Federal Vocational Baccalaureate – impact of admission requirements

The proportion of Federal Vocational Baccalaureate holders as well as admission regulations to vocational baccalaureate school vary considerably between Swiss cantons. A new publication by the Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training (OBS SFUVET) shows how cantonal admission regulations influence the likelihood of learners entering or completing vocational baccalaureate school.

One-fourth of all learners enrolled in a VET programme in Switzerland combine their VET training with a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB). However, there are considerable differences between cantons. Generally speaking, the FVB is aimed at high-achieving students who can handle the requirements of FVB-school and of their (potential) future studies at a university of applied sciences. 
Most cantons focus on performance criteria to select students for FVB school. The cantons are largely free to decide which selection criteria they use for admission. Depending on the canton and type of FVB, the prerequisites may include a compulsory entrance exam, a certain grade point average, a teacher recommendation, a preparatory course or an admission interview.

Admission requirements have an impact on FVB ratios

A new publication by the Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training (OBS SFUVET), now shows that admission regulations have an impact on the likelihood of entering FVB school. Compulsory entrance exams reduce the chances of pursuing a vocational baccalaureate most, particularly among aapprentices with lower socio-economic status. Compulsory entrance exams are also associated with lower completion rates. These findings suggest that educational opportunities are co-determined by the canton of residence - regardless of individual performance.