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Old 02.11.2012, 14:11
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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I also wonder if the people with university degrees from countries such as France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, that are being hired in Switzerland today are more employable and competent than would be additional Swiss if the maturité standards were lowered slightly?
Having a degree doesn't necessarily make you more employable. For your first job, yes, as that's all you have to back you up. But over time the value of experience outweighs the value of whatever they taught you at university. Many of the people I work with and who do the same work as I have totally different educations.

In many countries, higher education is a trick to manipulate unemployment statistics. Stick them into university and that keeps them off the job market for a couple of years and makes unemployment appear to be lower than it is. But that's also a waste. At the other end of the age pyramid we are seeing more and more old people, and if you also pinch the young end, that reduces the pool of productive people working to support the others. Switzerland doesn't have serious unemployment problems so doesn't need to create artificial barriers to keep young people off the job market.
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Old 02.11.2012, 14:22
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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According to statistics in a recent Tages Anzeiger article, in Zuerich for example, over 50% of recent german immigrants have a university degree. But only ~10-15% of the local population gets to Matura and University.

It's cheap and risk free to import highly skilled workers when you need them.

It's also unfair as many of the imported highly skilled workers wouldn't have passed the artificially high barrier in CH for getting into the university track.

Funny thing though, their own childs will be subject to local restrictive tracking rules and will therefore likely get a lower degree than their parents!
First of all you should get your facts and figures right before you make statements like above.

1) Germans don't represent the overall immigration to Switzerland.

2) ~ 28% of Germans aged 30-35 have a tertiary education (Bildungsbericht Deutschland, 2011)

3) 27% of school graduates (edit: in Switzerland) in 2004 got a tertiary education (Bildungsperspektiven, Statistik Schweiz) and 21,5% of the overall workforce (25-64) had a tertiary education. The same publication predits that 41-46% of school graduates will get a tertiary degree in 2020.

4) You assume that Germans coming to Switzerland represent the average graduate, I disagree.

5) Germany has a good system, Switzerland has a good system, they are quite similar in many ways and both countries have low youth unemployment.

Conclusion: No.

Last edited by simon_ch; 02.11.2012 at 17:24.
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  #23  
Old 02.11.2012, 14:32
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

I quite like the Swiss system, actually. Besides, I know quite a few people who didn't go to gymnasium but ended up getting a university degree, or even an advanced university degree like a master's, through other routes (combinations of professional schools, integration years, work for a few years then back to school, etc.).

Sure, everyone has the right to education. However, I'd rather have a million times a system like Switzerland than for example my home country, where you have thousands of people who, with the excuse of being university students, stay there 10 years, totally disconnected from the reality of the job market, then come out with 0 marketable skills and 0 job experience, and wonder why they can't find a job.

I also quite like the system I saw in Mexico, where for example in my field, all workers at the entry level were in parallel studying in the university. So work from 9-3pm, then classes in the evening. They got the experience while studying, and basically already a job secured way before graduating from college. It's intense and tiring, but guess what, so is life.

I really hope that Switzerland does not change the system, because it seems (in my opinion) to be working well in terms of less unemployed people and more hands-on work experience in all fields.
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  #24  
Old 02.11.2012, 16:55
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

Switzerland is one the most succesful countries in the world in terms of low unemployment etc. Most of us expats come from countries that have far higher levels of inequality, unemployment, educational and social problems etc, and yet we somehow fail to spot the irony of claiming it would be better if the Swiss copied all the mistakes that are being made in our home countries.

Talk about wearing blinkers.
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Old 02.11.2012, 17:07
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

Sometimes I wonder just what it is that the Swiss do given the number of working foreigners I know...

Going to University is much more than getting a degree, IMO. It is a great time and I wouldn't want my kids to miss out on the experience...but maybe my glasses are still rose colored! Better start saving up now so they can go in the US
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  #26  
Old 02.11.2012, 20:18
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Switzerland is one the most succesful countries in the world in terms of low unemployment etc.
...
Apart that it depends a lot upon the measurement criteria, it's far from being the only one to have low unemployment and a high HDI etc.


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...
Most of us expats come from countries that have far higher levels of inequality, unemployment, educational and social problems etc, ...
...
I would doubt the "most".
The risk I see in statements like yours is that Switzerland suffers a bit from its "Titanic syndrome" e.g. thinking "we are the best" at any cost (which btw in many fields is not true at all and at least risky in its possible consequence of no need to do anything to change for the better, and education is among that).


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...
... and yet we somehow fail to spot the irony of claiming it would be better if the Swiss copied all the mistakes that are being made in our home countries.
...
Why "copy"? Just as a part of a system works there would no need to get any better others that work out less?


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...It's cheap and risk free to import highly skilled workers when you need them.
...
If you can get them (might not always be the case) it's still risky, as you completely rely upon abroad infrastructure. And it's not cheap in all its aspects either, as one of the consequences can be
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...
... unfair as many of the imported highly skilled workers wouldn't have passed the artificially high barrier in CH for getting into the university track.

Funny thing though, their own childs will be subject to local restrictive tracking rules and will therefore likely get a lower degree than their parents!
i.e. exclusion from the high end market of the local labor force, a free ticket entry of salary dumping and other pervert results of such a policy.


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...
I got my Bachelor at the university of applied sciences and my Master at the university - this is possible in Switzerland and this is way better than to just study at the university - at least in my opinion.
OK, but why should that be the only possible way to get a high skilled education, a good job or a reliable personal culture?


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Inflating the quota of University graduates can only be done by lowering the requirements, and what happens when the labour market is flooded by a majority of mediocre academics can be seen in Spain and Portugal, but also France where youth unemployment is dramatic despite the shortage of qualified workers.
I don't understand that point. Apart that Spain and Portugal were fine until the day before yesterday, especially in comparison to their position still 30 years ago, which is at least partially due to their education programs,

why would a less restrictive selective process (e.g. done at the wrong age by mediocre teachers) in Mittelschule and Gymnasium lower University standards (I can only see that not enough qualified teaching labour lowers Swiss standard, in general)?


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Having a degree doesn't necessarily make you more employable.
...
The other way around, experience without expertise doesn't make it either. One does not and should not exclude the other, which is my major criticism with regard to what CH's policy in this matter is.
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  #27  
Old 02.11.2012, 20:32
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

The last thing Switzerland needs is 'Mickey Mouse' degrees à la UK.
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Old 02.11.2012, 22:19
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment



Anyways. Being in the system, and in another one, abroad, I would suggest have kids do as much as they can, both degree and experience-wise if they have the capacity and means. Because, as foreigners, we have no idea what they will once decide to do. Be here or leave for a life elsewhere, why should they be limited, without either a good, solid and versatile degree, or relevant practical experience. You can do both at the same time here, totally doable, the dual system here works well, just a matter of flexibility and commitment.
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Old 02.11.2012, 22:55
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

Agreed, but university is not for everyone. I know so many young people in the UK that have done Degrees not worth the paper they are written on - and who are now unemployed. For most of them, they would have been much better doing a good training in house and climbed the ranks. So many students with Media Studies and poor Design courses, as well as some of the most obscure and useless Degrees.
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Old 02.11.2012, 23:40
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Agreed, but university is not for everyone. I know so many young people in the UK that have done Degrees not worth the paper they are written on - and who are now unemployed. For most of them, they would have been much better doing a good training in house and climbed the ranks. So many students with Media Studies and poor Design courses, as well as some of the most obscure and useless Degrees.
I totally agree that not everyone should go to university, and I am really not suggesting that Switzerland should flood the market with newly-minted Media Studies and Basket-weaving majors.

What I don't understand is why so many people seem to feel passionately that the current percentage of students going to university is the perfect number - if they don't consider it too high. The current percentage seems pretty clearly the result of artificial limits imposed by the canton, and each canton comes up with its own number. Does anyone know what goes into setting these percentages? Are the percentages really that finely tuned?
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Old 03.11.2012, 00:15
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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I totally agree that not everyone should go to university, and I am really not suggesting that Switzerland should flood the market with newly-minted Media Studies and Basket-weaving majors.

What I don't understand is why so many people seem to feel passionately that the current percentage of students going to university is the perfect number - if they don't consider it too high. The current percentage seems pretty clearly the result of artificial limits imposed by the canton, and each canton comes up with its own number. Does anyone know what goes into setting these percentages? Are the percentages really that finely tuned?
I think the majority of the cantons do not have quotas, but it is only the performance of the student that decides about the education (if you have the nesecary marks you can attend the level of schooling you want). You have to keep in mind that many students who would qualify to attend the Kantonsschule, choose not to do so and instead do an apprenticeship, as this is considered the more attractive way by them. The canton Aargau for example would like to increase the percentage of students to attend the Kantosschule, but there are simply not that many students around that are willing to do so.
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Old 03.11.2012, 14:54
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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I totally agree that not everyone should go to university, and I am really not suggesting that Switzerland should flood the market with newly-minted Media Studies and Basket-weaving majors.

What I don't understand is why so many people seem to feel passionately that the current percentage of students going to university is the perfect number - if they don't consider it too high. The current percentage seems pretty clearly the result of artificial limits imposed by the canton, and each canton comes up with its own number. Does anyone know what goes into setting these percentages? Are the percentages really that finely tuned?
No you're right, that is indeed a somewhat arbitrary number. The idea behind it is that they don't want a final primary school final examination that determines whether or not you're ready for Gymnasium but want an overall assessment of "intellectual capacity and curiosity" from the teacher if you like. Only kids with broad interests and high overall marks stand a chance anyway, you need to both good at languages, maths, natural and social sciences, as you can't specialize as early as in other countries. And so far authorities (and probably the the Swiss populate) are convinced that a teacher is better able to make that decision than overzealous parents who would push their kids to pass a standardized test only to fail later on in Gymnasium. I'm not absolutely convinced that the current system is perfect or couldn't be fine-tuned, but an overall change of course (everyone can go who wants to, or whose parents want to rather) would be both unlikely and very counterproductive in my opinion.
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  #33  
Old 03.11.2012, 16:06
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Having a degree doesn't necessarily make you more employable. For your first job, yes, as that's all you have to back you up. But over time the value of experience outweighs the value of whatever they taught you at university. Many of the people I work with and who do the same work as I have totally different educations.

In many countries, higher education is a trick to manipulate unemployment statistics. Stick them into university and that keeps them off the job market for a couple of years and makes unemployment appear to be lower than it is. But that's also a waste. At the other end of the age pyramid we are seeing more and more old people, and if you also pinch the young end, that reduces the pool of productive people working to support the others. Switzerland doesn't have serious unemployment problems so doesn't need to create artificial barriers to keep young people off the job market.
I agree with you on most things but I wonder whether Swiss unemployment rates are always accurate since so many women don't work and so many other women work 20% or something alike.
A coleague of mine once told me that in his primary class were selected for Gymnasium 4 girls, out of whom none went to university later on, but married instead and stayed home..(would also raise the problem of solely teachers recommending the kids for gymnasium, rather than taking a standardized test)
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Old 03.11.2012, 16:15
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Sometimes I wonder just what it is that the Swiss do given the number of working foreigners I know...

Going to University is much more than getting a degree, IMO. It is a great time and I wouldn't want my kids to miss out on the experience...but maybe my glasses are still rose colored! Better start saving up now so they can go in the US
The number of foreign workers here and any link to whether the swiss have university degrees is worthless trying to analyse. The swiss success secret actually has more to with diversity and importing of international ideas. The swiss understand that there are often better ways to do things and that these approaches will typically not be understood by the locals as they probably haven't been exposed to such ideas. As such bringing in international ideas and other ways of thinking is a much faster and assured way to continuous succcess.

I work in an environment where no nation is the best at everything but they are all leaders in certain aspects, the combined effect of all these ideas produces the best. This is why large numbers of foreign workers will and should continue, its a model a number of other countries would be well advised to understand and adopt rather then being scared of external ideas they should embrace them.
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Old 04.11.2012, 16:26
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

36% of the age-relevant population in Switzerland were at universities and UASA (Universities of Applied Sciences) in 2009. The 20% figure is for those attending a traditional, theoretical university only. If you add other tertiary programmes (like PET), the figure rises to 50%. All three can lead to good careers.

Learning Always, I think the cantons reached their percentages of gymnasial maturity (now ranging from 12% to 30%) for different historical reasons, but partly due to cost, as apprenticeships are much cheaper for the cantons than gymnasial schools.

Cantons with universities also pay the main bulk of their cantonal university costs. If the balance changes greatly (e.g. with a 25% increase in intake from 20% to 25% of pupils), there is a large increase in cantonal cost for both gymnasial schools and universities.
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Old 16.11.2012, 12:32
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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That is not correct. Despite the fact that a higher proportion of recent immigrants have a tertiary education than the local population (both Swiss and foreign), a small majority of immigrants still "only" have a secondary education.

And, as others have pointed out, the Swiss economy is simply too big for its population, hence the need for immigration on all professional levels, not just doctors and scientists.

Inflating the quota of University graduates can only be done by lowering the requirements, and what happens when the labour market is flooded by a majority of mediocre academics can be seen in Spain and Portugal, but also France where youth unemployment is dramatic despite the shortage of qualified workers.
I'm completely agree with you.
I will explain my experience, because at the beginning I don't understand the France job market...
I'm Argentinian and the education in my country is different to other in America, but also are different to European.
The education is free.
We spend more years to obtain a degree because we do several work experience mixed with the theorical classes (8 to 10 years around).
Really is very hard to obtain a Engineer Degree, more than EU.
The people think a lot before to start a degree, and also some persons abandon it.
To compare an Argentinian Engineer Degree = Master 2 in France.
The same is in Brasil, but in Brasil they have less years of hand-on experience than Argentine to obtain the engineer degree = Master2 (FR).


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I don't know where you have your numbers from but 56.7% is far off the mark. 12% for BA, 25% for MA, and they want to reduce that number, they are not educating them for the economy, they simply can't discourage the ever increasing number of foreign students who want to study here. It is absolutely not clear in what way secondary education "has not caught up to the real world demands and needs", ask any industry representative and they will completely disagree with you. The opposite is true, they want more qualified, intelligent young people applying for technical (and challenging!) apprenticeships instead of having them all go to University.

If the labour market is any indication a technical apprenticeship in combination with a degree from a University of applied sciences is better paid on average than a regular Uni degree. Universities of applied sciences are also gaining rapidly in popularity, and are increasingly unable to cope with the ever increasing demand.
Could you tell me where find this type of information?
Thanks
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Old 16.11.2012, 12:41
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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I also quite like the system I saw in Mexico, where for example in my field, all workers at the entry level were in parallel studying in the university. So work from 9-3pm, then classes in the evening. They got the experience while studying, and basically already a job secured way before graduating from college. It's intense and tiring, but guess what, so is life.

I really hope that Switzerland does not change the system, because it seems (in my opinion) to be working well in terms of less unemployed people and more hands-on work experience in all fields.
Sorry, so the Swiss system is similar to the Mexico system?
I ask you because I green in Switzerland, but I ear of the Mexico education.
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Old 16.11.2012, 12:54
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Could you tell me where find this type of information?
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Sorry, what information exactly? About the percentage of foreign students or average graduation salaries of different University types?
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Old 16.11.2012, 12:57
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Sorry, what information exactly? About the percentage of foreign students or average graduation salaries of different University types?

About the percentage of foreign students, please.
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Old 16.11.2012, 13:11
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Well, it obviously doesn't produce enough people in certain categories - doctors, computer scientists, etc. - that require university degrees or there wouldn't be so many coming in from other countries.
Neither do UK, USa or Germany.
Germany cannot import top qualified technical graduates because it's not an attractive destination (largely for linguistic reasons and the fact that only 1 German technical institute, I think, is in the global top 30).
UK/USA have crap education systems (compared to the best ie, Finnland, CH, Japan, Korea ..) but are able to attract some of the brightest talent from abroad for societal/lifestyle & linguistic reasons. CH is also in that category, aided by the fact that English is continuing to become lingua franca here in precision engineering & business.

If experience in UK & eg, D is examined you'll conclude that lowering standards cannot be the answer (for different reasons).

In my view one of CH's strengths is that the education system produces graduates with relevant skills. I am a father of kids in Gymi attempting to influence their direction (without appearing to do so, sort of like Freebooter's invisible hand). I had a discussion with other parents recently and the topic of the uni student stikes a few years ago came up. I have strong opinions on that and was making them known (inexpertly, auf D) as well as the fact that the education system is geared to the economy. I asked on couple, one of whose kids has scored an training programme at one of the big banks before attending uni, how they would react if he told them that he'd decidiced to study Taoist philosophy at Fribourg uni (for ex).
they didnt hesitate: we'd say if that's what you really want we'll support you as best we can. I would have difficulty doing that.

personally, I don't want to see CH go the way of UK where too many grads with skills mismatched to the economy are produced (and anyone with a technical/scientific education gets snapped up by financial services) or Germany, where standards have fallen (though remain relatively high) so that exancting employers are forced to look abroad because many technical grads are no longer sufficiently able...

Edcuation is CH's main competitive advantage and it should be guarded preserved & nurtured judicially

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