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Old 20.11.2012, 22:31
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Wait, I thought girls only went to university to find husbands?
That used to be called getting your M.r.s. degree

.....have a brain, don't just marry one.....
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  #62  
Old 21.11.2012, 02:19
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Wait, I thought girls only went to university to find husbands?

Kidding!!

This turn in the thread just made me think of the movie Mona Lisa Smile.
When I worked at IBM, I had a colleague on another team that constantly told me that university definitely lowered a woman's chance of getting married because all that hard work made her less likely to dumb herself down.
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  #63  
Old 21.11.2012, 08:38
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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Interesting turns this thread has taken!

I think the big issue of concern is not about whether the apprenticeship path is a good path - because it obviously works extremely well for many people - but the fact that the university path is ruled out, or at least made more arduous, very early in a students career and based on seemingly arbitrary standards. There are many students who come into their own late in secondary school, for example, and if they decide they want to purse studies in one of the academic fields taught in universities, it will be a tough process.
People tend to forget that apprenticeships are designed to give you a basis from which you can develop your career in postdiploma courses. It might be not as smooth as in the anglosaxon world but it has one big advantage. You get a lot of practice and a very good understanding of the practical necessities of any profession.

There's one other difference to the anglosaxon world. In Switzerland many professions you have to go to college in other countries are built up as an apprenticeship. You find the full list here: http://www.bbt.admin.ch/bvz/grundbil...x.html?lang=de

Compared to the anglosaxon world we are early in selectioning for the Matura. Here in Berne you decide whether yo got to a Quarta when you are 14 or 15 . But where is the point to keep all students at the same level for years, when you have very valuable alternatives like hundreds of different types of apprenticeships?
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Old 23.11.2012, 16:45
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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As for the subject being debated here, I'd very much appreciate seeing more local students get a higher education. It's a constant battle to row against the tide and protect your child (or children) from getting stuck in the "apprenticeship" grind.
oh I think that's well off the mark.
The apprenticeship system/tradition here isn't the UK 'vocational school' nonsense. The training & experience are meaningful & valuable. The kids with 'Lehre' have to work and study hard. It's a brilliant option. But rather than words from people like me, the proof is in the pudding, as others above have pointed out.

I've worked in banking & finance for & with Swiss entities for many years and have met many people in leadership positions who've done apprenticeships. I know a head of investment banking at a top drawer bank whose basic training was a Lehre; head of marketing of a publishing house (Verlag)-also an apprentice. countless examples.

More prosaically, the son of an acquaintance did a Lehre in machine tools and production of precision parts. Now he's doing the BMS (Berufsmittelschule - a profession-linked Matura) and his intention is flight school.

My godson, similar story; a good student who passed the gymi entry exam, but the prospect of 'the academic grind' for the next 4 years (and beyond) turned him right off. These 2 are 20 & 17 respectively and already know what it's like to earn their own wonga, not to mention having developed Swiss-style working habits.
Surely the value of that (to society, to the individuals concerned) can't be overestimated.


If pressed I admit that I still favour the traditional route (Gymi & Uni) but I know that much of that is down to my own lingering cultural bias. My own 2 kids are in gymi although they are very different. my daughter is a natural, one of the army of todays accomplished young women. but my son is there because the propsect of actually working 4 days a week for 4 years turned him right off. In a word, he's a bit lazy (like his Da).

But today kids need more than a wink, a nod & a few lucky breaks & introductions to make it. Despite my cultural bias, I wouldn't have been at all opposed to him doing an apprenticeship. As it is, I insist that gymi is treated like a job and he has to have a few 'Nebenjobs' as well (house & garden work, etc). I can only hope that that helps instill the Swiss work ethic in him..........


the apprenticeship system here is another thing that sets the CH education system apart
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  #65  
Old 23.11.2012, 17:06
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

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If pressed I admit that I still favour the traditional route (Gymi & Uni) but I know that much of that is down to my own lingering cultural bias.

the apprenticeship system here is another thing that sets the CH education system apart
Some good comments there. Just wanted to add that I too went through the Gymi and Uni route and have enjoyed being able to be lazy for a great many years, an apprenticeship would not have suited me. So horses for courses, I don't defend the apprenticeship system because I personally prefer it and have experienced it first hand but because it's obvious merits which are (obviously as we see in this thread) not sufficiently appreciated in the expat community.
It just has to be noted that apprenticeships are anything but an easy way for people who don't like school. Many apprenticeships are probably more challenging than the Gymi/maturité route.
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Old 23.11.2012, 17:59
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Re: More students getting a maturité means more unemployment

I think for expats from Anglo Saxon countries, the thought of our children not making it to university is a scary one, unless it has been decided that Switzerland is home forever. For the vast majority of people in the US, Canada and the UK, finding a good job without a university degree is next to impossible. And past experience is nothing to go by -- the world has changed.

And frankly, unless one parent speaks, reads and writes German to a very high standard, the possibility of getting in and staying in Gymni is fairly remote. Imagine only the top 4 kids in any class being eligible to go. So what to do?

As for the apprentaship program? I just wonder what the Swiss economy will look like in 10 years. The Swiss banking industry is on its knees and many multinationals could be heading for the door as Switzerland faces huge pressure to ammend its taxation (which is what is attracting them in the first place.) Will gardners, secretaries, electricians, salesmen etc... still be earning such a good living if these twin pillars of the economy play less of a role?

Switzerland is amazing a producing high quality goods in various areas -- not just precision instruments - and the apprentaship program is excellent for producing workers who actually know what they are doing before they go on to the next stage of education. But what of the others?
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