The federal government has formally recognised the southern Italian-speaking canton of Ticino as a university canton.
The government's move, announced on Wednesday, will permit Ticino to take part in decision-making processes, currently reserved to the country's eight other cantons which have universities.
The decision is also expected to lead to an increase in government subsidies to the university of Ticino.
The university, which has three faculties - architecture, communications and economic sciences - was established in 1996.
Eight other cantons in Switzerland have universities. They are: Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchatel, St Gallen, Vaud and Zurich.
swissinfo with agencies