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Switzerland:Adult Education and Training

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Overview Switzerland

Contents

Switzerland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Switzerland:Historical Development

Switzerland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Switzerland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Switzerland:Political and Economic Situation

Switzerland:Organisation and Governance

Switzerland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Switzerland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Switzerland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Switzerland:Organisation of Private Education

Switzerland:National Qualifications Framework

Switzerland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Switzerland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Switzerland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Switzerland:Funding in Education

Switzerland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Switzerland:Higher Education Funding

Switzerland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Switzerland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Switzerland:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Switzerland:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Switzerland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Switzerland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Switzerland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Switzerland:Primary Education

Switzerland:Organisation of Primary Education

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Switzerland:Assessment in Primary Education

Switzerland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Switzerland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Switzerland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Switzerland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Switzerland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Switzerland:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Switzerland:Higher Education

Switzerland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Switzerland:First Cycle Programmes

Switzerland:Bachelor

Switzerland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Switzerland:Second Cycle Programmes

Switzerland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Switzerland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Switzerland:Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Main Programmes and Provision in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Teachers and Education Staff

Switzerland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Switzerland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Switzerland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Switzerland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Management and Other Education Staff

Switzerland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Switzerland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Switzerland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Switzerland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Quality Assurance

Switzerland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Switzerland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Educational Support and Guidance

Switzerland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Switzerland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Switzerland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Switzerland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Switzerland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Switzerland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Mobility in Higher Education

Switzerland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Switzerland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Switzerland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Switzerland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Switzerland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Switzerland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Switzerland:National Reforms in School Education

Switzerland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Switzerland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Switzerland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Switzerland:European Perspective

Switzerland:Legislation

Switzerland:Institutions

Switzerland:Glossary

Continuing education and training (CET) serves to improve and update skills, abilities and knowledge, and to expand them to encompass new fields and tasks. CET activities take place alongside the formal education system. This may be within organised courses (non-formal education) or as informal learning (self-directed learning) (see definition below).
Continuing education and training is targeted learning, and is becoming increasingly important within the context of lifelong learning.

Most people living in Switzerland are involved in some form of education or training. Participation in CET activities depends, among other things, on the basic motivation for training, whether people have sufficient time and money, and what CET activities are on offer. People with a higher level of education tend to be more involved in CET activities. The employed participate in CET activities more often than the unemployed. Part-time employees working between 50% and 80% are most frequently involved in CET activities. Women more often choose a CET activity which is not directly connected to their professional life.

The Swiss continuing education and training landscape is characterised by great diversity with regard to responsibility, regulation, programmes offered and financing. CET is largely market-based. Private bodies often provide CET courses and programmes. CET is primarily each individual's own responsibility and is largely privately funded. The Confederation and the cantons have a subsidiary role in CET: they intervene in the areas of CET where it would not be possible to achieve the objectives pursued and intended effects without suitable regulation or supportive measures. The areas of responsibility of the Confederation and the cantons therefore include the particular promotion of CET for educationally disadvantaged persons. CET programmes in the fields of migration and integration, illiteracy, maintaining the ability to work, etc. may be supported by the Confederation and the cantons.

Confederation

Various special laws passed by the Confederation include stipulations regarding continuing education and training. These regulations (like Switzerland's CET sector itself) have grown historically and go into different degrees of detail and serve different purposes, e.g.:

  • the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act regulates job-related CET,
  • the field of academic continuing education and training is regulated by the joint higher education policy organs of the Federation and the cantons,
  • various federal regulations apply to reintegration measures in the event of unemployment or disability,
  • the Swiss Code of Obligations and Swiss Labour Law also include provisions on continuing education and training.

Through the amendment of the education provisions in the Federal Constitution in 2006 (Article 64a), the Confederation was given the authority to lay down principles governing CET in an act. The Confederation may promote CET, and lay down appropriate criteria. Corresponding work is currently underway on a new federal continuing education and training policy and on a national coordination of CET. The Federal Council has referred the dispatch and the draft federal act on continuing education and training (CET) for consultation to the Federal Parliament, where it will probably be considered in the 2013 winter session

The act implements the constitutional mandate on continuing education and training (CET), organises CET in the Swiss education area and lays down principles governing CET. The aim is to improve the quality of CET courses and programmes and, by regulating and promoting the basic competences of adults, to contribute to strengthening lifelong learning.

In its draft act the Confederation defines continuing education and training as non-formal education, i.e. learning in structured programmes outside the formal education system. The state does not define any compulsory content requirements for the award of the leaving certificate, and does not issue any state-recognised diplomas or leaving certificates. Formal education, by contrast, comprises state-regulated education with state-recognised leaving certificates. Education is regulated by the state when the prerequisites for and content of an educational qualification are regulated in an educational decree, regardless of the standard level or state body which has enacted the corresponding regulations.
There is also informal education, which comprises a personal, informal learning process outside a structured teaching/learning relationship, such as self-study and learning at the workplace not covered by any regulation.

Cantons

The cantons regulate job-related CET in cantonal implementing laws for the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act. Depending on the canton, general (non job-related) CET may be regulated differently, e.g. in a specific CET law, within the framework of the regulations on job-related CET, in laws on schools and culture, or on another legal basis.

The cantons coordinate transregional CET tasks in the Intercantonal Conference for Continuing Education and Training (IKW). The IKW is a specialist conference within the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) and acts in the interests of life-long learning. The cantonal representatives for CET form the IKW. In 2003 the IKW published recommendations on continuing education and training for adults. These define continuing education and training as the totality of the learning processes in which adults develop their abilities, expand their knowledge and improve or re-align their specialist and professional qualifications in order to meet their own needs and those of their social environment.


Legislative References

Bundesgesetz über die Berufsbildung [Federal Act on Vocational and Professional Education and Training]

Bundesverfassung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft [Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation]