International Mobility in Education


Support for mobility and exchange in education is an important instrument of Swiss education policy. The aim is to enable people of all age groups, but particularly the younger generations, to pursue initial and subsequent training to acquire international, intercultural, linguistic and technical competences. For this reason, the Confederation supports cross-border mobility and exchange programmes in all areas of education. This support serves to complement corresponding joint measures taken by the Confederation and the cantons at national level.

Swiss cooperation with the EU in education and "Swiss solution"

Swiss cooperation with the European Union (EU) in the area of education has been a central and successful element of the Confederation’s international support policy for over thirty years. Swiss participation in the EU’s multi-year education programmes – whether it on a project-per-project basis or through full-fledged participation – has enabled Switzerland to support individual learning mobility as well as cooperation initiatives between Swiss and EU institutions and stakeholders.

Switzerland is currently not associated with the EU's Erasmus+ 2021-2027 education programme. However, it can participate in Erasmus+ activities as a third country and is implementing the "Swiss solution" for this purpose. In this programme, the Confederation mainly funds mobility, exchange and cooperation activities that are compatible with Erasmus+. In addition, the Confederation supports the implementation of some accompanying measures. As part of the interim evaluation of Erasmus+ 2021-2027, Switzerland has submitted a statement (PDF, 163 kB, 20.03.2024) that examines the programme in particular from the perspective of a non-associated third country.

In 2022, the Swiss solution enabled over 16,000 participants from Switzerland and Europe to enrich their education or training by spending time abroad. Overall, the level of participation has increased continuously in recent years - with the exception of a short-term decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding budget for the years 2021-2024 amounts to around 200 million Swiss francs.

The Swiss Foundation for the Promotion of Exchanges and Mobility Movetia is mainly responsible for implementation of the Swiss solution. More complete information about alternative participation conditions can be found on the website of Movetia.

Funded activities

The activities funded as part of the Swiss solution are largely orientated towards the main priorities of Erasmus+ (so-called "key actions"). They are compatible with these, which means that cooperation between Swiss partners and partners from Erasmus+ programme countries is possible. The activities and funding opportunities are open to all institutions in all areas of education (school education, vocational education and training, tertiary level, adult education and extracurricular youth work).

Learning mobility of individuals: The aim of this activity is to support learning across national boundaries as well as the mobility of students, teachers and statt of educational institutions. Standard activities include stays abroad in a partner institution, apprenticeships and traineeships in companies, volunteer work or group exchange options for young people. There are also mobility options for staff such as continuing education and training, as well as teacher exchanges between partner institutions.

Strategic partnerships: The aim of this Key Action is to intensify European cooperation by strengthening strategic partnerships between educational institutions, local or regional authorities, social partners and youth organisations. Activities include class exchange projects, study seminars, cooperation initiatives relating to extracurricular activities as well as innovation transfer for education providers. As a special form of strategic partnerships, the participation of Switzerland in the “European Universities Initiative” is also funded.

As part of the accompanying measures, Switzerland also participates in a number of specialised EU networks for the education sector and implements corresponding instruments. These include the Eurydice information network on education in Europe, the European Qualifications Framework for the improved comparability of vocational qualifications and competences, the Eurodesk information network for young people spending time abroad and the Euroguidance network, which supports internationalisation in vocational, study and career guidance. In the higher education sector, the ENIC/NARIC networks for the mutual recognition of higher education qualifications have proved their worth.

Switzerland’s association with Erasmus+

Switzerland's association with Erasmus+ is the declared goal of the Federal Council. Due to the progress made in regulating general relations between Switzerland and the EU, the next steps are possible, which should lead to Switzerland's association with current EU programmes in the areas of education, research and innovation.


SERI, Gaétan Lagger
Scientific Advisor
EU Education and Youth Programmes
T +41 58 463 26 74