connect, grow & thrive.

Einfach Besser: Financially supported learning

Around 800 000 adults struggle to read and write correctly in Switzerland. The Swiss government wants to tackle the problem of adult illiteracy and lack of basic knowledge in spoken and written language as well as in mathematics and computer skills.

When the new Continuing Education Act (WeBiG) came into force in 2017, the federal government and cantons were given the mandate to fill the gaps in these skills.
They have come up with an ambitious national plan to financially support people wishing to improve their skills. The Allocation of education vouchers worth CHF 500.- should provide financial incentives for people wishing to improve their skills.

For foreigners this mainly means in a first stage being able to attend German conversation classes supported by the government. If their German is good enough they are welcome to attend any of the other classes.

All the courses are in German.

Who can benefit from an education voucher?

All adults wishing to improve their reading and writing, arithmetic or computer skills and meet the following requirements:

  • Age: between 18 and 65 years (in the calendar year 2020 this means the age groups 1955 to 2002)
  • People with an oral level of at least A2 (no proof test required).
  • Adults residing in the canton of Lucerne.
  • Persons who are not in secondary level II education (apprenticeship, bridge program)
  • Not asylum seekers or refugees (who have their own support programme).

What is the procedure?

  • The adults concerned can download the education vouchers from the website or obtain them from course providers and placement staff. Course providers and placement staff (e.g. BIZ, RAV, social services) can obtain pre-printed education vouchers or obtain them from the Vocational and Continuing Education Service.
  • All courses for which the education voucher is valid are published on the
  • Persons concerned can choose a course and register for it either independently or with the support of providers and/or intermediaries. When registering, they must enter the code that appears on the Voucher.
  • The course registration is sent by e-mail to the course provider. This e-mail contains the validation code and detailed instructions for validation in the voucher system.
  • The course provider confirms the course registration to the person concerned.
  • The person concerned attends the course. If 60% of the course lessons have been attended, the course provider can validate the course fees (max. CHF 500) using the validation code in the SVEB voucher system (

How much is a voucher worth?

  • Each voucher is worth 500 francs.
  • The course costs 500 francs or less? Then the course is free of charge for the course participants. The providers will be reimbursed for the actual course costs.
  • The course costs more than 500 francs? Then the course participants must pay the rest themselves.

The vouchers are valid for courses running until the end of 2020. new vouchers will be issued for 2021.

Find out more by going to the website.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.