Since 1874, Switzerland has had compulsory schooling for
anyone aged 7 to 15 years. The school system is essentially
decentralized to the cantons and the municipal level.
Therefore, there are 26 different educational systems.
Kindergarten most places last from kids are 7 until they are
13 years old. Then there are two different types of lower
secondary school, depending on the children's abilities and
interests. This is followed by the higher secondary school
(Gymnasium/Collège) required for admission to
universities or 3 or 4 year vocational education. Private
schools of all levels exist throughout the country. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Switzerland.
There are 10 universities at Canton level. The oldest are
Basel (founded 1460), Lausanne (1537) and Geneva (1559). In
addition, there are two federal technology institutes and 7
universities of applied science (Fachhochschulen),
and different colleges.
In April 2012, the Government will introduce a quota
system for workers from Central and Eastern European Member
States in the EU. The country uses an exception clause in
its agreement with the EU on free movement. The EU
criticizes Switzerland's decision.
In August, the Swiss authorities arrested Erwin Sperisen
and imprisoned him for 3 months. Sperisen had dual
Swiss-Guatemalan citizenship and was Guatemalan state police
chief in 2004-07. He was charged in Guatemala with a series
of murders during his time as police chief and had therefore
fled to Switzerland.
In November 2012, the Ecopop environmental group
collected enough signatures to be able to carry out a
referendum on limiting population growth to 0.2% through
strong restrictions on immigration.
In June 2013, Parliament rejected a proposal to provide
North American tax authorities with information that could
lead to tax evasion in the United States. The superpower had
previously threatened Switzerland to deny its banks access
to dollar markets unless the country complied with the
wishes of the United States. On the other hand, it was
decided (with 78.5% of the vote) to change asylum
legislation, so that the process was speeded up, while the
possibility of seeking asylum at the country's embassies
abroad was in turn abolished.
In a referendum in September 2013, voters declined to
abolish military service.
By a very narrow majority (50.3% versus 49.7%),
Switzerland decided in a referendum in February 2014 to
abolish the free movement of labor between the EU and
Switzerland, which had otherwise been introduced in 2000.
The proposal was tabled by the xenophobic right wing.
Following the vote, the EU decided to exclude Switzerland
from the Erasmus and Horizon 2020 programs - the Union's
largest education and research programs to date.
At the referendum in May, the country decided to say no
to the purchase of the Swedish JAS 39 Griben fighter jet, no
to the introduction of a minimum wage and yes to a life-long
ban on pedophiles to work with children.