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Qualifications Framework for the Higher Education Area


The Qualifications Framework of the Swiss Higher Education Area describes and defines the higher education levels and qualifications in Switzerland on the basis of the following elements:

  • generic descriptors
  • admission criteria
  • ECTS credits
  • academic degrees


The contributes to the implementation of the Bologna Reform objectives.

It serves as an orientation tool for the higher education institutions to develop and describe their study courses and programmes.

It improves the information about the Swiss higher education system, particularly with regard to teaching.

It facilitates the comparability of qualifications in Europe and enhances transparency.


approved by all three Rectors' Conferences and adopted by the common Steering Committee ( on November 23rd 2009.

adopted by the Swiss University Conference (SUK/CUS) on June 30th 2011, insofar as it applies to the universities.

The gives an overview of the Swiss higher education. It includes the cycles 1-3 «Bachelor», «Master» and «Doctorate» as well as part of further education at tertiary level. In general the cycles 1–3 are consecutive and the prerequisite for admission to the next level is a subject-specific degree in the preceding cycle.

Transfers from bachelor to master programmes of a different type of higher education institution are possible and regulated in the agreement between the CRUS, the KFH and the COHEP of November 5th 2007: “Permeability Between the Types of Higher Education Institutions”. There are no regulations for taking non formal and informal learning into account. This lies within the responsibility of each higher education institution.

In Switzerland further education at tertiary level is regulated and the number of ECTS credits specified. Admission to each further education programme is defined by the persons responsible for the programme (see Further Education).

Detailed Diagram of the Structure of the Swiss Higher Education System
(Diagram of the Diploma Supplement)