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Swiss parliament committee proposes tripling fees for foreign students

As part of the proposal on the promotion of education, research and innovation 2025-2028,
This is a part of the proposal on the promotion of education, research and innovation 2025-2028. Keystone/Cyril Zingaro

New students at Switzerland's Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) universities coming from abroad would have to pay fees three times more expensive. The responsible committee of the House of Representatives took this decision by 21 votes to three, stating this would allow the EPFL to benefit from a higher budget in the coming years.

As part of the proposal on the promotion of education, research and innovation 2025-2028, the Swiss Federal Council is also proposing a reduction of CHF100 million ($110 million) in the contribution to the institute’s domain in 2025.

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In this context, the commission for science, education and culture of the House of Representatives is considering various options, as announced on Friday. It has chosen to increase the fee for foreigners three times higher than Swiss nationals.

A minority group demanded that these fees be increased by three to five times more. Another minority group, however, wants to keep the current measures of the Federal Council, which aims to guarantee access for students who are less well-off. Currently, a semester at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and federal technology institute ETH Zurich costs CHF730.

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Reduction in study fees

In addition, in view of the current budgetary situation, the commission for science, education and culture has decided to reduce the ceiling for spending on international cooperation in the field of education and for grants for foreign students and artists by CHF4 million. A minority is opposed to this decision. While the commission has decided to increase taxes for new foreign students, it is not possible to reduce tuition fees if equal opportunities are to be guaranteed, the minority says.

The House of Representatives will examine the proposal during the first half of the 2024 parliamentary session.

Adapted from French by DeepL/amva

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