Swiss education is one the best in the world. In Switzerland, the higher education at university-level is provided by ten cantonal universities and two federal Institutes of Technology. There are also seven newly established higher education providers known as Fachhochschulen and Advanced Vocational Colleges. These two types of education providers are currently being reformed to meet the global expectations of higher education. Private universities are basically limited within the fields of post-graduate studies.
There is no specific grades requirement for enrolment at university, except for Medicine at the German-speaking universities. Students intending to pursue Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Surveying must meet the national grade requirements that are regulated by the Federal Government.
There are five cantonal universities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland (Basel, Bern, Zurich, Lucerne, St Gallen) and three in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel). Fribourg University is bilingual and therefore the courses are taught both in German and French. Since 1996 there has been a university in Italian-speaking Ticino, with its main base in Lugano. The Federal Institutes of Technology are in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL).
The history of Swiss tertiary education goes back to the 15th century. The oldest university in Switzerland is Basel University, founded in 1460.