Switzerland is planning to raise tuition fees for foreign students at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschulen, or ETH, the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology.
The motion is now being discussed by the Council of States, the higher chamber of swiss parliament.
Now, on average, foreign students pay €2,800 a year, but if the motion is accepted they could be charged up to three times the present levels.On the other hand, the university fees of students whose parents pay tax in Switzerland will have no substantial variations.
Originally, Switzerland’s two ETHs – in Zurich and in Lausanne – decided to double fees for all their students. Then, Swiss Social Democrats member Roger Nordmann proposed inflation-related fee increases for Swiss nationals and higher charge for students coming from abroad. His proposal is based on the idea that foreign students, whose parents do not pay taxes in Switzerland, are not contributing to the funding of higher education.
The European Students’ Union, or ESU, sharply criticizes the measure, warning that the unequal financial treatment will probably have as a consequence a great loss fot the international students community and that the decision will be a backwards step in the creation of a unified European Higher Education Area.