Employers must make informed decisions on how to best create or amend their education mobility policies. What should the company pay for? It is critical to have accurate, local data for HR to decide what subsidies will be given to expatriates. This custom research provides HR with the necessary data to make policy on whether families go to local, non-fee charging, schools or whether the company should subsidize private preschools or K-12 education. Expertise includes comparative analysis of international curricula to determine the best options for repatriation or localization.
Case Study: Geneva, Switzerland
Challenge: Subsidy Policies
An international company relocates employees from various countries into Geneva, Switzerland. How can the HR department decide if children of localizing staff should be put in public and free schools, or whether to pay for private international schools? The Swiss system presents a very high level of academic rigor to those students who can master the specific canton language and be successful in the strict tracking, or streaming, system: university vs. vocational.
- Swiss school system is very structured and there is strict, early tracking of students
- Language of school instruction is in French
- Is there a best age for children to enter public system and be successful?
The company was trying to determine whether the English speaking staff they were relocating permanently to Geneva, Switzerland be provided with permanent private international school for their children. A student must enter this system at an early to middle secondary school grade in order to be successful in testing and placement. There is language support for non-native language speakers, but in order to get on university track the student must quickly be academically and linguistically adept. For students who are transitioning to the Swiss public system in the upper secondary level, successful outcomes are less likely. SCI recommendations included: permanent private (English) school placement for students after age 12, French language tutoring for all children and spouses, and awareness needed for special needs students and the fact that the age cut-off of 12 might not be appropriate for those students.