Wie die Schweiz ihre akademische Elite auswählt

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Die Schweiz ist eines der schwierigsten Länder in Europa, wenn es um den Zugang zur Hochschulbildung geht. Nur 18% der Bevölkerung dürfen an den traditionellen Universitäten studieren. Weitere 10% wählen alternative Wege zur Hochschulbildung und 70% absolvieren eine Berufsausbildung. In der EU und international studieren mindestens 40% an einer traditionellen Universität und weniger als die Hälfte der Bevölkerung entscheidet sich für eine Berufsausbildung. Während die Schweiz, insbesondere der deutschsprachige Teil, Jugendlichen, die ein Studium anstreben, erhebliche Hürden in den Weg stellt (Genf und das Tessin sind die beiden Ausnahmen von dieser Regel), ist sie ein wichtiger Importeur ausländischer Akademiker, die inzwischen fast 20% der Bevölkerung größerer städtischer Kantone wie dem Kanton Zürich ausmachen.

Die Kantone variieren in Bezug auf den Zeitpunkt und die Methode der Auswahl. Dies hat zur Folge, dass der Eintritt in die akademischen Eliteschulen ("Gymnasiumˮ, "lycéeˮ, "école de maturité", "collège", "liceo" usw.) entweder etwas schwierig und anstrengend (z.B. in der Ostschweiz, Zürich und anderen Kantonen) oder relativ unproblematisch (Zentralschweiz, Basel Stadt, "la Romandie" und Tessin) sein wird.

Jahr 6: Auswahl der akademischen Elite

In nearly all Swiss cantons children are preselected in Year 5 and selected in Year 6 (last year of German-speaking primary school or Cycle 2 in French-speaking cantons). In Ticino, selection happens in Year 5 before entrance into “scuola media” (“ciclo di osservazione”). As children enter lower secondary school they will be put in different streams or even different schools depending on the cantonal system.

Klassen 7-9: Top-Schüler

The academic elite in most cantons will continue into Year 7 in the highest stream of a comprehensive lower secondary school, as in St Gallen or Thurgau, most of “la Romandie” and Ticino. In some cantons, however, there are different lower secondary schools for different academic levels, including a lower secondary school for top students (“Progymnasialklasse” in Fribourg, “voie progymnasiale” in Vaud, “Sekundarschule P” in Basel-Land, “Bezirksschule” in Aargau). A minority of German-speaking Swiss cantons even have a six-year academic elite school called “Langgymnasium” (the first two years can also be called “Untergymnasiumˮ, as in Graubünden).

Klassen 7-9: Durchschnittliche Schüler

Students with average ability will find themselves in an academically less challenging stream of lower secondary school (“Sekundarschule”, “école secondaire”, “scuola media”) where the main focus is on the more demanding apprenticeships (such as commercial apprenticeships, IT or health care). A minority of students will also attempt to enter academic elite schools at the end of Year 8 or 9, depending upon the canton (Year 11 in “la Romandie”).These programmes are either offered at separate institutions (“Sekundarschule Aˮ or “Sekundarschuleˮ in many German-speakingcantons or “voie générale” in Vaud) or they are part of comprehensive lower secondary schools for all academic levels, as in St Gallen, Thurgau, most of “la Romandie” and Ticino.

Klassen 7-9: Schüler mit geringen akademischen Fähigkeiten und Schüler mit besonderem Förderbedarf

Students perceived to be of low academic ability will not normally be offered a way to enter academic elite schools after Years 8 or 9, though some cantons have started to pave the way to higher education for students of such schools. Students with low academic ability will be put either in lower secondary schools whose leavers mainly serve manual apprenticeships (called varyingly “Sekundarschule B”, “Realschule” etc) or join the lowest stream (“Grundansprüche” etc) of a comprehensive lower secondary school, as in St Gallen, Thurgau, “la Romandie” and Ticino. There are also special-needs schools for those unable to join regular lower secondary schools (PCEDS, “enseignement spècialisée”, “scuole speciali”, “Sonderschulklassenˮ, “Kleinklassen”, “Werkschuleˮ). Most Swiss schools will try to keep special-needs students in mainstream schools with integrated learning support (“integrative Förderung”, “soutien intégratif”, “sostegno integrativo”).

Klassen 8-9: Auswahl der akademischen Elite

Most cantons in Switzerland entrust the teachers of lower secondary schools with the selection of students for academic elite schools. The main requirement will be a good school report at the end of the first semester of Year 8 or 9. Other cantons select on the basis of school reports and externally assessed entrance tests, while a minority rely only on externally assessed entrance tests (see below).The remaining students start apprenticeships with or without the vocational university entrance exam or join a specialised middle school.

Drei Methoden der Auswahl

In Eastern Switzerland, two or three cantons including St Gallen and Thurgau base the decision entirely on entrance tests and admit no more than 15% of all students. In half a dozen cantons (mostly in German-speaking Switzerland) the decision depends on the school report and an entrance examination; entering academic elite schools will be both difficult and stressful in such cantons and about 20% on average make it. In the overwhelming majority of Swiss cantons the decision is left to the lower secondary school teachers of Years 8 and 9 and entrance into academic elite schools poses less of a hurdle; in such cantons up to half of all students end up at an academic elite school (e.g. Geneva and Ticino).

Schulen für die akademische Elite nach Klasse 8 und 9

In nearly all cantons the academic elite is separated in Year 8 or 9 from the majority of students and educated in specialised academic elite schools with a programme of between three and four years. In Valais academic elite school covers five years (“Kollegium”). They are varyingly called “Kurzgymnasium” or “Gymnasium” (most of German-speaking Switzer-land), “collège” (Geneva), “lycée” (Jura, Neuchâtel), “liceoˮ (Ticino), “école de maturité” (Vaud) or “Kollegiumˮ (Valais). The remaining students continue into Year 9, when there is a second chance to join an elite school.


Geschrieben von Robin Hull, Autor von 'A Guide to the Swiss educational system'.

Dies ist ein Auszug aus dem einzigen Überblick über das Schweizer Bildungssystem in englischer Sprache, den es derzeit für Eltern mit einem internationalen Hintergrund gibt. Sie kann bestellt werden bei www.guideto.ch

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Hull's Schule Zürich

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