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Elite Swiss university plans to limit places for foreign students

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Between 2010 and 2023, the number of bachelor's and master's students at EPFL grew from 5,283 to 10,894. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) is planning to introduce a limit of 3,000 places for first-year bachelor's degrees from 2025.

The entry limit is scheduled to last for four years and is potentially renewable. It would affect students with foreign high school leaving certificates wanting to apply to EPFL. A consultation has been launched.

“Thanks to its teaching and research excellence, EPFL has become a university of choice, especially for high-school graduates in other countries. However, the growing size of our student body is putting a strain on the quality of the education we can provide,” stated a press release on Monday.

All graduates with a Swiss school leaving certificate (Maturité) would be admitted without restriction, as required by law, as would those repeating their first year. Any places remaining would then be allocated to applicants with foreign high school leaving certificates, ranked in descending order of their secondary school leaving grades.

In twelve years, the number of students has more than doubled: from 5,283 bachelor’s and master’s students in 2010, the EPFL welcomed 10,894 in 2023.

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