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Verification of equivalence

UAS assess whether there is equivalence with school-leaving certificates:

with vocational or specialised baccalaureate

In order to be considered equivalent, the foreign school-leaving certificate should

  • be positioned at upper-secondary level within the education system of the country of origin and allow enrolment within the higher education sector in a field of study that prepares students for a higher vocational profession;
  • be awarded upon successful completion of at least three years of study at upper-secondary level;
  • include a suitable proportion of general education subjects;
  • attest to prior work experience in an occupation relating to the chosen field of study.

with a general baccalaureate and work experience

see Swiss ENIC’s list of countries and corresponding undergraduate admission requirements for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates

  • According to the recommendations formulated by the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) on 7 September 2007, the foreign school-leaving certificate must:
    • be the highest possible upper-secondary qualification that a person can obtain in the country where it was issued;
    • entitle the holder to enrol directly in university studies in the country where it was issued;
    • be awarded upon successful completion of at least three years of study at upper-secondary level;
    • attest to acquisition of knowledge in a broad range of general education subjects.
  • Holders of a foreign school-leaving certificate may be asked to show confirmation of admission to university in the country where the qualification was issued. If they are unable to do so, then they have the option of taking a centrally organised university aptitude test (referred to in Switzerland as ECUS, in French: Examen Complémentaire des Hautes Écoles Suisses; in German: Zentrale Ergänzungsprüfung der schweizerischen Hochschulen).
  • Holders of a foreign school-leaving certificate deemed equivalent to a general baccalaureate in Switzerland, but issued in a country that is not a signatory party of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, have the option of taking a centrally organised university aptitude test (referred to in Switzerland as ECUS, in French: Examen Complémentaire des Hautes Écoles Suisses; in German: Zentrale Ergänzungsprüfung der schweizerischen Hochschulen).
  • In the field of arts, prospective students must also take an aptitude test to determine whether they have the necessary abilities. This aptitude test replaces the need to demonstrate at least one year of work experience.

Holders of other qualifications: entrance examinations

Holders of other qualifications may be asked to take an entrance examination (Art. 4 para. 2 EAER Ordinance of 2 September 2005 on Undergraduate Admissions at Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS Undergraduate Admissions Ordinance, SR 414.715). In order to take this entrance examination, the qualification awarded in the person’s country of origin must enable the holder to enrol in higher education and be based on a at least three years of study at upper-secondary level. Each UAS is free to decide whether it wishes to offer a prospective student the possibility of taking an entrance examination to verify the person’s knowledge of general education subjects and determine whether he/she is able to pursue the chosen field of study at the UAS.