On January 24, 2024, the Swiss Federal Council announced that in 2025, ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) will face a budget cut of 100 million Swiss francs due to budgetary adjustments. Prior to this, in June 2023, the Federal Council had disclosed in the BFI (Education, Research, and Innovation) message that during this period, an average nominal growth rate of 2.0 percent is envisaged for the entire BFI sector, with the expected inflation only partially being offset. The growth rates for universities are expected to be even lower. Realistically, due to anticipated inflation, zero or negative growth may even be possible.
In concrete terms, this implies that the ETH sector will no longer be able to provide its services for education, research, and innovation to the required extent from 2025 onwards and will need to undergo downsizing.
What does VSETH say to this?
VSETH is concerned that the study situation will deteriorate, particularly affecting the quality of education.
In the realm of teaching, the resources are already barely sufficient due to the significant growth in the student population in recent years, making it challenging to maintain educational quality. Sustaining the quality of education can only be achieved with increased investments in faculty, educational development, and infrastructure, especially in the face of continued growth in student numbers.
Given the ongoing shortage of skilled professionals, especially in the field of highly qualified engineers and scientists, both ETH institutions play a crucial role. If the quality of education declines, future generations of students may contribute less in the job market, impacting the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the Swiss economy.
It is evident to us that short-term cost-cutting measures in the field of education and research will have long-term consequences for the entire country.