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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in higher education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.4National reforms in higher education

Last update: 27 June 2022
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Optimization of the transition from baccalaureate school to university

In order to ensure exam-free university admission with a baccalaureate in the long term, the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (swissuniversities) and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) agreed in June 2019 on a commitment [in german] to optimise the transition from baccalaureate schools to universities. 

Among the six objectives jointly agreed upon are, for example, that baccalaureate schools and universities should be involved in providing study, career and career guidance, or that students should be supported with appropriate offers during the introductory phase of their studies. Measures with which the envisaged goals are to be achieved are recorded as good practices [in german].



International pilot projects in educational mobility

In addition to the tried and tested promotion of international mobility in education at European level, new international pilot projects outside the European area are being facilitated on an experimental basis. In January 2018, the Federal Council adopted the necessary regulation for this. It enables the Confederation to provide financial support to joint pilot projects of Swiss education stakeholders and partners from countries that are not involved in the European Erasmus+ programme. The aim is to test new funding models, explore the added value of non-European exchange and mobility activities for Swiss stakeholders, and obtain new insights for the Confederation’s long-term funding policy. The trial arrangement is enshrined in the Verordnung über die internationale Zusammenarbeit im Bereich der Bildung, der Berufsbildung, der Jugend und der Mobilitätsförderung [Ordinance on International Cooperation in Education, Vocational Training, Youth and Mobility Support]and enters into force in March 2018. The national agency promoting exchange and mobility, Movetia, is charged with advising and supporting project sponsors in submitting relevant applications.


National Strategy and Open Access Action Plan

The Rectors' Conference of Swiss Universities (swissuniversities) developed a national Open Access Strategy in 2016. The shared vision of Swiss universities is to guarantee free access to all publicly-funded publications by 2024. To substantiate the strategy, starting in 2017 an Aktionsplan was developed to define the measures to implement the national strategy.


International Strategy for Education, Research and Innovation

In July 2018, the Federal Council updated the first version of the International Strategy for Education, Research and Innovation from 2010. The new Strategy will better highlight issues that have become increasingly important, especially in the context of international exchange in education, research and innovation (ERI). These include, for example, vocational and professional education and training, or policies to support innovation and digitisation. Switzerland's international strategy in the ERI sector is not limited in time.




Promoting international mobility 2018-2020

In April 2017, the Federal Council asked Parliament to approve a Swiss solution promoting international mobility in education from 2018 to 2020, and to approve the necessary budget.

The promotion of international mobility in initial and continuing education and training is a major factor in the Confederation’s long-term education policy. For over twenty years, Switzerland’s policy in this field has been largely aligned to the EU’s education programmes. Since negotiations on association with the Erasmus+ programme were suspended in February 2014, the Federal Council’s interim solution, which runs until the end of 2017, has enabled Swiss people in all areas of education to continue to go abroad to study.

With the current Dispatch the Federal Council is requesting a budget of 114.5 million Swiss francs for a Swiss solution promoting international mobility in education from 2018 to 2020. This will allow Swiss target groups to continue to take part in key well-established mobility and cooperation activities that are compatible with Erasmus+. At the same time, this autonomous solution allows Switzerland greater flexibility to involve national players and so be able to optimise its funding activities.  The Swiss national agency Movetia, which is funded by the Confederation and the cantons, will primarily be responsible for implementing the funding measures and for supporting ongoing strategic development in this area.

The Federal Council will address the question of renewed association with the follow-up programme to Erasmus+ for the new programming period starting in 2021, and is continuing discussions with the European Commission to this effect.