Liechtenstein does not possess any natural resources, so education is the key to success. The constitution stipulates that the state is responsible for schooling. Education, research and science are important investments in the future in order to secure the innovative strength of the economy, state and society.
The education system in Liechtenstein is based on the model found in German-speaking countries, with neighbouring Switzerland and Austria having a particularly strong influence on structure and content. Liechtenstein has its own primary and secondary schools as well as a series of further education colleges and a vocational high school. The five-year primary school is followed by secondary school that lasts four years. There are three different types of secondary school: Oberschule, Realschule and Gymnasium.
Dual vocational education forms an important pillar of schooling in Liechtenstein. Pupils receive on-the-job training as apprentices in a company and also attend lessons at a vocational school. While Liechtenstein has enough companies offering apprenticeships for around 80 different professions, the schooling takes place in a vocational school in Switzerland.
The countrys higher education system reflects the needs of businesses based in Liechtenstein. The University of Liechtenstein specialises in architecture, economics, entrepreneurship, financial services and business IT, and many of its institutes were developed in collaboration with private companies.
As well as the University of Liechtenstein, there are three other higher-education institutions focusing on different fields: the International Academy of Philosophy (IAP), the Liechtenstein Institute (carrying out research into Liechtenstein-specific topics) and the Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Private University offers study programmes and PhD programmes in medical science and law.