Accreditation and Quality Assurance
Accreditation provides assurance that the course of study in which you are enrolled or are considering enrolling is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality. The accreditation authority in Switzerland:
Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ)
The Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ) promotes the quality of education and research at higher education institutions in Switzerland. The OAQ develops guidelines, evaluation procedures and quality standards. It conducts accreditation and acknowledges the autonomy of the universities.
Quality assurance aims to record the quality of education and to continually target improvements. Under the Federal Constitution- Article 61a, the Confederation and the cantons jointly safeguard the high quality of the Switzerland education. An Education Report is being produced by the Confederation and Cantons. The Education Report includes data and information from statistics, research and administration on the education system and on the different educational levels. The Education Report is published every four years.
Ways and Means of Quality Assurance in Switzerland
The other ways and means for quality assurance in the Switzerland education system are:
- State supervision of institutions at the different stages of the education system, Nationwide education targets and educational standards for compulsory education; through increased autonomy for the schools and the bringing professionalism in school administrations in compulsory education; inter-cantonal, regional or nationwide curriculum and framework curricula in compulsory education, upper secondary level and the tertiary level (tertiary level B professional education and training).
- Legal anchoring of quality assurance in the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act and the efforts by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI);
- Recognition and accreditation of upper secondary level and tertiary level educational institutions and courses of study, and degree recognition; indicators on the education system through the statistical education reporting of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO);
- Participation in international comparative studies or country reviews like inter alia PISA, OECD comparative studies or country reviews; and national research or development programs, studies of educational research (SCRE), Swiss Council for Educational Research (CORECHED),
- The Leading Houses for research in vocational and professional education and training and other studies which explore the education system or assess different facets of it.