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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Institutions, level and models of training

Based on the fact that there are no teacher training institutions in Liechtenstein the following notes exclusively present the training requirements necessary for the teaching qualifications on the various school levels.

Pedagogical staff in early childhood education

The pedagogical staff in a day care center have a background as Fachpersonen Betreuung EFZ Fachrichtung Kinderbetreuung (childcare specialist). The education is completed in a three-year basic vocational training course. Childcare specialist accompany, support and encourage children in their everyday life in the day care centers and day structures. The training takes place in day-care centers, in the vocational school and in inter-company courses.

School education


Based on the Teachers' Service Conditions Law Liechtenstein requires a minimum higher education of three years. Swiss education towards a Kindergarten teacher diploma requires a three-year full-time programme worth a bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) and is therefore recognised in Liechtenstein. Austria asks for a five-year programme (teacher training college) at upper secondary school (baccalaureate and diploma). Because of the difference in education programmes Kindergarten teachers with Austrian qualifications who want to work in Liechtenstein need to complete a compensatory programme (worth 15 ECTS) at a Swiss university of teacher education.

Primary school

The employment as a primary teacher requires a three-year full-time programme at a Swiss or Austrian university of teacher education (worth a bachelor's degree). The education as a generalist enables teachers to teach all or most of the subjects at primary school level.

Lower secondary school

The employment as a teacher at a lower secondary school of both types Oberschule and Realschule requires a master's degree (worth 90 to 120 ECTS) that has usually been completed at a university of teacher education. The programmes include several subjects (subject combinations). Both Swiss and Austrian institutions are recognised without reservation if they are in turn state-recognised and provide the teaching qualifications on the relevant school level.

Upper secondary level

For the employment as a teacher at the Gymnasium a specific subject degree at Master level is required together with the teaching degree for upper secondary level of a recognised higher education institution (usually a university of teacher education). Recognition without reservation is given to Swiss, Austrian and German education programmes as long as they are in turn state-recognised and provide the teaching qualifications on the relevant school level.

Special school measures

The employment of teachers for special education follows the following criteria:

Special programmes for remedial education at school are offered in Switzerland (duration: three years part-time, two years full-time). Equivalent to this type of education are Austrian programmes for teacher training at primary school level (Volksschule) or at lower secondary school level (Hauptschule) specialising in education for children with special needs. Teachers at schools for children with special needs are asked to hold qualifications for special needs education from a recognised institution either in Switzerland or Austria.

Special school

There is one private special school in Liechtenstein that is state-recognised and mainly state-subsidised. Special needs teachers are employed under private law based on the private character of the special school. By means of a performance agreement the government insists that the private special school demand the following education requirements from special needs teachers and therapists:

The employment as a teacher in remedial education at school (acting as a teacher in complementary education and/or as a teacher for children with special needs at a mainstream school or rather as a form teacher at a special school) requires a diploma for the relevant school level (for Oberschule the diploma for primary school is sufficient) and an additional special diploma from a higher education institution specialising in special needs education.

The field of „pedagogical and therapeutic measures“ (PTM) is covered by PTM-teachers, e.g. speech therapists, psycho-motor therapists, and early childhood teachers. The relevant employment qualifications are subject diplomas from recognised universities of teacher education specialising in special needs education.

Admission requirements

As a rule the baccalaureate is the admission requirement for all teaching professions. Decision on admission lies with the specific training institution and they are free to adopt additional requirements.

For more details please consult the Swiss homepage.

Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes

Universities for teacher education or other higher education institutions offer various focuses in their degree programmes for future teachers:

  • aspects of general education (pre-school level, primary school level, some parts of lower secondary level)
  • subject-related aspects (lower secondary level, upper secondary level)
  • vocational aspects (pedagogy, general didactics and subject-related didactics)
  • teaching practice

More information can be obtained at the specific institutions and especially at the Swiss universities of teacher education.

Teacher educators

Because of the lack of specific degree programmes Liechtenstein does not regulate the details of teacher educators.

Qualifications, evaluation and certificates

Because of the lack of specific degree programmes Liechtenstein does not regulate the details of qualifications, evaluation and certificates with regard to teacher training.

Alternative training pathways

On the background of a teacher shortage various universities of teacher education offer courses for persons with a different professional history and a minimum age of 30 years (so-called lateral entrants). The education for these persons is combined with part-time teaching on the target level. Candidates applying for such a programme additionally and successfully have to pass an evaluation of professional aptitude.

The programmes for lateral entrants in Switzerland are regulated on a cantonal level and are not EDK-recognised at the moment. Recognition in Liechtenstein has not been established so far. Individual examination decides on the employment of a teacher from a programme for lateral entrants. Decisive factors are subject-related knowledge, educational background, professional experience and the situation of demand in the profession.