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).
In consultation with Eurodoc, Actionuni participated in a public consultation on how EU funds should be used in the areas of investment, research &innovation, SMEs and the single market.
We highlighted in particular the importance of a full funding of EU research programs and asked the EU to:
- Increase budget of FP9
- Support Open Science for researchers
- Support career development of researchers
- Fund research into mental health of researchers
You’ll find our complete answers here (PDF)
It is not very common for actionuni providing a voting recommendation on political topics which do not concern the scientific staff at first sight. But since the no-billag initiative does have direct and indirect influence on higher education institutes and the scientific staff, actionuni clearly recommends voting no in the upcoming no-billag initiative, as (inter alia) the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the fh-zh do.
Further arguments as well as a profound statement can be found here.
actionuni has given feedback to the proposed financing scheme within the HFKG. For Universities of Applied Sciences, the model 85/15 is preferred unanimously, implying a moderate shift towards giving research a higher importance. Among the members of the universities, no clear consent was reached which financing model should be used.
A second feedback was requested regarding the topic of a simplified second accreditation process for universities, which have passed a first accreditation without obligations. actionuni supports the position of the Swiss Accreditation Council to postpone the decision whether and how a simplified accreditation process should be implemented until 2019 once more experience about the new accreditation system has been gathered.
Antwort Vernehmlassung Finanzierung HFKG
Antwort Vernehmlassung Vereinfachte Akkreditierung
Das SBFI schlägt eine Revision der “Verordnung über die Ergänzungsprüfung für die Zulassung von Inhaberinnen und Inhabern eines eidgenössischen Berufsmaturitätszeugnisses zu den universitären Hochschulen” vor, die es neu auch Inhaberinnen und Inhabern einer gesamtschweizerisch anerkannten Fachmaturität den Zugang zu den universitären Hochschulen ermöglicht.
actionuni begrüsst die vorgeschlagene Ergänzung.
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:
- Increase the financial growth rate in the message to 3-4% annually
- Not to jeopardize those actions that are aimed at improving career paths for young researchers if there are budget cuts
- Increase the number of new Tenure Track positions from 40 to 100 new positions per year
- Definition of concrete actions and indicators for measuring the success of reaching the goal of improving careers for young researchers.
A position paper to support Florian Lippke’s presentation was developed by the board:
BFI-Botschaft 2017-2020_Position Mittelbau_WBK-N 13-04-16_d
Message FRI 2017-2020_Positions Corps intermédiaire_CSEC-N 13-04-16_f
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.