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School system needs updating, group says

Switzerland needs to rethink its education system and spend more on schooling and training programmes to remain competitive around the globe, experts say.

This content was published on August 31, 2009 - 15:38

The Swiss Academy of Sciences released a white paper on education on Monday that said future children would start school at a younger age and stay longer. By 2030 about 70 per cent of young people should be able to get a university degree, double the rate today.

But to do that the Swiss would need to dedicate more funding to higher education, create a new federal department and rethink how students are accepted into universities, the academy said.

Currently Switzerland ranks second from last among European countries for the rate of young students earning the top high school diploma that opens the door to university. Only Austria fares worse.

Money spent on training and education should represent ten per cent of Swiss gross domestic product (GDP) and 20 per cent of all government spending in 20 years, the group added.

The white paper says a larger, national approach needs to be taken toward education. Currently, Switzerland has no "ministry of education", with each of the country's 26 cantons largely shouldering the responsibility.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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