There is a vast range of options in education and training as 12 doctoral/ research universities offer theoretically-oriented, scientific bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

If greatness of a country is to be measured by its size, Switzerland cannot claim itself to be great. It is only one-fifth of Karnataka in area, and one-fourth of Kerala in population. It is a mountainous country with the Alps covering around 60 per cent of its area. The charming Glacier Express that passes through the scenic glaciers is a renowned tourist attraction.

Switzerland is a country of distinction on several fronts including scientific research. Over two-thirds of the population live in urban areas. Zurich is the largest city, though Berne is the capital. There are four national languages—German, French, Italian, and Romanish. Certain Master's degree programmes are conducted fully in English.

Switzerland maintains its long tradition of giving humanitarian assistance through several operations like the earthquake rescue missions. This country is noted for its neutrality that has made it an international hub even for organisations like the United Nations.

Educational system

There is a vast range of options in education and training. Twelve doctoral/ research universities offer theoretically oriented, scientific Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral degrees. Nine universities of applied sciences offer professionally oriented studies. There are 14 universities of teacher education. Facilities are available for university education in music, theatre, design, and fine arts.

The 12 doctoral/ research universities mentioned above are the only institutions empowered to award doctoral degrees in Switzerland. Out of the 12, two are Federal Institutes of Technology. The remaining ten are cantonal universities in Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Neuchatel, St. Gallen, Italian-speaking Switzerland, and Zurich.

The Federal Institutes of Technology are institutions of excellence; they have produced several Nobel laureates. As an instance of quality, we may note that ‘ETH Zurich', the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, with facilities in diverse disciplines in science and technology, stands among the top universities in the world.

There are 21 Nobel laureates, including Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen who discovered the X-rays, who are associated with ETH.

The cantonal universities also enjoy great reputation in high-quality research. They have a structure that combines research and education. Some of them have special reputation in certain disciplines. For example, St. Gallen is renowned for economics, social sciences, and law. The USI (Università della Svizzera italiana), is noted for architecture. The sites, and give details of facilities in the Swiss universities. Research scholars may browse

Universities of Applied Sciences

There are nine public-funded universities of applied sciences (UAS), out of which seven are public-funded and the remaining two in the private sector. Each UAU operates at different campuses.

Berne University of Applied Sciences (BFH)

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (FHO)

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU)

University of Applied Sciences of Zurich (ZFH)

Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences Switzerland ( KAL)

University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)

University of Applied Sciences Les Roches Gruyère

The areas of focus in the various UAS are the following:

Engineering and IT in all UAS except KAL and Les Roches Gruyère.

Architecture, building engineering and planning in all UAS, except KAL and Les Roches Gruyère)

Agriculture and forestry at BFH and HES-SO

Chemistry and life sciences at all UAS except FHO, SUPSI and HSLU, KAL and Les Roches Gruyère)

Design all UAS except FHO, KAL and Les Roches Gruyère

Social work at all UAS except KAL and Les Roches Gruyère

Health at all UAS except HSLU and FHNW, KAL and Les Roches Gruyère

Business, management, and services at all UAS

Applied psychology at ZFH and FHNW

Applied linguistics at ZFH only

Sports at BFH only

Teacher education at ZFH, FHNW, and SUPSI

Theatre arts at ZFH, BFH, and SUPSI

Music at all UAS except FHO, KAL and Les Roches Gruyère

Fine arts at all UAS except FHO, KAL, and Les Roches Gruyère. Since education in UAS has a stress on practical application, almost all the students find employment in their professional field soon after graduation. Moreover, a UAS degree serves as an entry qualification for higher studies in universities. For further details of UAS:

There are certain schools of hotel (hospitality) management of repute in Switzerland. The related details may be gathered separately.


There is substantial investment, both from the private and public sectors, in research activities, especially in the areas of science and technology. This keeps Switzerland at the top in reputation at the global level. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Innovation Promotion Agency CTI play key roles in organising research and development. The SNSF has a special program called DORE that promotes the research in social sciences, health sciences, school education, music, and fine arts.

Entry qualifications

International students are admitted to all programmes in higher education, based on the prescribed entry requirements. However, they are not normally admitted to programmes in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science.

Bachelor's programme: A Swiss maturity certificate or our 12{+t}{+h} Standard certificate would be adequate. For details :

Master's programme: Normally, a bachelor level degree is sufficient. For details:

Swiss universities are offering an increasing number of study programmes in English.

Individual universities may however be contacted to confirm the admission requirements, including evidence for your proficiency in the language of instruction. For a list of study programmes in English see the related link in the site

As an instance of institutional preferences, the case of the University of St. Gallen stipulating its own entrance examination for international students may be seen. It admits not more than 25 per cent students from foreign countries.

Foreign nationals who hold a recognised Swiss maturity certificate are however exempt from entrance test.

The annual tuition fee would be from CHF 1,500 to 2,000, except in the University of Italian Switzerland where it may be CHF 8.000. The living expenses may be from CHF 18,000 to 28,000 per year. One CHF (Swiss Franc) is around 46 Indian rupees.


Information Service for International Students, Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS), Information and Documentation, Sennweg 2, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland; Phone: +41 (0)31 306 60 44; e-mail:, Website: Embassy of Switzerland , Nyaya Marg , Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021; Ph: 011-26878372; Web:

Consulates at Chennai (044-44420748), Bangalore (080-22868866), Kolkota (033-22295542), and Mumbai (022-22884563).


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