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Eurogates

Switzerland: Universities and scholarships

27 December 2008, 00:00

Despite a continuous rise in student numbers, Switzerland's universities have not as yet had to restrict admissions to studies other than to those in medical subjects. Based on the number of applicants for these subjects, a decision is taken from year to year as to whether an entry examination needs to be held for Swiss students

Despite a continuous rise in student numbers, Switzerland's universities have not as yet had to restrict admissions to studies other than to those in medical subjects. Based on the number of applicants for these subjects, a decision is taken from year to year as to whether an entry examination needs to be held for Swiss students. Therefore, apart from a few special exceptions, foreign students are not admitted to medical studies.

Types of Universities

Currently, Switzerland has 12 recognised traditional universities (10 cantonal universities and 2 federal institutes of technology), 8 universities of applied sciences, 14 universities of teacher education, and further university-level institutions supported by the Confederation. The institutions supported by the Confederation are principally the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID)), the Graduate Institute for Advanced Public Administration (Institut de hautes études en administration publique (IDHEAP)) in Lausanne, the Graduate Institute Kurt Bösch (Institut universitaire Kurt Bösch (IUKB)) in Sion and the Distance Learning University Switzerland FS-CH.

In addition to the institutions of higher learning named above, there are also a number of private universities and educational institutes in Switzerland. However, the courses and degrees offered at such universities are not recognised here. Among the courses and qualifications offered many are of dubious value, for which reason students are advised to clarify in advance precisely whether such are recognised or not.

Governmental scholarships

The Swiss Government offers scholarships to foreign students and artists on the basis of reciprocity or within the frame of a scholarship pool to several countries. Scholarships are granted to postgraduate candidates from both industrial and developing countries. Candidates should, in the first instance, find out from their own country's authorities whether they are entitled to a governmental scholarship or should approach the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country. Before applying, candidates (who must be under 35 of age and proficient in English, German, French or Italian) should get in touch with a professor or with the responsible service of the program at the chosen Swiss higher education institution in order to get a written confirmation of acceptance.

University scholarships

To find out whether Swiss universities offer scholarships to foreign students, candidates are adviced to check with the mobility centers of the Swiss universities or to visit International Cooperations.

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