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Students call for one grant for all

The Association of Swiss Students has launched a people’s initiative calling for all those in higher education to receive the same grant, no matter where they live.

Currently those studying receive financial support from the cantons, and the amounts and conditions vary, the association argues.

At the launch of the initiative in Bern on Tuesday, members unveiled a huge wheel of fortune sporting the cantonal coats of arms, which they said symbolised how the present system was “a lottery”.

Gaining a higher education qualification still depends very much on students’ background and their parents’ income, said the group. Cantonal grants differed in terms of amount, conditions for receiving them, and length, it said.

The students want the government to centralise the grant system for all those going on to higher education after school or an apprenticeship.

This funding should afford students a “minimum living standard”, with the amount being fixed by law, they say.

The association has until 2012 to collect 100,000 signatures to make the initiative valid. and agencies

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