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Number of higher-education students set to rise

Lectures at universities are increasingly crowded

(Keystone)

The authorities say the number of students at Swiss higher-education institutes will increase by 20 per cent within the next decade.

Foreign students are expected to account for most of the increase this year, while a European-wide reform of the education system is making progress.

The number of students who begin their studies at a Swiss university or technical college is likely to increase by three per cent in the 2005/06 academic year, according to figures published on Tuesday.

The number is set to rise to 165,500 from 160,165 last year.

The increase is the likely result of a growing number of foreign students, said the Federal Statistics Office in a statement.

It added that an additional 700 students from abroad had enrolled in Switzerland, bringing the total number of foreign students to 11,600 this year.

The total number of students at Switzerland's ten universities is expected to go up by 1.5 per cent. The figure has remained unchanged over the past few years.

However, a steeper increase is expected at the country's 60 colleges of applied sciences.

Forecast

The Statistics Office also forecast up to 20 per cent more students and a peak of 194,000 by 2012, before the increase is expected to slow down.

The report said the number of female diploma students was likely to remain stable at about 52 per cent, while female Ph.D. students look set to reach 45 per cent.

Efforts to adapt the system of higher education in Switzerland to European standards appear to be making progress.

The authorities said that three out of four first-year students would enrol for a Bachelor's or Master's degree course under the so-called Bologna reforms.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

2004: 160,165 students at Swiss universities and technical colleges.
Foreigners accounted for 6.8% of all students.
2012: estimated 194,000 students.

end of infobox

In brief

The Bologna Declaration of 1999 aims to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010.

Switzerland is one of 30 countries in Europe which signed up to the accord.

The new university courses are in two stages: three years for a Bachelor's degree and two additional years for a Master's degree.

The first Bachelor's degree courses in Switzerland were launched in 2001, and the first diplomas were awarded in 2004, mainly in law and business studies.

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