strong increase in the number of students (+5%, all levels combined) and in the number of first-year students (entrants at bachelor level, +12%) is recorded at the UIT compared to the previous year. In the UAS and UTE the same trend can be observed, but to a lesser extent (students and first-year students: +4%). The difficult economic situation, linked to the covid-19 pandemic, could be at the origin of these developments. The tightening labour market and very limited opportunities to travel abroad may have encouraged young people to start studying directly after completing upper secondary education or, if they were already enrolled, to continue their studies.
|Universities and institutes of technology
||85 940||96 673||131 494||164 575|
|% Foreign with foreign school education||13.1||14.5||22.3||26.1|
|Universities of applied sciences
||0||25 137||60 930||83 093|
|% Foreign with foreign school education||-||8.3||12.1||12.8|
|Universities of teacher education
||0||0||14 105||22 807|
|% Foreign with foreign school education||-||-||4.6||5.5|
|Total||85 940||121 810||206 529||270 475|
|% Foreign with foreign school education||13.1||13.2||18.1||20.3|
UIT welcome more students than the other types of higher education institutions. Overall, more women than men study but are spread differently between the types of higher education institution. The percentage of foreign nationals is highest at the universities and institutes of technology.
Statistical sources and concepts