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The Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) within the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER is the federal government's specialised agency for national and international matters concerning education, research and innovation policy.
Numerous public and private stakeholders contribute to Switzerland’s federally structured system of education, research and innovation (ERI). They are responsible for performance, funding, legislation and strategic management.
The Confederation is responsible for managing and funding Switzerland’s two federal institutes of technology (ETH in Zurich and EPF in Lausanne) as well as the affiliated research institutes within the FIT Domain. In addition, it is responsible for regulating and co-funding Swiss universities of applied sciences (UAS), upper-secondary level vocational education and training (VET), tertiary-level professional education and training (PET) and continuing education and training (CET). It also contributes funding to cantonal universities. The Confederation's remit includes the provision of funding for research grants awarded on a competitive basis, the promotion of innovation and the pursuit of international cooperation in the areas of education, research and innovation. It also provides funding to the cantons to be used for scholarships. Within the Swiss education system, the Confederation and the cantons coordinate their efforts and manage joint education projects.
As the Confederation’s specialised agency for the ERI system, SERI has the following remit:
- Establishing a strategic overview of the Swiss education, research and innovation system and preparing federal performance and resource plans.
- Pursuing international networking activities and ensuring that Switzerland remains involved in European and global education, research and innovation efforts.
- Fostering a broad and diverse range of education opportunities, ensuring that academic and vocational/professional pathways remain fully equivalent and compatible with one another.
- Maintaining and improving the quality and appeal of vocational/professional pathways in keeping with changes taking place on the labour market.
- Safeguarding the high quality of teaching and research at higher education institutions.
- Encouraging research and innovation, coordinating tasks and measures of federal research funding institutions.
- Encouraging and coordinating Swiss space research activities.
SERI pursues its remit in consultation with the cantons, professional organisations, higher education institutions and bodies as well as with other stakeholders involved in the promotion of research and innovation. SERI is responsible for relations with national and international authorities and institutions. It also represents the Confederation at national and international forums. In addition, it is the national contact point for the recognition of foreign VET, PET or UAS qualifications, handling coordination between the various agencies involved. It is responsible for recognition of baccalaureates issued by cantonal baccalaureate schools. Finally, it works to ensure the comparability of VET and PET qualifications at both the national and international level.
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