On 13 April 2016, co-president Florian Lippke (University of Fribourg) represented actionuni during a hearing of Science, Education and Culture Committee SECC of the National Council (WBK-N / CSEC-N). The hearing regarded the recently released federal message on education, research and innovation policy.
actionuni stressed as its main points:
- to increase the financial growth rate in the message to 3-4% annually
- that if there are budget cuts then not to jeopardize those actions that are aimed at improving career paths for young researchers
- to increase the number of new Tenure Track positions from 40 to 100 new positions per year
- to define concrete actions and indicators for measuring the success of reaching the goal to improve careers for young researchers.
Continue reading actionuni attends hearing of the Science, Education and Culture Committee SECC
Last week, on 6 April, actionuni held its yearly assembly of delegates. Amongst other business, the board was elected, seeing some old and new faces.
Carla Duss (PH Lucerne) and Andrea Tamas (ZHAW) were confirmed as co-presidents; additionally SAR-representative Florian Lippke (University of Fribourg) was elected as co-president. The change to having three instead of two co-presidents was initiated by the board and acknowledges the importance to always represent the three types of universities in Switzerland.
Continue reading New structure of presidency of actionuni
Last week, three members of the board of actionuni were invited to a meeting with the new president of swissuniversities, Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner, the secretary general and vice secretary general of swissuniversities, Dr. Martina Weiss and Dr. Sabine Felder, as well as representatives of VSS and swissfaculty.
We had an open brainstorming about topics that could be of common interest and should therefore be pursued jointly in the future. Moreover, we addressed the issue that actionuni is not represented in any of swissuniversities’ commitees .
The following important issues where we prospectively should work together were identified:
- political statements
- commitment for a Switzerlands integration into the European research and innovation area
- exchange about career options for young researchers
The BFI-Botschaft / message FRI / messaggio ERI has been defined on 25 February 2016 by the Federal Council. According to the government, in the next four years investments in research and education shall grow 2%, which is significantly less than in the previous period. This is stated in the federal message on education, research and innovation policy for the years 2017-2010 (BFI-Botschaft), which was passed on 24th February. Back in November 2015, in the course of the stabilisation programm for the national finances 2017-2019 which is currently being negotiated, growth in investments had already been reduced from 3.2 to 2.2 %. According to a response by swissuniversities, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the ETHs and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences this puts the role of Switzerland in the area of research, education and innovation into jeopardy at a moment in time in which the country threatens to lose its access to European research programmes. The total budget projected for research and education amounts to 26 billion CHF. Continue reading The federal message on education, research and innovation policy has been published
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Two years after the vote on immigration restriction, the Swiss Institutions of Higher Education warn against the consequences of the enforcement initiative, which will come to the vote on 28th February 2016. They publish a joint declaration dedicated to keeping Switzerland in the centre of a European environment of research and education.
swissuniversities warns against the dire consequences for Swiss education and research if the EU, in a worst case scenario, should make use of their option to cancel all bilateral agreements at once – among them the one that ensures scientific and technological cooperation. This would mean the definitive exclusion of Switzerland from the Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ programmes. Continue reading actionuni warns against admission of the “Durchsetzungsinitiative”
In November 2015, a delegation of the board of actionuni met with representatives of SNSF. The very positive exchange focused on:
- the impact of financial austerity in Switzerland on the funding of research,
- access of researchers of Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities of Teacher Education to SNSF funding,
- the future of academic careers,
- permeability of SNSF funded and University funded career paths,
- conditions of employment non-professorial academic staff
- academic independence of non-professorial academic staff
- funding of interdisciplinary research of non-professorial academic staff, and
- the flexibility of SNSF-instruments for researcher with families.
In its November meeting, the board welcomed Dr. Martina Weiss, secretary general of swissuniversities. Mutual presentations and a discussion about a future institutionalized dialogue between actionuni and swissuniversities were the main points covered.
actionuni welcomes the changes which aim at improving good governance. However, we question whether it is a good move to increase study fees for foreign students in the context of the currently open questions between Switzerland and the EU with respect to the free movement of people.
The board of actionuni sent a delegation to the SNSF “Panel on Academic Careers in Science” wich was held in Bern on 21 October 2015. Actionuni representative to the Schweizerische Hochschulkonferenz SHK, Dr. Ruth Lyck from the University of Berne, participated in the panel discussion.