Wednesday, 22 February

European students show solidarity with their Swiss colleagues and call for Switzerland's re-association with Erasmus+.

The European Students Union (ESU) and the Association of Swiss Student Unions (VSS) would like Switzerland to be reassociated with Erasmus+. To this end, they call on the Swiss government and the European Commission to work constructively towards a joint solution. Specifically, institutional issues of the education programme should be dealt with separately, thus safeguarding the interests of students and educational institutions throughout Europe.

Swiss participation is lacking
Adding Switzerland would have advantages for all: Swiss students could participate in the programme again and young Europeans could come to Switzerland. This is because European students cannot currently benefit from the wide range of courses offered by Swiss educational institutions. Moreover, it is difficult to establish meaningful partnerships on a large scale. Switzerland has found another solution, the Swiss European Mobility Programme (SEMP), but according to ESU this is not sufficient. 

Education without borders
Erasmus+ is one of the world's largest funding instruments for stays abroad and institutional cooperation. Participants benefit from, among other things, increased employability after graduation and a boost in foreign language skills and self-confidence. Erasmus+ stands for education beyond national borders.

Negative consequences for Switzerland
Switzerland has not been associated with Erasmus+, European's international education cooperation programme, since 2014. "Switzerland's lack of participation has a negative impact on equal opportunities for young students in Switzerland compared to their European peers," Olivier Tschopp, Director of Movetia, comments on Switzerland's situation: "Between 2014 and 2020, Austria, which is comparably large, participated in 11 times as many projects as Switzerland."