The Swiss Higher Education System
University continuing education is firmly established in Switzerland. It is regulated under university legislation and in the Bologna Recommendations of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (PDF, 2.3 MB) and has its own, clearly defined place in the Qualifications Framework for the Swiss Higher Education Area alongside Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral qualifications.
Research Universities Universities of Applied Sciences
Universities and universities of applied sciences
Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences use the same terms for continuing education programmes, but the admission requirements and general focus of the programmes are usually different. Universities are normally more academic and require a Master’s degree and professional experience as the conditions of admission, while universities of applied sciences tend to be more practically oriented and generally require a Bachelor’s degree plus professional experience. This is connected with the fact that the normal final degree from a university of applied sciences is the Bachelor’s degree, while students at universities normally graduate with a Master’s degree.
This differentiation within the university system enables the two types of university to offer programmes that are tailored to meet the needs of their respective target groups. Unlike in many other countries, therefore, continuing education at Swiss universities is not a way of obtaining a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in later adulthood.