Universities of applied sciences

Created in the second half of the 1990s, the eight public universities of applied sciences (UAS) cover 12 different fields. There are also additional private UAS which teach in the areas of economy, health and art. Some UAS also train teachers.

The development of education and training programmes notably in the areas of health and social work has notably allowed a great increase in the percentage of women at universities of applied sciences over time. While women made up 26% of students at universities of applied sciences at the beginning of the 2000s, they accounted for 49% of people in education in 2021/22. Students of foreign origin make up just under one fifth of students at universities of applied sciences. Accounting for less than 15% of students at the beginning of the 2000s, their percentage has stabilised to around 20% since 2010/11.

Entrances (at bachelor) and students at universities of applied sciences by field of study, sex and nationality (category), 2021/22
  Entrances Students    
  Total Total % Female % Foreign
Architecture, Construction and Planning 1 049 4 436 32.2 20.8
Engineering and IT 3 568 14 728 13.2 16.6
Chemistry and Life Sciences  683 3 167 49.2 16.3
Agriculture and Forestry  159  574 44.8 5.2
Business, Management and Services 6 567 30 383 45.2 18.9
Design  754 3 520 63.0 27.3
Sport  38  183 30.6 3.8
Music, Theatre and other Arts 1 005 7 130 55.7 52.0
Applied Linguistics  126  567 83.1 14.8
Social Work 1 840 8 065 72.8 11.3
Applied Psychology  444 2 571 73.9 8.4
Health 2 629 9 596 81.9 15.2
Total 18 862 84 920 48.6 20.0
Source: FSO - SHIS-studex

Almost 85 000 people studied at a university of applied sciences in 2021/22. The areas which attract the largest number of students are economics and services (36% of students) and technology and IT (17%). The number of women varies greatly depending on the field of study. While 82% of students are women in the area of health, they account 13% of students in engineering and IT. Foreign students are particularly well-represented in the artistic fields. In the fields of music, theatre and other arts, the percentage of foreign students is higher than that of Swiss students.

We highly recommend checking the results published in the tables available under the heading "Tables" beforehand.

Further information

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