The education/research/innovation dispatch 2025-2028 (ERI dispatch / “BFI Botschaft” in German / “Message FRI” in French / “Messagio ERI 25-28” in Italian) is the central document of the federal ERI policy, which the Federal Council submits to Parliament for approval every four years. The 2025-28 ERI dispatch (French version/German version/Italian version) contains an assessment of the current funding period (2021-24), defines the priorities, objectives and measures for the new period, and requests the necessary funding (“guarantee credits”) for their implementation. For the first time, the Federal Council has decided to publish an early draft and to put it out for consultation for relevant stakeholders to give feedback on it. The consultation procedure was open from June 2nd to September 24th, 2023.
Because the midlevel staff of Swiss higher education institutions is highly impacted by the ERI dispatch, actionuni wrote a response to the consultation, taking position on the issues most relevant to doctoral students, post-docs and non-professorial scientific employees:
- the budgetary cuts of the ERI dispatch, which we oppose;
- the objectives for higher education institutions, which we salute, but would like to see completed with more attention to representation, to scientific integrity, and to improve research culture;
- international cooperation, which is essential for to quality research – in particular, a quick association to Horizon Europe ;
- academic career and next generation scientists, who need support and career prospects ;
- the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF);
- Equity: diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity, which is rightly identified as a priority, but should be accompanied by concrete measures from all HEIs ;
- open science, which strategy should go hand in hand with guidance and resources for its practical implementation ;
- ESKAS grants for international students, which urgently need to be increased.
You can find our full response below, in French and in English:
Response actionuni ERI Dispatch 25-28
Prise de position d’actionuni sur le message FRI 25-28
Both Eurodoc and our national organisations (NAs) express their full solidarity with the people in Ukraine and fully condemn Russia’s war. Please find all our respective statements, calls for action, and policy papers below.
Martina von Arx and Sophie Girardin, respectively actionuni co-president and actionuni ESKAS delegate, contributed with their own article to the new VSH BUlletin, issued in August. This publication focuses on the dialog between science and society, now more than ever a relevant topic.
Enjoy the VSH August bulletin here
We gladly receive this notification and encourage everyone to check this blog out here
In the authors’ words:
“The blog series assembles contributions by young social scientists, some based in Switzerland, others abroad. The contributions cover a variety of topics ranging from the practical challenges related to conducting transnational fieldwork during COVID-19 to mental health and equal opportunity concerns raised by the pandemic. In the concluding post, we synthesize these findings and compare them to studies with a broader disciplinary scope conducted by the Career Tracker Cohorts Study, the journal nature and the academic publishing house De Gruyter. We also refer to results derived from a survey conducted among the 42 doctoral and PostDoc fellows funded by the nccr – on the move”.
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was published in September 2019 as a follow-up to the first concordate published in 2008. This document is the result of collaborative work including diverse stakeholders with an interest in research and researchER development. Although UK-targeted, it is highly translatable to pretty much all European countries, so we think there may be lots to be inspired by!
In their own words:
” This revised Concordat recognises the critical role of research and innovation in delivering the UK’s ambitious economic and industrial strategies, and aims to set the gold standard in researcher development and use it as a competitive advantage. “
Our partners at Eurodoc contributed to the latest and official publication from Science Europe on Recommendations on Research Assessment processes.
This is guaranteed to be a fascinating read! Hover over the text for all links.
The new law is in effect a legal formalization of policies on cooperation and mobility which are already in place. This topic is clearly central to academic and professional training.
Our main feedback points were the following:
- we recognize the need for the Confederation to be able to manage its programmes more autonomously
- we support the establishment of a national agency with a specific executive mandate concerning the instruments of implementation of the policies presented by the law
- we welcome the opening to non-European educational realities
- we stress the need for the Confederation not to distance itself too much from the cooperation and mobility programmes linked to the European Union.
Read the full letter here (in Italian).
The new law suggests that the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education is being recognized and accredited as a University of Teacher Education.
Our main feedback points were:
- The new law shall include a paragraph on securing the autonomy of the institution.
- Not only EHB will be active in vocational education, but shall do so in synergy with existing offers at existing Universities of Teacher Education.
- A paragraph on proper participation rights for staff and students of EHB must be introduced.
Read the full Vernehmlassungsantwort (German).
Maximilien Stauber, secretary general of ACIDUL, University of Lausanne, got interviewed on the recently released position paper of actionuni.
Maximilien claims that “It’s hard to get into a job if you know that potentially, in a year, or even three years, it will be over. These are unstable and often shifting positions. It is necessary all the time to move, one pushes you to do it for criteria of excellence. It’s complicated to manage.”
Read the full article at RTS (French only).
actionuni has given feedback on the new ETH legislation. Our main points are:
- criticism on the plan to increase the flexibility concerning contract duration for PostDocs and Assistant Professors. A minimum of four years in the first contract should be ensured.
- salary equality within ETH needs to be ensured by the ETH-Rat, also in case of private third party funding.
- professors may be employed beyond retirement age. However, we demand a new (young) professor must be employed nevertheless.
- participation must be ensured and voting rights for delegates of the Hochschulversammlung sustained.
- if a new HR information system is being introduced, data must not be used for any other purposes (e.g. research) without consent of the employees.
- video surveillance data must not be used for other than its intended use.
Read the full Vernehmlassungsantwort (German).