Covid dents number of Swiss in further education

Learning German at an adult education centre in Basel. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Up to a quarter fewer people in Switzerland were enrolled in further education courses in 2020 than in previous years. However, the numbers graduating from university continued to rise.

This content was published on July 6, 2021 - 15:12

The sharp dip in further education last year comes after a decade of stable and slightly rising numbers.

In 2020, numbers fell well below 2010 levels – regardless of the previous educational attainments of students involved, said the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday.

Whereas 26.75% of 25- to 74-year-olds were enrolled in so-called non-formal education in 2019, last year that figure dropped to 22%. The decline was almost a quarter among some groups.

However, the fear that Covid would decimate the number of university students – with many no longer able to afford accommodation due to a lack of part-time jobs – doesn’t seem to have materialised.

In 2020, 31.3% graduated with a diploma or bachelor’s degree (based on the number of people of the same age in the population). This was 0.5 percentage points higher than in 2019. In each of the previous three years the increase was 0.6-0.8 percentage points.

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.