Switzerland has been considered as one of the greatest place to receive higher education in Europe. The country is well-known throughout Europe for the high reputation of its universities and teachers. Although Switzerland is a very expensive study destination, the Swiss government, foundations and other organizations along with Swiss universities has various scholarships and grants to offer to both Swiss and international students who want to study, or are currently studying in Switzerland.
ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland) is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university located in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Like its sister institution EPFL, it is an integral part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain) that is directly subordinate to Switzerland’s Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. The school was founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, serve as a national center of excellence in science and technology and provide a hub for interaction between the scientific community and industry. As one of the best universities in the country as well as in the world, ETH Zürich has been ranked 7th on the QS World University Rankings 2019.
ETH Zürich has their own way to show their support for the students’ studies, especially doctoral students. ETH Zürich does not finance a student’s complete doctoral course with scholarships. Doctoral students at ETH Zürich generally have an employment contract. If the employment contract cannot be extended, they can apply for a scholarship. Scholarships for doctoral students are limited to three months. Requests must be submitted in the form of a letter to the financial aid office.
Further information about sources of research funding can be found at www.vpf.ethz.ch.
EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level. EPFL is widely regarded as a world leading university. the QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL 22nd in the world across all fields in their 2018/2019 ranking.
EPFL offers various scholarships and grants every year to support their studies. Some of the scholarships and grants are available for bachelor and master’s studies, others are for doctoral / PhD studies.
- EPFL Excellence Fellowships
- Grants from the social commission of EPFL
- Cantonal grants
- Grants for Swiss students living abroad
- Grants for foreign students
- Doctorate grants
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
- Scholarships for study abroad
- Private foundations grants
- Scholarship for study trips
University of Zürich
The University of Zürich (UZH), located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy. Currently, the University has 7 faculties with the widest range of subjects and courses of any Swiss higher education institutions. As of 2019, the University of Zürich is globally ranked 78th on the QS World University Rankings.
The University of Zürich provides grants and loans for students who are on a tight budget and whose parental income is low. The University’s student financial aid office organizes it and helps students who have short-term money troubles. It also helps write appeals for financial aid, provide legal information and advice, and offer comprehensive counseling in financial matters.
The grants are available to students admitted to the University of Zürich, whose parents’ taxable income is not higher than CHF 86,000 (the amount increases by CHF 6,000 for each additional child) and their taxable assets are not above CHF 300,000.
University of Geneva
The University of Geneva is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded in 1559 as a theological seminary and law school. It remained focused on theology until the 17th century, when it became a center for Enlightenment scholarship. In 1873, it dropped its religious affiliations and became officially secular. Today, the University of Geneva is one of the largest universities in Switzerland by number of students – with almost 40% of the students come from foreign countries. The University is ranked 108th worldwide on the QS World University Rankings.
Students enrolled at the University of Geneva who are facing a difficult financial situation (personal or family) may benefit from scholarships or ad hoc assistance. These grants are granted either by the University or by private funds. The University of Geneva has a number of permanent funds to award prizes, scholarships or various subsidies to reward the excellence of a job, to support a research project, to develop a project abroad, travel on a business trip, finance the cost of printing a thesis, etc. These are available to members of the faculty, intermediate and student of the University of Geneva.
University of Bern
The University of Bern is a university in the Swiss capital of Bern and was founded in 1834. It is regulated and financed by the Canton of Bern. It is a comprehensive university offering a broad choice of courses and programs in 8 faculties and some 150 institutes. With around 17,900 students, the University of Bern is the third biggest university in Switzerland. It is also ranked 139th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2019.
The Studierendenschaft der Universität Bern (SUB) Social Fund offers its assistance to students at the University of Geneva who are experiencing massive financial difficulties. To cover the most urgent money problems, the Social Fund Commission can raise an amount of up to CHF 5,000 in the form of a one-time scholarship or loan.
There are other funding options to help your study at the University of Bern such as scholarships. Below is a list of scholarships you may want to and be eligible to apply for.
- Swiss Study Foundation: grants for excellent students
- Scholarships Canton of Bern: scholarships for Swiss students
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships: scholarships for international scholars and artists
- Spark of Hope: grants for female international students
- Educationsuisse: scholarships for Swiss expatriates
- SEMP: Erasmus – grants only for exchange students
University of Lausanne
The University of Lausanne (UNIL) in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. The University has about 15,000 students and 3,300 employees studying and working at the University. Approximately 1,500 international students fro 120 countries attend the University, which has a wide curriculum including exchange programs with world-renowned universities. The QS World University Rankings 2019 ranked the University of Lausanne 149th globally.
To ensure the best research conditions at the University of Lausanne, it is vital to be financially covered. Out of many funding options for your studies at Lausanne, one of them is through a personal grant or foundation support such as:
- SwissUniversities Foundations / Grants
- Association of German Foundations
- French Center if Funds and Foundations
- US Foundation
- Fondation pour l’Université de Lausanne
- Fondation Afenduli
- Fondation Agassiz
- Fondation Chuard Schmid
- Fondation Erna Hamburger
- Fondation Herbette
- Fondation Lagonico
- Fondation Maison pour les étudiants
- Fondation Zerili Marimo
- Fonds du Dr. E. Rub
- Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala
- Fondation Brocher
- Fonds des publications de l’UNIL
University of Basel
The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland’s oldest university and among the world’s oldest surviving universities. The University is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher education in the country. The associated Basel University Library is the largest and among the most important libraries in the country. The University hosts 8 faculties, as well as numerous cross-disciplinary subjects and institutes, such as the Biozentrum for biomedical research and the Institute for European Global Studies. The University of Basel is ranked 160th globally according to the QS World University Rankings 2019.
Scholarships from the University are granted by the scholarship committee of the Senate in addition to any cantonal education contributions. The scholarship committee of the Senate grants supplementary scholarships for students enrolled at the University of Basel.
- Scholarship funds from the University
- Solidarity fund (Solifonds) from the student body
- Grant for studying abroad
- Legat Grobe
- Margarete and Walter Lichtenstein Foundation
- Health and Accident Fund
- Refunding of tuition fees
International students should find out what scholarships they are eligible for in their home country.
University of St. Gallen (HSG)
The University of St. Gallen is a research university located in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Established in 1898, it specializes in business administration, economics, law, and international affairs. The University is known as HSG, an abbreviation of its former German name Handels-Hochschule St. Gallen. According to international rankings, the University of St. Gallen is considered one of the world’s leading business schools. Although one of Switzerland’s smallest universities, HSG has the country’s largest faculty for business administration. It is a member of the CEMS and APSIA and is EQUIS and AACSB accredited. Its campus is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Both in Switzerland and in other countries, a wide range of scholarships and loans are available to help students. Scholarships at HSG are paid as a one-off sum, or as ongoing financial support and do not need to be repaid. Provided the requirements are met, as a Swiss citizen you have a legal right to cantonal scholarships. The cantonal scholarship offices are therefore always the first place to contact for Swiss citizens. Search for more information on Swiss scholarships.
Another way to fund your studies is through students loans. Student loans must be repaid after your education has been completed. Typically loans do not bear interest during your studies; interest accrues only after you have completed your degree. Conditions for repayment can vary greatly.
Visit the following pages for more information:
Learn more about the University of St. Gallen at www.unisg.ch.
Université de Fribourg
The University of Fribourg is a university located in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland. The roots of the University can be traced back to 1580, when the notable Jesult Peter Canisius founded the College Saint-Michel in the city of Fribourg. In 1763, an Academy of law was founded by the state of Fribourg which formed the nucleus of the present Law Faculty. The University of Fribourg was finally created in 1889 by an Act of the parliament of the Swiss Canton of Fribourg. The University is Switzerland’s only bilingual university ad offers full curricula in both French and German, two of Switzerland’s national languages.
There are various scholarships that can help your studies at the University of Fribourg. These include the cantonal scholarships and other scholarships from foundations such as the Ernst-Burri Foundation.
To apply for training assistance, your must contact the cantonal scholarship service of the canton concerned (usually the one in which the applicant’s parents pay their taxes). In the canton of Fribourg, it is the Training Subsidies Service of the Directorate of Public Education, Culture and Sport (DICS). For other cantons, important information about Swiss scholarships is gathered on the portal administered by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Public Education (CDIP).
The Ernst-Burri Foundation can grant training grants to students in need, who are Swiss citizens and whose legal domicile is the canton of Fribourg.
University of Neuchâtel
The University of Neuchâtel is a French-speaking university based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It has four faculties (schools) and more than a dozen institutes, including arts and human sciences, natural sciences, law and economics. The Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, with 2,000 students, is the largest school of those that comprise the University of Neuchâtel. The University of Neuchâtel is one of the country’s and the world’s best universities, having ranked amongst the top 500 universities worldwide according to the Times Higher Education 2019.
The Social Office at the University of Neuchâtel offers the following types of financial support:
- Point aid: one-time subsidies for students facing temporary economic difficulties. Tuition fees, books, transportation costs and medical expenses can be covered.
- Scholarships: to ensure minimum living conditions for students who are in financial difficulty. Rents, insurance premiums and the cost of food can be supported.
- Mobility grants: for students who have difficulties to finance a stay on the move.
- Loans: a repayable advance for when it seems likely that the student, temporarily experiencing economic difficulties, will obtain in the near future resources that allow him/her to finance his/her studies (e.g. waiting for the payment of the cantonal scholarship).