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Switzerland (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera), officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7,600,000 people in Western Europe with an area of 41,285 km². Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities and de facto capital, while the country's economic centres are its two global cities, Geneva and especially Zürich. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. It is bordered by Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. Switzerland has a long history of neutrality — it has not been at war since 1815 — and hosts many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and one of the U.N.'s two European offices. Switzerland is multilingual and has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The country's formal name is Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft in German, Confédération suisse in French, Confederazione Svizzera in Italian and Confederaziun svizra in Romansh. The establishment of Switzerland is traditionally dated to August 1, 1291; the first of August is the national holiday. The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton has its own constitution, legislature, government and courts. Most of the cantons' legislatures are unicameral parliaments, their size varying between fifty-eight and two hundred seats. A few legislatures are general assemblies known as Landsgemeinden. The cantonal governments consist of either five or seven members, depending on the canton. The Swiss Federal Constitution declares the cantons to be sovereign to the extent their sovereignty is not limited by federal law. The cantons also retain all powers and competencies not delegated to the Confederation by the Constitution. Most significantly, the cantons are responsible for healthcare, welfare, law enforcement and public education; they also retain the power of taxation. The cantonal constitutions determine the degree of autonomy accorded to the municipalities, which varies but almost always includes the power to levy taxes and pass municipal laws. As on the federal level, all cantons provide for direct democracy. Citizens may demand a popular vote to amend the cantonal constitution or laws, or to veto laws or spending bills passed by the parliament.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Switzerland.

Education in Switzerland

For a general description of education in Switzerland see Education:Switzerland.


For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Switzerland.

Quality procedures

Internet in Switzerland

Internet in Education

Copyright law in Switzerland

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Switzerland

In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Switzerland reported having no countrywide OER activity. Those activities that do exist take place on the cantonal or local level. (1)

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives



1. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38

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