In Switzerland, protection of the titles of higher education qualifications is determined by the applicable legal bases, which depends on which authority is responsible for the given higher education institution. The protection of the titles of higher education qualifications awarded by cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education is thus determined by cantonal or intercantonal legislation.
The titles of higher education qualifications are subject to different levels of legislative protection. For example, the titles of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and non-formal Master of Applied Sciences (MAS) qualifications awarded by Swiss universities of applied sciences are protected by federal legislation, initially under the Universities of Applied Sciences Act (UASA) and now under the Higher Education Act (HEdA, enacted on 1 January 2015).
Moreover, the Confederation is authorised to enact corresponding federal legislation to protect the titles of qualifications awarded by its own federal institutes. This includes the two federal institutes of technology, i.e. the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport (SFISM). In addition, special professional ordinances have been enacted to confer federal legislative protection of the titles of specific higher education qualifications.