The Swiss education system is unusual in that apart from stipulating that primary school is compulsory and education is free in public schools, other aspects of education are controlled by the cantons (or regions). Primary school students are divided up according to their language (German, French or Italian).
After primary school about 20% of students go on to a standard secondary school (known as the Gymnasium) ending in the ‘matura’ qualification which grants access to university. The rest of Swiss school children either go to a technical or theoretical school. These involve attending tradition school lessons part time and vocational training for the rest of the time.
The first Swiss university was founded in Basle in 1460 and Switzerland has a long history of excellence, especially in the fields of science and medicine. Many foreign students go to Switzerland to study at their universities.
There is a private education system in Switzerland which is also world-renowned. An example of a private university is the International Institute for Management Development.