University accreditation in Switzerland is crucial if higher education institutions wish to maintain or obtain the right to use the reserved designations “universities”, “universities of applied sciences” or “universities of teacher education”. They are obligated to apply for institutional accreditation by The Federal Act on Funding and Coordination of the Swiss Higher Education Sector (Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act, HFKG), which entered into force on January 1st, 2015.

The accreditation procedure is a formal process to consider if the institutions’ standards and their programs meet the quality requirements set by the Confederation. This process has the intention to contribute to accomplishing international acknowledgment and to improve the comparability of degrees.

How Can a University Get Accredited

accredited-universities-in-SwitzerlandBased on the guidelines and quality standards that AAQ (Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Insurance) has conducted, the requirements for institutional accreditation are as follows: the higher education institution should have a quality assurance system that ensures that teaching, research, and services are of high quality and the staff is suitably qualified.

Apart from university accreditation, higher education institutes may apply for program accreditation for a certain course they offer. However, only accredited institutions are eligible for application. This process also applies to institutes that have been recognized by quality labels other than the Swiss Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act (HEdA). They may apply for program accreditation from the respective institutions.

List Of Accredited Universities In Switzerland

Switzerland universities are known for being some of the greatest in the world and for ranking quite high in comparison to other countries. Moreover, Switzerland also has a reputation for some of the best business schools and is known for many universities that offer English programs, The country remains one of the first choices for local and international students.

Here’s the complete list of all state and internationally accredited universities in Switzerland.

Accredited Public Universities in Switzerland

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Public universities in Switzerland are some of the highest-ranking universities in the country, as well as in the world. Many of them have a number of courses in English and offer support in German, French, or Italian. They offer a wide range of programs and levels of higher education.

These universities are welcoming to local and international students alike. Here’s a list of all of the accredited public universities in Switzerland and the institutions which accredited them.

ABMS – The Open University of Switzerland

The Open University of Switzerland is a dynamic, modern university in the heart of Switzerland, with a focus on all aspects of the management and business industry. They offer a range of online study programs starting from associate’s degrees up to doctorate degrees, including masters and bachelor’s study programs.

The Open University of Switzerland accreditation was awarded by the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ). ABMS is one of the first accredited online universities in Switzerland. It offers a certified online system, accredited by the EFMD Online Course Certification System (EOCCS).

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland. Program accreditation by the Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ).

ETH Zürich offers courses and programs leading to degrees such as bachelor degrees, master’s degrees, doctorate degrees in Engineering and Science & Technology. It also offers a master’s and doctorate degrees in Art & Humanities and Business & Social Sciences.

Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

The Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). It is located in the suburban setting of the large town of Lausanne.

This university offers courses and programs leading to degrees such as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in several areas of study like Engineering and Science & Technology. It also offers a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Art & Humanities and Business & Social Sciences.

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University of Geneva

University of Geneva is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI).

This university is located in the heart of Geneva. Composed of nine faculties—Science, Medicine, Humanities, Economics and Management, Social Sciences, Law, Theology, Psychology and Educational Sciences, and Translation and Interpreting. Their motto is “Light after darkness”. Apart from this university, Geneva offers plenty of international schools for students.

University of Zurich

University of Zurich (UZH) is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). The university also has program accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD-EQUIS).

UZH is one of the foremost universities in the German-speaking world. Made up of seven faculties covering some 100 different subject areas, the university offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs. In addition, UZH’s continuing education programs offer excellent learning opportunities. It is located in the urban setting of the city of Zürich.

University of Bern

University of Bern is a comprehensive university offering a broad choice of courses and programs in eight faculties and some 160 institutes. This university is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI).

University of Lausanne

University of Lausanne (UNIL) was officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). Program accreditation by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD-EQUIS), the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

University of Basel

University of Basel offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized bachelor degrees in several areas of study such as Arts & Humanities, Medicine & Health, and Business & Social Sciences. The university is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI).

University of Fribourg

University of Fribourg is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). The university also has program accreditation by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

The University of St. Gallen

The University of St. Gallen (HSG) was officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). This university also has program accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD-EQUIS), and Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

Bern University of Applied Sciences

Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) was officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). Additionally, the university has program accreditation by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET) and the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland

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University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) is an institution of higher education officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). The university also has program accreditation by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). HSLU also has program accreditation from the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland

University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (FHO) is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). It received program accreditation by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is a public institution officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland (SERI; SBFI). This university also has program accreditation by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) is a public institution officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI; SBFI). HES-SO has program accreditation from the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET).

University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland

University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) offers courses and programs leading bachelor degrees, and master degrees in several areas of study. It was officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI; SBFI).

University of Lucerne

University of Lucerne (UNILU) is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the urban setting of the large town of Luzern. UNILU was officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI; SBFI) in 2001.

Université de Neuchâtel

Université de Neuchâtel (UniNE) is a public institution officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI; SBFI).

Accredited Private Universities in Switzerland

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Private universities in Switzerland are known for their quality in the country and worldwide. These universities offer a variety of programs and degrees in many fields. These well-known institutions also rank high based on their quality.

Apart from local students, international students are eligible for enrollment as well.

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is a private university dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues.

This university is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. It has been enshrined in cantonal legislation since 2012 as one of the institutions of higher education supported by the State of Geneva.

Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences

Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences is a private higher education institution that is officially accredited by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. The University also has other specialized or program accreditations from the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET), the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA), and the Swiss Quality Label EduQua.

Webster University Geneva

Webster University in Geneva is a private institution that offers courses and programs leading to bachelor degrees, master degrees in several areas of study. It is officially accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s other specialized or program accreditations are received from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Glion Institute of Higher Education

Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private institute that was officially accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Institutions Accredited by Other Quality Labels

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These universities are not accredited by the Swiss Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act (HEdA), but they are equipped with accreditations from other quality labels or from other countries.

Despite not being recognized from HEdA, these universities tend to rank high for their quality, and they accept both local and international students.

Internation Business Academy of Switzerland IBAS

International Business Academy of Switzerland is a private school that does not have cantonal or national accreditation. However, its programs (including the MBA program) are accredited by the Swiss Private School Register.

The Swiss School of Business and Technology

The Swiss School of Business and Technology is accredited by Awards for Training and Higher Education (ATHE) and the Swiss Quality Label EduQua. However, it is not accredited by the Swiss Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act (HEdA). Hence, why it is not allowed to call itself a university.

SMC University

Although it has ‘Swiss’ in its name, SMC University is not actually from Switzerland and was not accredited by the Higher Education Commission of Switzerland. Instead, the SMC Education Group was accredited as a Higher Education Institution by the Malta National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE).

However, they do claim to deliver ‘Swiss quality education’, so it might be a good alternative for students interested in distance learning given their status of an online business school.

Swiss School of Management

Swiss School of Management (SSM) is accredited by the Swiss Quality Label EduQua, an accreditation body recognized and supported by the Swiss Confederate Government, but not from the Swiss Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act.

Swiss School Of Business And Management

Swiss School Of Business And Management (SSBM) is a private school operating under Swiss law and obtains its accreditation from independent accreditation bodies. The university claims that private schools in Switzerland do not need to be accredited by the Ministry of Education, but they operate under European and American educational standards.

Switzerland is very serious when it comes to accreditation of universities. Their most recognized universities are public schools. However, they have their fair share of accredited private institutions as well as schools recognized by international institutions of accreditation. We hope this list helped you understand how accreditation works and which universities are officially accredited by Swiss institutions. Lastly, if you intend to start your studies in Switzerland you should be aware of how student visas work and what to expect from your student life. Good luck!

1 Comment
  1. Hello,
    James Lind Institute is widely advertised as offering MPH programs but I do not see it in your listing. Is there a reason for that?

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