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Higher Education in SwitzerlandSwitzerland's higher education system is made up of universities, technical universities and a number of universities of applied sciences which include teacher education programs. The general universities are governed and funded primarily by local governments, known as cantons, while the two technical universities and universities of applied science are governed and funded at the national level. A number of private colleges provide education in specific areas but they are not accredited by the Swiss government. Admission to bachelor's degree programs typically requires only a secondary school leaving certificate. With the study of medicine as an exception, students can choose the school and program they wish to enroll in. Students also need to have mastery of the language which the school's courses are taught in, which varies by region and may be German, French or Italian. Master's programs are increasingly being taught in English and thus require students to be fluent in English. Tuition for Swiss Universities ranges from about 1000 CHF to 2000 CHF ($900 - $1800 US) per year and varies by school. Types of Schools and DegreesThe ten public universities and two federal universities of technology offer the full range of degrees including bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The universities of applied sciences, teacher education and art and music offer programs leading to bachelor's and master's degrees. The private schools that exist are not accredited within Switzerland and therefore either offer only diplomas and certificates or offer degrees that may or may not be recognized by employers and other schools. Switzerland also has a strong non-degree vocational training education system which is supported by relevant trade associations. Bachelor's degrees can typically be earned in three years for most programs and master's degrees in another year or two. First degree programs that result in a Master's degree are also common and last five to six years. Each university structures its own doctoral programs, which typically take three to four years after a Master's degree. International StudentsSwitzerland's higher education institutions have one of the highest rates of international students in the world, representing about 18 percent of its students in recent years. International students are admitted to Swiss universities as long as they have obtained a secondary school program diploma or certificate that is considered equivalent to the Swiss secondary school leaving certificate. International students that do not have the appropriate secondary school qualification can take an entrance exam to qualify for enrollment. International students cannot enroll in medicine, dentistry or veterinarian studies due to a lack of space in these programs. Since bachelor's level courses are taught in German, French or Italian depending on the school, students should apply only to schools where they are proficient in the language used by that school. All students must have health insurance coverage. Tuition for foreign students averaged about 1500 CHF ($1350 US) in 2010 at most universities but was about 8000 CHF ($7000 US) at the Italian university. About SwitzerlandSwitzerland is a land-locked country bordered by Germany, France, Austria and Italy and thus has a diverse culture that is influenced by its neighbors. Its population numbers about 7. 6 million with the highest density found in the Central Plateau, where most of the cities are located. It is a popular winter tourist destination where skiiers from all over the world are drawn to its many ski resorts. Switzerland is known for its commitment to political neutrality that keeps it from becoming involved in political conflicts and wars. It is home to the world's largest laboratory, the CERN which is dedicated to the study of particle physics. Switzerland has chosen to not become a member of the European Union although they have brought many of their economic practices in line with EU practices and have signed bi-lateral agreements with the EU on trade, borders and in other areas. There are three official languages in common use: German, French and Italian, with each being used in a specific part of the country. Its population retains a high standard of living, low unemployment and has been ranked as having the 19th highest GDP per capita in the world in recent years. Resourcesswissuniversity. ch - Provides helpful information for international students regarding studying in Switzerland. State Secretary for Education and Research