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Training and education


A first-rate educational system | Neuchâtel, a knowledge center | Neuchâtel University | Institute of Microengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (IMT - EPFL) | The Haute Ecole Arc | Professional training 


A first-rate educational system


Switzerland is one of the countries that invests the most per student into teaching and education. Its educational system is regularly cited in international studies for its excellence and competitiveness. Ranked 1st in terms of education management and university training in a 2011 study by the IMD  - (International Leading Business School, Lausanne), Switzerland’s education system can demonstrate a perfect fit between the syllabuses available and the needs of the economy.


Obligatory public education (up to age 15 or 16) is free, whilst university taxes are merely symbolic, (usually less than 600 CHF per term).



Neuchâtel, a knowledge center


At the heart of a concentration of prestigious ‘Grandes Ecoles’ (specialised institutes of higher learning), universities and leading private establishments, the State of Neuchâtel is known as one of the high seats of learning, particularly in the field of sciences. This sector enjoys much support, notably from the National Swiss Funds (FNS), which, in 2010, allocated 726 million CHF of grant subsidies to some 3,100 research projects.


The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) website


Just some of the academic establishments situated in the canton of Neuchatel include:


Neuchâtel University


With an international reputation, Neuchâtel University hosts the following five faculties

• Literature and Humanities
• Science
• Law
• Economics
• Theology

Various Bachelor, Masters and doctoral-level programmes (PhD and continued learning) are available, depending on the course chosen.


Neuchatel University offers a MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) in international taxation (Executive Master in International Taxation) that is unique in Switzerland, with courses available in English given by Swiss and international experts.


In addition, a Masters in International Business Development is also available, which specifically meets the needs of companies.


Neuchâtel University



Institute of Microengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (IMT - EPFL)


Located on two sites, in Neuchâtel city and Lausanne, the Institute of Microengineering at EPFL (IMT-EPFL) is the largest academic institution in Switzerland for microengineering, with 23 laboratories and nearly 400 members. The university training of the engineers and researchers here is based on multi-disciplinary skills across three key pillars: micro and nano-technologies, optics and robotics.


The Neuchâtel campus houses the following laboratories:

• Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory of Prof. Christophe Ballif
• Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory of Prof. Nico de Rooij
• Integrated Actuators Laboratory, of Prof. Yves Perriard
• Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory of Prof. Herbert Shea
• Optics and Photonics Technology Laboratory of Prof. Dr Hans Peter Herzig
• Electronics and Signal Processing Laboratory of Prof. Pierre-André Farine



The Haute Ecole Arc


The Haute Ecole Arc has its training facilities in Neuchâtel (main campus) and in Delémont (satellite), and its ARD activities on the sites of Neuchâtel, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Locle and Saint-Imier. They provide the following four main areas of higher education: 

• Engineering

Bachelor in Microengineering, Bachelors in IT and Bachelor in Industrial Design Engineering, as well as numerous postgraduate courses, such as the MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) and CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies)


• Management

Bachelors in Business Economics, Bachelor in IT Management and different post-graduate courses, such as EMBA, MAS and CAS, as well as on-going learning courses.


• Conservation-restoration

Bachelor and Masters in Conservation-restoration, as well as on-going learning courses.


• Health

Bachelors in Nursing Care, as well as other courses, post-graduate MAS and CAS, as well as on-going learning courses.

Other specialist educational institutes and Grandes Ecoles are located close by. To name just a few:

• Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) which, with the University of Lausanne, (UNIL) represents the largest campus in Switzerland with over 25,000 students
• Universities of Bern, Geneva and Fribourg
• Haute Ecole Spécialisée of West Switzerland (HES-SO) trains a network of 30 schools offering Bachelors, Masters and other diplomas in six areas of study
• Haute Ecole Spécialisée of Bern (HES-BE) which trains a network of 5 schools offering Bachelors, Masters and other diplomas in seven areas of study
• University Hospitals of Bern (Insel), Geneva (HUG) and Lausanne (CHUV)
• Management Development Institute (IMD) in Lausanne


Professional training


Numerous practical-based apprenticeships are available in the State of Neuchâtel, carried out within companies and complemented by theory-based training in one of the canton’s 3 professional schools:

 Interregional Centre for Neuchatel Mountain Training (CIFOM)
The CIFOM comprises of 5 different schools offering curricula in various fields: technical, electronics, micro engineering, mechanics, electric, watchmaking and information and IT technology, as well as artistic, commercial, health and social courses. CIFOM is also a skill centre for electrotyping.
• Professional Centre for the Coast of Neuchatel (CPLN)
CPLN holds theoretical courses to apprentices training in various domains – technical lines of work, crafts, commercial, earth and nature, pharmacy – as well as on-going learning courses. CPLN also offers industrial partnerships.

 Professional centre for Building Trades (CPMB)
CPMB offers theory-based training to apprentices as well as practical workshops that complement activities carried out within hosting companies.

At the end of their training course, apprentices gain a Federal Skills Certificate, known as a ‘CFC’. They are then very much sought after by companies as they are immediately operational and benefit from technical training and practical professional experience. The CFC also enables access to the ‘Ecole Supérieure’, which trains specialized personnel with the aim of filling executive posts.