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Higher education

Leading universities and colleges | Prerequisites for higher education | University of Neuchâtel | Institute of Microengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (IMT - EPFL) | Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)Haute Ecole Arc | Haute Ecole Pédagogique (Teacher Training College) (HEP-BEJUNE) | International School of Hotel Management (IHTTI) | Other key educational establishments located in the region

Leading universities and colleges


Switzerland consistently ranks in the top listings of international education and training. The country’s polytechnics and universities are the ones most frequently cited, but other major colleges (Hautes Ecoles) are open to students, providing recognized qualifications in at least 45 European countries, in line with the Bologna Process.



Prerequisites for higher education


To enter universities, federal institutes of technology, universities of applied sciences (UAS) and teacher training colleges (HEP), students must provide proof of a Matura or high-school diploma (equivalent to A-Levels certification, in the UK). This certificate is usually acquired after three years of study in high school or college, once compulsory secondary education has been completed.


The canton of Neuchâtel has 3 high-schools, or ‘lycées’

Lycée Jean-Piaget, Neuchatel

Matura French or bilingual French-German


Lycée Denis de Rougemont, Neuchatel and Fleurier
Matura French or bilingual French-English


Lycée Blaise-Cendrars, La Chaux-de-Fonds

Matura French, bilingual French-German or bilingual French-English

Students can also apply to a University of Applied Sciences (HES) if they hold a specialized Matura or high-school diploma as proof that they hold a certificate of general education. The Lycée Jean-Piaget - which includes the Neuchatel School of Economics (NCSE) and the Graduate School Numa-Droz (ESDN) - provides specialized Matura diplomas, as well as professional commercial Matura. These colleges offer programmes in French or in French and English.



For those wishing to go on to further education, the main universities based in or near Neuchâtel are:


University of Neuchâtel


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.


Neuchâtel 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.



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


Located on two sites, in Neuchâtel 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



Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)


With nearly 8,000 students, faculty and staff of about 120 nationalities, EPFL is one of the most cosmopolitan technical universities in the world. Located in Lausanne, 40 minutes from the city of Neuchâtel, it is home to seven faculties:

• Science and Technology Engineering (STI)
• College of Management of Technology (CDM)
• Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC)
• Basic Sciences (SB)
• Computing and Communications Sciences (I & C)
• Life Sciences (SV)
• College of Humanities (CDH)

EPFL offers 13 Bachelor courses and 22 Masters degrees. In addition, the Graduate School enables doctoral students in the same discipline to work within a community that goes far beyond their laboratory.


Combining ongoing basic research and engineering, EPFL offers unique conditions that encourage cross-disciplinary research. With more than 350 laboratories and research groups on campus, EPFL is one of the most innovative and productive institutions in the world for science; it ranks among the top 3 in Europe, and in the top 20 rankings for science, internationally.



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:

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)



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.


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


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


 Haute Ecole Pédagogique (Teacher Training College) (HEP-BEJUNE)


With sites in Biel, Porrentruy and La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Haute Ecole Pédagogique or teacher training college in Bern (BE), Jura (JU), and Neuchâtel (NE), (HEP-BEJUNE) trains future teachers for primary, secondary schools and high schools or colleges as well as in special education. It also provides professional career training, development into educational research and various educational resources in its mediatheques.



International School of Hotel Management (IHTTI)


The International School of Hotel Management Neuchatel IHTTI is a leading private hotel school in Switzerland and provides an ideal foundation and framework for studies in Hotel Management, Hospitality Management and Design Management. It offers courses in English over 1 to 3 years and degrees (notably Bachelor and PGD) that hold are highly regarded at an international level.



Other key educational establishments located in the region (50 to 125 km) include:

• The Universities of Bern, Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg
• The University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
   which forms a network of 30 schools offering Bachelors, Masters and
   other degrees in six fields of study
• The Bern University of Applied Sciences (HES-BE) that forms a network
   of five schools offering Bachelors, Masters and other degrees in seven fields of study
• The University Hospital of Berne (Insel), Geneva (HUG) and Lausanne (CHUV)
• The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva
• The Swiss Finance Institute in Geneva
• The Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne
• The High School of Applied Arts in Lausanne (ECAL)
• The Lausanne Hotel School (EHL) and Geneva Hotel School (EHG)
• Les Roches-Gruyère University of Applied Sciences (LRG) in Glion and Bulle
• The International Institute of Management and Technology (IIMT), Fribourg