The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three basic levels: Primary (8 years), Secondary (5 or 6 years) and Higher Education which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate levels.
The higher education system in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, the colleges of education and private, independent colleges. The institutions which fall within the first three groupings are autonomous and self governing, but substantially state funded. Education has been a key factor in making Ireland one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the past decade.
“Cooperative Education” involves placement of students in employment relevant to their Degree programmes for six or eight months during their undergraduate studies. Some Institutions in Ireland adopts this model as an integral part of the academic programme.
In Switzerland, most children go to public schools. Private schools usually are expensive and people tend to think that students of private schools probably didn't make it at the public school. Public schools include Kindergarten, Volksschule (elementary school), Gymnasium (secondary school) and Universitäten (universities).
School: In Switzerland, every child must attend at least the elementary school. Our country provides various schools at different levels. Because the cantons are responsible for the educational system, the names, the subjects, the starting age of the students and the duration vary significantly between the cantons.
Kindergarten: Children may attend Kindergarten for one year or two years.
Volksschule (Elementary school): The Volksschule (elementary school) is mandatory for all Swiss children. They must either attend the public school or must go to a private school. Elementary school starts at the age of seven and lasts at least eight, but usually nine years.
Berufslehre (Apprenticeship): In Switzerland, most kids start a Berufslehre (apprenticeship) after elementary school. Depending on the profession, an apprenticeship takes two to four years. Apprenticeships include all kinds of professions, from handicraft (mechanician, carpenter, baker, hairdresser etc.) to office worker (secretary, book-keeper, IT specialist etc.).
Gymnasium (Secondary school): There are various types of Gymnasia (secondary schools) with different emphasis and major subjects.
There are eleven Universitäten (universities) in Switzerland, nine of them are run by a canton, two are run by the confederation. In general, the universities run by the cantons provide non-technical subjects, whereas the universities run by the confederation provide technical subjects. The later are therefore called "Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology".
The education is now broken up into two parts similar to the education in the USA:
After a successful completion of the masters study, one can start working on a thesis in order to get a doctor title. This takes usually three to four years.
Fachhochschulen (Technical college): After an apprenticeship, a young person can still start an academic career. Depending on the profession, she or he may attend a Fachhochschule (technical college). A technical college provides a similar education as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology but not to the same extend. While an engineer ETH (graduate of one of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology) has a stronger theoretical background, an engineer FH (graduate of one of the technical colleges) usually has more practical experience because she or he had finished an apprenticeship which lasted four years. The study lasts three and a half years.
International degree programmes are designed to attract international students. They are well structured and based on working in small groups and include intensive guidance. The language of instruction is mainly English. The range of study opportunities cover Bachelor's, Master's and PhD level. One will find full range of about 650 international degree programmes offered in various disciplines, especially in engineering, natural sciences, computer sciences, business, economics, arts, commerce, etc.
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