Board of EPFL and ETHZ agrees to wait, to review parliament’s bid
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Students at Switzerland’s two federal polytechnic institutions, EPFL in Lausanne and ETHZ in Zurich will not see fees double in 2015, the board for the two said Wednesday 6 March, but fees are nevertheless likely to go up.
The board agreed to hold off on its plan, decided in December 2015, following an initiative submitted by several groups in parliament Tuesday that calls for tuition fees to be based on the tax domicile of the parents and/or student.
The board says it will work with parliament on the “widely supported” initiative, while hoping for speedy action to make a change to current fees.
Students protested the proposed fees increase in November and canton Vaud’s head of education objected to the increase, saying financial obstacles should not prevent students from higher education.
The board, sometimes called the council, has argued that a doubling of fees is necessary to cover costs. The number of students increased by 50 percent between 2004 and 2013. Each student costs the state CHF20,000-40,000, while annual fees are only CHF1,160.
“This has created a new situation for the ETH Board,” it said in a statement Wednesday evening. “It is therefore puts on hold its plan to double fees and will keep a close eye on further developments.”
The initiative would allow domestic fees to be increased only in line with inflation. Foreign students’ fee would be limited to three times the fees for domestic students.