Upper secondary education

Upper secondary level is made up of two major axes. Firstly, there is vocational education and training (VET) which leads to the award of a Federal VET Diploma or a Federal VET Certificate. Secondly, there is general education which covers programmes leading to the Baccalaureate (academic, vocational, specialised) as well as courses of study in an upper secondary specialised school. Transitional and supplementary courses complete the offer at upper secondary level.

Upper secondary level students: change since 2000/01
  2000/01 2005/06 2010/11 2015/16 2017/18
Total 315 672 324 467 358 854 365 063 365 324
  Female (%) 47.8 47.5 47.7 47.7 47.2
  Foreign (%) 15.2 15.6 17.8 20.7 22.1
13 399 15 859 17 114 17 636 19 108
  Female (%) 57.7 56.1 54.7 48.6 43.0
  Foreign (%) 26.6 31.3 37.3 48.5 54.8
207 969 213 174 228 825 228 267 224 557
  Female (%) 42.3 41.7 42.0 41.8 41.3
  Foreign (%) 16.0 15.7 16.8 19.5 20.8
3 215 5 288 7 670 9 496 9 568
  Female (%) 31.0 44.8 47.8 48.7 49.6
  Foreign (%) 13.7 10.1 8.0 9.6 9.5
82 985 82 119 92 087 96 802 99 530
  Female (%) 59.9 60.0 58.8 59.5 59.4
  Foreign (%) 11.0 12.6 17.7 20.2 20.5
8 104 8 027 13 158 12 862 12 561
  Female (%) 54.6 57.2 60.6 61.2 60.0
  Foreign (%) 18.5 14.3 15.4 17.5 17.9
1 Including preparation for federal vocational baccalaureate integrated in vocational
education and training (FBV1)
2 Federal vocational baccalaureate after vocational education and training (FVB2)
Source: FSO – Statistics on pupils and students (SDL)
Data as of: February 2019

In 2017/18 almost 365 000 students attended an upper secondary level course. 62% were in vocational education and training and 27% in general education leading to an academic Baccalaureate, an upper secondary specialised school certificate or a specialised Baccalaureate. The remaining 11% were following a post-apprenticeship vocational Baccalaureate course (MP2), or a transitional or complementary course. The numbers of students in upper secondary level rose by 16% between 2000/01 and 2017/18. Their distribution among the different types of training or education has remained stable throughout this period (two-thirds in vocational education and training, almost a quarter in general education programmes and the remaining 10% divided between the MP2 and transitional or complementary courses.

The education and training landscape at upper secondary level varies depending on the canton For the two types of education and training mostly chosen by young people, the proportion of students enrolled in vocational education and training varies between 33% (GE) and 78% (AI) of the total number of upper secondary level students, whereas the proportion of students in general education ranges between 13% (GL) and 56% (GE).

Related topics

On this topic

Vocational education and training (VET) - Schools

Federal VET diploma, certificate or not governed by the VPETA, basic vocational education, upper secondary trade schools

Vocational education and training (VET) - Apprenticeships

Federal VET diploma, federal VET certificate, basic vocational education, upper secondary trade schools

General education

Vocational baccalaureate, baccalaureate, specialised baccalaureate, upper secondary specialised schools, other programme of general education

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Educational Processes
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland
Tel.
+41 58 483 93 61

Monday to Friday
09.00-12.00 and 13.30-16.30

Contact

Remark

Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/education-science/pupils-students/upper-secondary.html