Switzerland holds a top position in many international affairs. This competitiveness stems from its outstanding educational system with a great tradition. Thus, the Swiss education system is one of the best worldwide.

In Switzerland, the cantons are responsible for educational matters. This leads to fair competition and high quality, even within the state education system. The private schools in Switzerland possess an additional function within the Swiss education system. Many of them offer an internationally recognized education. This is a true necessity given the high number of international companies and their employees based in Switzerland. Swiss boarding schools are attended by pupils from around the world and come with all the advantages that Switzerland has to offer: quality, stability, safety, a cosmopolitan environment and a broad education.

Switzerland with its four official languages has always encouraged multicultural education. This development became even more important during the past few years with the increase of international relationships, worldwide mobility as well as foreigners and international companies being based in Switzerland. Staying true to their pedagogical tradition, Swiss private schools are important contributors towards a multicultural and internationally compatible education. The Swiss Federation of Private Schools SFPS [Verband Schweizerischer Privatschulen VSP] was founded in 1990 and has over 200 members, including many of the most important and oldest private educational institutions in Switzerland.

It emerged because German-speaking and French-speaking associations wished to work together on a national level so they could better incorporate the interests of the private schools in the capital Bern. SFPS combines all the typical Swiss features: diversity, federalism, regionalism, multilingualism and – this is not a paradox to regionalism– internationality. SFPS contains a range of different private schools: from those which can be attended alongside employment in primary schools, grammar schools, higher education institutes with training on-the-job and adult education centres. Thanks to SFPS, Switzerland provides a varied and innovative range of educational options that, among other aspects, reflect the multilingualism and the associated cultural variety of Switzerland. Those looking for a first-class education will opt for a Swiss school.

By Dr Gerhard Pfister, President SFPS & Member of Parliament | Translation: Sonja Irani, published in Discover Germany issue 9 – October 2013 | Photos: Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS)

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