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Old 02.08.2011, 15:04
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Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Swiss universities complain for years about the rising number of foreign students. http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/22107837
Now the federal council of universities has discussed what measures they could legally take without breaking international agreements and what measures they should take.

The number one measure we are most likely going to see in the near future: universities are allowed to limit the percentage of international students; The University of St. Gallen does so already. ETH Zurich is currently planning to do so.

Maybe it is just me, but I find this highly bizarre. I studied at a German university with a fairly local horizon and actually PAID A LOT to study my last year abroad in an international environment.

I can fully understand that the cantons don't want to pay the bills for international students - I see no problem to raise the tution. But capping the percentage of foreign students at 25%?!
I wonder where the top research universities of this world would be if they'd do so...
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:41
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

The article also states that the CRUS does not recommend to cap the number of foreign students. If there's a programme with a low capacity there would be the possibility to refuse foreigners and take swiss students instead. Something I find understandable.

And an environment with 25% foreign students is already pretty international in my view.
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:58
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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If there's a programme with a low capacity there would be the possibility to refuse foreigners and take swiss students instead. Something I find understandable.
ANY decent university has more applications than places. Not only in Switzerland - everywhere.

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And an environment with 25% foreign students is already pretty international in my view.
If the ETHZ really would do the same, it does not even match the population average of Zurich! So even without an influx of international students would the here living foreigners... never mind.
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Old 02.08.2011, 16:09
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Coming from a country where student reservations have impaired the higher education system. A true center of learning should not segregate students on their background than their merit.
I may be getting ahead of myself by this: Imagine Einstein being refused admission to ETH due to a cap on the student limit?
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Old 02.08.2011, 16:09
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Doesn't it somewhat depend on what the university is trying to do and what its objectives are?

If a teaching institution designed to churn out the next generation of workers, then I could understand why they want to focus teaching efforts on the "locals".

If a research institution, then they wouldn't want to limit their student intake.

That said, it doesn't take into account the teaching fees for foreign students, which are often far in excess of those for "nationals".

Also, is this for graduates or post-grads?

Finally, I've also rarely come across university bodies expressing a desire to cap the number of foreign students - usually this comes from political groups.
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Old 02.08.2011, 16:18
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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Doesn't it somewhat depend on what the university is trying to do and what its objectives are?

If a teaching institution designed to churn out the next generation of workers, then I could understand why they want to focus teaching efforts on the "locals".

If a research institution, then they wouldn't want to limit their student intake.

That said, it doesn't take into account the teaching fees for foreign students, which are often far in excess of those for "nationals".

Alos, is this for graduates or post-grads?

Finally, I've also rarely come across university bodies expressing a desire to cap the number of foreign students - usually this comes from political groups.
Fully agree.

But this time:
- it's the universities themselves, not some SVP campaign.
- we are talking about the ETH Z and the university of St. Gallen; Not exactly "workers" schools.
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Old 02.08.2011, 16:45
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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- it's the universities themselves, not some SVP campaign.
- we are talking about the ETH Z and the university of St. Gallen; Not exactly "workers" schools.
With this kind of strategy they will probably soon turn to "workers" schools. I wish them best of luck in their endeavours..
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Old 02.08.2011, 16:55
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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With this kind of strategy they will probably soon turn to "workers" schools. I wish them best of luck in their endeavours..
+1 this post will be too short
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:02
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Am guessing these limits will apply to Bachelors level courses, and for the more popular Masters courses.

If ETH or EPFL were to try and limit Phd admissions of foreign students to 25 percent, they would have to virtually decimate their research activity.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:07
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Are they capping all foreign students or will they concentrate on those coming form the EU?

The cap for St Gallen is 25% which means that Einsteins would probably get in. the only problem is that other EU countries may not like the cap and claim reciprocity agreements.

Compared to the US and even the UK fees are so low. I think that even an OU Masters courses costs more!

8. Costs
Tuition fees per year 2010/2011 (in CHF)

http://www.unisg.ch/en/Studium/Zulas...Gebuehren.aspx
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:22
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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Are they capping all foreign students or will they concentrate on those coming form the EU?
Now what sense would that make? If you cap the number of foreign students to cap the costs the Swiss pay for them it does not matter where they are from.

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Compared to the US and even the UK fees are so low. I think that even an OU Masters courses costs more!
The MBA at St Gallen costs more than one at the Harvard Business School.

http://www.mba.unisg.ch/admissions/f...g-your-mba.php

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/costsummary.html
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:26
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Those of you who are enraged by this: Where do you suggest the Swiss students should go to university if there are that many foreign students? It is not as easy for Swiss residents to get visas to other countries as it may be for you.

Last edited by ThomasT; 02.08.2011 at 17:47.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:28
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It would make a lot more sense to up the preparation local kids get to actually make it to the universities, or their motivation. If outsiders are more likely to make the entrance exams, what does it say about the level of education abroad vs here? Unless, there are schools without academic wavers for entrance exams, etc etc.

A bad move, in my books, but understandable given the late campaigns.

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Those of you who are enraged by this: Where do you suggest the Swiss students should go to university if there are that many foreign students? It is not as easy for Swiss residents to get visas to other countries as it is for you coming here.
Swiss students should go to universities where they qualify. If there are a number of foreign kids that actually make it into the system here because they are prepared well, pay higher tuition, why block them?

And it is not easy for CH residents to get visas as it is for people to come here? I probably just misread that line....
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Last edited by MusicChick; 02.08.2011 at 17:31. Reason: Merging successive posts.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:38
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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The MBA at St Gallen costs more than one at the Harvard Business School.

http://www.mba.unisg.ch/admissions/f...g-your-mba.php

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/costsummary.html
That's a function of the FX rate though more than anything. It's also true for London Business School, but 2 years ago St. Gallen was cheaper. There are definitely no caps on the MBA course. I would go so far as to say that the Swiss are outnumbered by foreigners on it, however I do wonder if the continued strength of the CHF will put more foreigners off applying...
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:39
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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Those of you who are enraged by this: Where do you suggest the Swiss students should go to university if there are that many foreign students? It is not as easy for Swiss residents to get visas to other countries as it is for you coming here.
?

Sorry, come again?

I am from a Schengen country. Swiss students are free to come to study in Germany. Costs nearly nothing and the paper work is minimal - Swiss matura is fully accepted. They can even study in their mother tongue... The problem is not that poor Swiss kids are unfairly treated and kept in their country by evil foreign powers - it is much more the culture here that kids don't want to leave home. My wife used to work at a research institute for graduades and I was shocked how many of the Swiss mid 20s would rather live with their parents and spend their salary on a nice convertible... I'd rather walked and had my own place back then.

When I studied in the Netherlands, the situation was similar - every year did some EU people go there on some ERASMUS EU program but the Dutch were not interested to go abroad. So the Netherlands had the same problem - the ERASMUS program means that the countries easily pay each others exchange students which was in this case an one-way street. So what happened? They stopped the ERASMUS exchange for my school. Fair enough, so I pay. Discriminating students based on nationality instead of their quality is not only bad for the schools academic quality - it would lower the overall experience of the studies that I'd rather study elswhere.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:44
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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It would make a lot more sense to up the preparation local kids get to actually make it to the universities, or their motivation. If outsiders are more likely to make the entrance exams, what does it say about the level of education abroad vs here?
Exactly what entrance exams are we talking about?

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Swiss students should go to universities where they qualify. If there are a number of foreign kids that actually make it into the system here because they are prepared well, pay higher tuition, why block them?
Tuition is the same for local and foreign students.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:45
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

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I probably just misread that line....
Fixed that. I never went to university you see
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:48
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Hm, a colleague's daughter had to do some entrance exams to actually make the finer filter into UniGe, I wondered about entrance exams. So there are none? Is it just Maturite that matters?

I actually do not think this move is supposed to penalize foreign students (even though it will, in the end) but makes me think it should make space for local kids to want to go to university.
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Old 02.08.2011, 17:55
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Are those st gallen tuition prices subsidised by the Kanton? It doesn't seem right to be that cheap, given the overheads you would have for teacher's wages etc here in Switzerland.

Having foreign students pay more for undergraduate tuition would be about as effective as a proposed block imo. Happens in my home country and while its not perfect (they pay full tuition while locals get a subsidised rate), it serves its purpose. I can imagine that if people are committed to wanting to come to a uni in Switzerland (and are accepted), they will pay whatever it takes.
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Old 02.08.2011, 18:08
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Re: Universities allowed to cap the number of foreign students.

Foreign students pay more at home as well (locals don't at home at all), I think it is logical since gov expects no return in investment. The thing is, how does one assess the student is foreign, B permit, C permit, applying from abroad? Somebody who has been here 5 years? Having Swiss Matura as being local, despite the foreign passport? How are they going to implement this idea?
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