Public schools

Schooling in Switzerland is compulsory up to the age of 15. It is free, secular and public (apart from nurseries and private schools). The canton of Vaud runs almost a hundred educational establishments. State schools in the canton of Vaud are of top quality by international standards. Modern languages (notably English and the Swiss national languages : German, French and Italian) are given a high priority.

Pre-university education includes compulsory schooling (primary and secondary) and post-compulsory schooling (generally leading to an academic or professional certificate - maturité académique fédérale or certificat fédéral de capacité / CFC).

Wide-ranging post-compulsory courses can be followed in various forms, including high-level and demanding academic studies    (UNIL, EPFL), professional schools, teacher training school (HEP) and specialized applied sciences universities (HES-SO).

Key facts

  • Approximately 30% of the population has completed higher education (university)
  • Free public education system of high quality by international standards (PISA)
  • A third of the cantonal budget allocated to education (28.7% in 2017)
  • 91 schools in 8 administrative areas for 91’437 students at compulsory school level
  • 11 grammar/high schools (gymnases) and 18 professional public schools for 36’230 students at post-compulsory school level giving direct access to high education schools in Switzerland in 2017
  • 15 academic, applied sciences and teacher training schools at higher education level, many of them being internationally famous