Student unions are calling for the nationwide introduction of minimum grants for undergraduates at the country’s 12 universities and 50 higher education colleges.This content was published on May 11, 2010 - 13:27
The Association of Swiss Students said it would begin to collect the necessary signatures to force the federal authorities to take a leading role in defining grants and streamlining the regulations in the country’s 26 cantons.
Cantons are largely autonomous on education matters.
The number of young Swiss going to a university or college is about 50 per cent lower than in other highly industrialised countries, as supporters pointed out at a news conference on Tuesday.
About 14 per cent of students in Switzerland presently receive state grants – one of the lowest rates in Europe, according to Dominique Arlettaz of Lausanne University.
Last year several cantons agreed to streamline grants at a level of at least SFr16,000 ($14,410) per year.
However, the students association says this is insufficient given the high costs of living in Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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