Lifelong learning is extremely important in Switzerland. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) works together with its respective partners to promote attractive vocational and professional education and training, and ensures optimum framework conditions for teaching and CET in the higher education sector. In recent years SERI has also expanded its range of funding instruments. (see Lebenslanges Lernen)
Funding through the Act on CET
With the articles on education in the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, the Confederation was mandated to specify principles governing CET (Article 64a). This constitutional obligation was implemented through the Bundesgesetz über die Weiterbildung [Federal Act on Continuing Education and Training (Act on CET)]. The framework act strengthens personal responsibility for life-long learning, improves equal access to CET and ensures consistency in federal legislation. The Act on CET also allows contributions to CET organisations that are mainly concerned with CET issues, are active throughout Switzerland and provide higher-level services for CET.
Funding through the Federal Act on Vocational and Professional Education and Training
The Bundesgesetz über die Berufsbildung [Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act] regulates continuing professional development (CPD). This connects with both vocational education and training (VET) and tertiary level professional education. CPD is intended to help skilled people to adapt their professional knowledge to technical, economic and social changes and to extend their general education. The Confederation and the cantons can, through contributions and other measures, promote organisations which carry out measures in the field of CPD. The cantons ensure there is a demand-oriented range of courses.
Gearing vocational and professional education and training towards lifelong learning
As part of the “Vocational and Professional Education and Training 2030" initiative, the Confederation, cantons and professional organisations have launched various projects to gear vocational and professional education and training towards lifelong learning. These include, for example, vocational education and training (VET) courses designed specifically for adults, crediting educational achievements, and mobilising companies.