At SSBR we are constantly being asked about the validity of our degrees. This article will address this question using extracts from official documents from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI Directorate. SERI is the federal government’s specialised agency for national and international matters concerning education, research and innovation policy.
“Validity of degrees issued by private institutions in Switzerland”
While higher education in Switzerland is primarily dispensed by public institutions, there are also many private ones. In Switzerland no prior authorisation is required in order to offer higher education courses, organise examinations or issue private degrees. In certain cases, however, the federal or cantonal authorities, depending on their respective area of authority, will supervise private institutions and/or authorise them to offer courses and issue degrees.
Private institutions based in Switzerland that are not accredited under the HEdA may only issue private degrees. Such degrees:
– may be used by the holder to carry out an unregulated profession; appreciation of the value of private degrees is left up to employers.
– generally may not be used by the holder to carry out a profession that is regulated in Switzerland (see list below of Regulated Professions)
Generally speaking, there are no international agreements protecting the value of private degrees; in all cases, it is up to the national authorities in the host country to decide whether to recognise foreign qualifications. Private institutions are able to legitimately carry out their activities in Switzerland by virtue of the principle of economic freedom.*
SSBR is authorised by the Canton of Zurich for the provision of quality standards in adult education so the lessons comply with the cantonal regulations.
The Canton of Zurich authorizes SSBR to issue bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.
For quality standards, SSBR is certified by EduQua. eduQua is the Swiss quality label for providers of further education. It promotes transparency, comparability and quality of the further education offers. Throughout Switzerland, over 1100 schools, institutes and academies are eduQua-certified.
Certification not only improves credibility with customers, but is also beneficial to authorities. In many cantons, the eduQua certificate is a prerequisite for support with public funds.
SSBR is also accredited with The Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) is an independent international educational agency based in the United Kingdom. It is an independent, government-approved accreditation body specializing in the accreditation of schools, colleges, universities, training organizations, and online and distance education providers, both in the UK and overseas. ASIC has been appointed by the United Kingdom Government’s Home Office UK Border Agency to inspect colleges seeking to apply for sponsor’s licenses from the UK Border Agency.
* From the State Secretariat for Education and Research SER Directorate (dokumente/2017/12/titel-privater-institutionen) Page 1.
- Regulated professional activities are defined as activities that can only be legally carried out by holders of a specific qualification.
- In Switzerland, many regulated professional activities (e.g. in the health care field) fall within the scope of cantonal legislation. However, there are also a number of professional activities that are regulated under federal legislation.
- Forestry, fisheries and animal welfare
- Some additional business activities (Security, Funerals, Explosives, Weapons, Real estate)