With few exceptions, all Swiss universities of applied sciences currently have training courses in the arts disciplines. The Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK (Zürcher Fachhochschule ZFH) and the Bern University of the Arts HKB (Berner Fachhochschule BFH) offer BA and MA programmes covering several art disciplines. Other art colleges are organisational units of a university of applied sciences with a specific offer in the disciplines of the arts (University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW (FHNW Academy of Art and Design), Haute École Specialisée de Suisse Occidentale HES-SO (Haute École d’Arts Appliqués, HEAD), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), and Scuola Universitaria Professionale Svizzera Italiana SUPSI).
Higher education in the arts in Switzerland has a good international reputation and, according to the Swiss Education Report 2018, a high proportion of foreign degrees in Master’s programmes at Swiss universities of applied sciences are in the field of the arts.
A great emphasis is placed on the important step from education to practice; professional experiences are intertwined with artistic production. On the national level, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is the main organism that sets the tools to encourage, promote, connect and coach artists.
On the long-term agenda of the Federal Office of Culture is the promotion of professional arts education, the formal recognition of artistic professions, and the re-training of artists who are no longer able to practice their art or trade.
According to the Statistics on Culture for the year 2019, Switzerland operates 396 music schools (the large majority being in the German-speaking part of the country). The Zürich Conservatory is the largest one with more than 20 000 inscriptions.