Education & research
Studying in Valais
Valais attaches great value to the quality of the courses it offers. Located in the heart of the Alps and at the centre of Europe, the canton has several aces up its sleeve: bilingualism, pleasant living conditions which are conducive to learning and a low cost of living. Infrastructure based on state-of-the-art technology provides the best possible basis for the acquisition of new skills. Valais is an attractive and tranquil region. It is a place where you can pursue your hobbies all year round in the midst of nature.
The Valais campus of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Western Switzerland (Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale – HES-SO) is positioned midway between research, teaching and innovation. As the organisation which symbolises the canton, it offers ten courses of study and consists of five colleges: the College of Engineering, the College of Management and Tourism, the College of Social Work, the College of Health and the College of Design and Art. It awards Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as offering a Master of Science in numerous fields. It also organises continuing education and post-doctoral courses. With its nine research institutes, HES-SO Valais is currently engaged in more than 950 research projects. It attracts 2,300 students every year and has 500 employees.
Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences (Swiss Distance UAS)
Created in 1998, the Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences (Swiss Distance UAS) offers nationally recognised Bachelor and Master's degrees as well as a range of further education courses in economics, information technology, law and health. By allowing students to study anywhere and at their own pace, the Swiss Distance UAS enables students to combine work, family and study.
The Association of Private Schools in Valais (Union Valaisanne des Ecoles Privées – UVEP) represents the main private educational establishments of Valais. The seven member institutions offer a wide range of educational training from primary to tertiary level, with highly qualified teaching staff. Here, students can study in a uniquely inspiring setting and in various languages (French, German, English). The UVEP is a label of excellence for private education in Valais, with establishments playing a complementary role to the state sector. About 4,000 students attend these schools and institutes every year to obtain qualifications recognised in Switzerland and throughout the world.
The Valais campus of the Federal Polytechnic College of Lausanne (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)) represents one of the most important strategic projects for the canton's future. What is at stake here is the creation of an innovative partnership covering the entire value chain, from theoretical research (EPFL) to applied research and development (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) and economic development (The Ark Foundation). The goal is to create a joint campus in Sion uniting eleven faculties of EPFL and the College of Engineering of HES-SO Valais, as well as promoting the exploitation of synergies between the various local research institutions.
Research is conducted in the canton of Valais in a wide variety of scientific fields, ranging from energy, tourism, health, social affairs, management and ICT to biotechnology and industrial systems. The research conducted in Valais has global implications, as well as being a central factor in economic growth and playing a key role in creating highly skilled jobs for the canton's students. In the last resort the canton's research institutes, working together with local small to medium-sized businesses, develop innovative solutions with a high degree of excellence, thus creating significant added value for the Valais economy.