Upper secondary level

In 2020/21 almost 364 000 students attended an upper secondary level course. 59% were in vocational education and training and almost 29% in general education leading to an academic Baccalaureate, an upper secondary specialised school certificate or a specialised Baccalaureate. The remaining students were following a post-apprenticeship vocational Baccalaureate course (MP2), or a transitional or complementary course.

Upper secondary level students: change since 2000/01
  2000/01 2005/06 2010/11 2015/16 2020/21
Total 315 672 324 489 358 707 365 274 364 015
  Female (%)  47.8  47.5  47.8  47.8  47.6
  Foreign (%)  15.2  15.6  17.8  20.8  23.5
13 399 15 881 17 114 17 691 16 949
  Female (%)  57.7  56.1  54.7  48.6  47.7
  Foreign (%)  26.6  31.3  37.4  48.5  51.8
207 969 213 174 228 717 226 828 215 710
  Female (%)  42.3  41.7  42.0  41.8  40.6
  Foreign (%)  16.0  15.7  16.8  19.5  23.2
3 215 5 288 7 572 9 496 11 092
  Female (%)  31.0  44.8  47.6  48.7  50.7
  Foreign (%)  13.7  10.1  7.7  9.6  10.3
82 985 82 119 92 087 96 802 104 453
  Female (%)  59.9  60.0  58.8  59.5  59.8
  Foreign (%)  11.0  12.6  17.7  20.2  21.6
8 104 8 027 13 217 14 457 15 811
  Female (%)  54.6  57.2  60.6  60.6  60.9
  Foreign (%)  18.5  14.3  15.5  17.4  20.3
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 2022

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.
The numbers of students in upper secondary level rose by 15% between 2000/01 and 2020/21. Their distribution among the different types of training or education has remained fairly stable throughout this period (almost two-thirds in vocational education and training, just over a quarter in general education programmes and the remaining percentage 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 31% (GE) and 77% (AI) of the total number of upper secondary level students, whereas the proportion of students in general education ranges between 14% (GL) and 57% (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