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Swiss Education & Learning Standards

Geographically speaking, Switzerland may well be a small country located at the heart of Europe, but in terms of its performance in the areas of education, research and innovation, it is one of the most competitive countries in the world. This has been borne out by verified statistics:

• No other country in the world has such a high percentage of students educated at a top university

• Switzerland ranks at the top both in the Innovation Union Score­ board (Europe) as well as in the Global Competitiveness Report

• If we compare Switzerland’s national knowledge output, i.e. the number of scientific papers published in proportion to the country’s total population, Switzerland is ahead of all other countries-- the same holds true in terms of the number of patents filed

These successes are the result of generous investments aimed at creating an efficient system of education and research. This system is maintained at various levels through public-private partnerships and is constantly adapted to face future needs.

The national educational standards aim to harmonise the objectives of compulsory education throughout Switzerland. They also constitute a basis for evaluating the quality of the education system in compulsory education. In the future, the educational standards (national fundamental competences) are being evaluated by  Swiss education monitoring.


Two types of educational standards:

Performance standards describe subject-related skill levels to be achieved by the pupils. They are measurable and testable. Performance standards have been developed in the form of fundamental competences for 4 subjects (language of schooling, foreign languages, mathematics and natural sciences).

The fundamental competences describe basic abilities, competences and knowledge that the pupils must achieve by a given time during compulsory education. Fundamental competences are minimum requirements, which should be met by most pupils. The fundamental competences are objectives for one part of school education; all educational objectives are specified in the linguistic regions' curricula.

Other standards describe learning contents  (content standards) or conditions for implementation in teaching or the facilities and resources made available for learning (opportunity to learn standards).

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