Cómo selecciona Suiza a su élite académica

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Suiza es uno de los países con más dificultades para acceder a la enseñanza superior en Europa. Sólo 18% de la población pueden acceder y estudiar en las universidades tradicionales. Otros 10% optan por vías alternativas a la enseñanza superior y 70% siguen una formación profesional. En la UE y a nivel internacional, al menos 40% estudian en la universidad tradicional y menos de la mitad de la población opta por el aprendizaje. Aunque Suiza, sobre todo la parte germana, pone importantes trabas a los adolescentes que aspiran a la universidad (Ginebra y el Tesino son las dos excepciones a esta regla), es un gran importador de universitarios extranjeros, que ya representan casi 20% de la población de los cantones urbanos más grandes, como el cantón de Zúrich.

Los cantones varían en cuanto al tiempo y al método de selección. En consecuencia, el ingreso en las escuelas académicas de élite ("Gymnasiumˮ, "lycéeˮ, "école de maturité", "collège", "liceo", etc.) será algo difícil y estresante (por ejemplo, en la Suiza oriental, Zúrich y otros cantones) o relativamente poco problemático (Suiza central, Basilea Stadt, "la Romandie" y Tesino).

Año 6: Selección de la élite académica

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.

Años 7-9: Mejores estudiantes

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).

Años 7-9: Estudiantes medios

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.

Años 7-9: Estudiantes de baja capacidad académica y estudiantes con necesidades especiales

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”).

Años 8-9: Selección de la élite académica

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.

Tres métodos de selección

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).

Escuelas para la élite académica después de los años 8 y 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.


Escrito por Robin Hull, autor de "Guía del sistema educativo suizo".

Este es un extracto de la única visión general del sistema educativo suizo en inglés que existe en la actualidad para padres de origen internacional. Puede solicitarse en www.guideto.ch

Escrito por

Hull's School Zurich

Hull's School Zurich

Hull's School es el primer colegio inglés de Zúrich para adolescentes. El programa del colegio, de cuatro años de duración, se imparte en inglés (a excepción de los idiomas modernos) y abarca los cursos de quinto y sexto (años 10 a 13). Los alumnos se preparan para los exámenes IGCSE y A-level.