Scenarios for upper secondary level – Students and qualifications

Preliminary note: Ukrainian refugees

These scenarios do not take into account the inflow of Ukrainian refugees into Switzerland in 2022. There is still too much uncertainty about their number, distribution, length of stay, educational needs and levels of skill and it is too early to provide reliable figures on future developments.

New scenarios: large increase in numbers in all courses of study

The 2022-2031 education system scenarios of the FSO published on 9th September 2022 confirm that the total number of students in upper secondary education, which has fallen slightly since 2014, is expected to rise again this year for the whole of the coming decade.

In the reference scenario, numbers in the 1st year, which declined overall between 2008 and 2020, are set for a decade of continuous increase (from 119 000 students in 2021 to 138 000 in 2031, i.e. +16%). This trend is mainly due to demographic reasons. However, differences are expected in the rate of growth of the different courses of study: +14% in vocational education and training (VET), + 19% in matura schools and + 27% in upper secondary specialised schools.

The number of VET diplomas and certificates should start to grow again during the second half of the decade (+8% from 2025 to 2031). Numbers of vocational, academic and specialised baccalaureates are expected to rise over the whole 2021-2031 period (overall + 20%).

In vocational education and training, expected trends vary considerably by sector. At all levels, anticipated developments at cantonal level sometimes differ markedly from those calculated at national level, notably because the different cantons have varying demographic dynamics.

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



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).