Swiss education system tested by immigration and digitalisation

The report said the focus must be on improving the results of young people who did not complete all their schooling within Switzerland. Keystone

Swiss schools must keep up with digitalisation and ensure that migrant children don’t fall behind their peers, according to an annual education report.

This content was published on June 19, 2018 - 15:23

But Switzerland is close to achieving its goal of ensuring 95% of the population over the age of 25 has completed the upper-secondary level - through an apprenticeship, senior high school (gymnasium) or vocational school.

The 2018 findings were presented on Tuesday by the education ministry and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education.

About 94% of Swiss youth has finished the upper-secondary level. The rate of success is lower for Swiss-born foreign nationals and young adults who were born abroad - 86% and 73% respectively.

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The report said the focus must be on improving the results of young people who did not complete all their schooling within Switzerland.

Meeting the economy’s needs

There is still not enough research available to make conclusions about the impact of digitalisation on education, according to the authors of the 300-page report. As such, predictions are difficult to make.

The authors, however, did stress that vocational education and training needs to step up to the challenge of digitalisation so that the Swiss economy is supplied with relevant expertise.

Currently, Swiss education meets national industry needs.

A nation of university graduates

With regards to further developing the education system, the report noted that the trend toward tertiary degrees at universities or universities of applied sciences would continue to grow.

Currently, 40% of the Swiss population has graduated from university, but this figure is expected to rise to 60% by the year 2045.

The growing number of people with higher education degrees has been absorbed by the labour market. The relative income of graduates has therefore remained constant over the past  few years.

The 2018 report provides a summary of the state of the Swiss education system. The review has been published every four years since 2010.

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