The tiny alpine country of Switzerland situated right in the heartland of Europe, has one important natural resource in full abundance-'grey matter' of its population ! In fact, the bounty of this raw material is best exemplified in the number of its Nobel Prize winners since 1945-11 to be precise. But then this is not surprising when one takes into account the major contribution of her native sons: educationists like Jean-Jacques Rousseau of Geneva, 'free-thinkers' like Maria Montesoori and Rudolf Steiner etc.
Many Swiss educational establishments, especially the universities, date back to the 19th century. In fact the oldest such institution in Switzerland , the University of Basel, was ceremonially set up in the Cathedral of Basel as a foundation by the citizens and in opened its doors on April 4, 1460.
With its multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. it is but natural that the Swiss education system is as diverse as the country itself.
Education in Switzerland falls within the jurisdictional responsibility of its 26 Cantons ( or states as we know them in India ) However, the Swiss confederation does exert some influence on the overall educational system in that, it lays down a general framework for primary-school education, it governs and monitors vocational training for industry, commerce and agriculture and its structures the admission procedures for some of the university courses. It also makes it presence felt in financing of educational institutions and activities (not the private schools however) including the cantonal universities and various research projects. The most renowned institutions under direct control of the confederation are the Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne and Zurich (where Albert Einstein did research after his schooling in the Cantonal School of Aargau).
The country's private schools offer syllabi that are closely geared to both, the federal and cantonal curriculum and to more international criteria. As such, they provide non-swiss pupils with the best possible foundation for either continuing their education in Switzerland or pursuing their future education back in their home country or even in a third country. The range of courses on offer in Switzerland, spanning the educational latitudes from business management to university level post graduate studies in diverse fields is very much the order of the day and often comes complete with internationally recognised qualifications . With the increasing demand for all-round development, a large number of private schools came up since the early 1900s. Today, over 260 institutions are registered with the Swiss Federation of private schools (SEPS). The range of institutions is almost as diverse as the backgrounds their students are from. In fact, it offers a magnitude of possibilities-from primary schools for tiny tots to baccalaureates, from seasonal courses to language courses, from summer and winter camps to hotel management and even courses for talented skiers and swimmers.
Switzerland has well renowned schools dedicated to the tourism and hotel industry sector. Besides ,a number of management and business schools , in collaboration with universities, have also entered the field offering much sought after MBAs. The Swiss private tertiary education sector is rounded off by various other vocational and further educational establishments, colleges, a Graduate School of Business in St.Gallen and the European Universities in Geneva, Montreux and Zug.
Here's why parents should consider sending their children to Switzerland .In today's global village, they can pick up additional languages; have the opportunity to study in a pollution free and scenic environment; and most importantly, be safe.
For more details , write to:
The Swiss Federation of Private Schools, PO Box 1488, CH-1211, Geneva-1,
e-mail ; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duration of Courses
Courses for hotel management and tourism schools vary from one year to four years and span diploma and certificate courses (diploma in Hotel Operations Management, Diploma in International Tourism Management, Certificate in Food and Beverage Management.etc) to degree courses (BA Hons and Tourism Management , Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Hospitality Management. Post Graduate Diploma Courses , even distance learning courses, etc) respectively. Most of these private schools have an affiliation with recognized universities in USA and the UK.
An MBA in one year or a BBA in two years can also be obtained from private schools affiliated to the Association of collegiate, Business Schools and Programme (ACBSP).
Fees are paid on a per semester basis and range any where from Sfr.16,000 to Sfr.25,000 with most averaging at around the Sfr.20,000 mark depending on the school and course selected.
A refundable deposit of about Srf.1,000 plus registration and residence permit fees around Srf.500 add to the basic kitty. Semesters, in hotel management and tourism school parlance, denote six months classroom theory and six months on-the-job internship. Interns, by law are paid a minimum of Sfr.1,950.
It is highly advisable to obtain an insurance cover especially medical insurance as this can be an expensive proposition in Switzerland.