Institutes asked to disclose sponsorship links
After a sponsorship deal between the University of Zurich and UBS drew attention to the private funding of state-run universities, now Switzerland’s two federal technical colleges are in the spotlight.
On Wednesday, the data protection commissioner recommended that the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) publish all of their sponsorship contracts in addition to registers containing any links between teaching staff and sponsors.
The institutes have 20 days to release the documents. If they do not, an appeal could be lodged.
The data protection commissioner was responding to an information request by a science journalist at the Zurich-based Wochenzeitung weekly.
The journalist had already obtained the publication of the sponsorship contract between the University of Zurich and Swiss bank UBS. The CHF100 million ($112 million) deal funds five university chairs and the creation of a “UBS International Centre of Economics in Society” at the UZH economics department.
Between 1995 and 2010 the total annual amount donated by private donors to state-run universities rose from CHF470 million to CHF1 billion, but remained stable as an overall percentage of the total given to Swiss universities at 14%. This varies considerably from institution to institution from 7-40%.
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