European Parliament Wants Switzerland to Rejoin Erasmus as Full Member

Switzerland Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News May 09, 2023

Zürich, Switzerland

The European Parliament has backed the calls for Switzerland to rejoin the EU’s €26.2 billion Erasmus+ as a full member, media reports say.

The Culture and Education Committee is looking to introduce an opinion in a Parliament report on EU-Swiss relations, stating that Switzerland’s reintegration to Erasmus would benefit both sides, reports.

Students in Switzerland and other countries, as well as those across Europe, have called for the reintegration of Switzerland to Erasmus, with the Swiss Student Union gathering more than 10,000 signatures in 2020.

During a meeting of the Parliament committee, the Head of the unit for international cooperation at the Commission’s education and culture directorate, Filip Van Depoele told Science Business that the full membership of Switzerland to Erasmus is expected to happen as part of a full package of measures that would further strengthen the relations between the EU and Switzerland.

Earlier this year, the European Students’ Union (ESU) issued a press release that said that the mobility between Europe and other countries of the world must happen, but at the same time, the immediate neighborhood should not be forgotten. The Union stated that students should not be used as “bargaining chips.”

“It is crucial to promote mobility between Europe and the rest of the world without forgetting the immediate neighbourhood: that is why establishing a framework of mobility cooperation Switzerland is paramount, and that needs to be decoupled from non-related political negotiations: students cannot be used as bargaining chips,” the press release reads.

It highlighted the loss of Switzerland due to the lack of participation in Erasmus, saying it has cost the country many projects between 2014 and 2020.

>> Report: Only 15% of University Students From Switzerland Have Completed Studies Abroad

Among the union’s demands was to relaunch the negotiations between the Swiss government and the EU Commission and to find practical solutions to include Switzerland in Erasmus as a full member.

Switzerland left Erasmus+ in 2014 after it voted in favor of an anti-immigration initiative against the free movement with the EU. However, since then, Switzerland remained a partner country in the student exchange program.

Since then, Switzerland has introduced its student exchange program to ensure thousands of students can pursue their studies abroad.

Last year, university and business leaders called on the Swiss government to take steps towards full participation of Switzerland in the EU’s most crucial research and innovation program, Horizon Europe, by the end of the year.

>> European Universities Join “Stick to Science” Movement, Call for Rapid Association of UK & Switzerland to Horizon Europe

Related News

people in Zurich, Switzerland

Is Switzerland becoming the new higher education hub for international students? Although the country may still need to become one of the top ten host destinations for international students, official data show that it has been appealing to an increasing number of students over the last few years.


Apr 19, 2024

Zürich, Switzerland

Switzerland is dealing with a shortage of qualified workers in several sectors, mainly due to the aging population, and recruiting skilled workers has become a serious challenge in the country.


Aug 25, 2023

Zürich, Switzerland

Federal institutes of technology in Switzerland are considering limiting international student enrollment and changing their admission criteria, including a new grade requirement, local media reported. Students from abroad might soon be required to earn a certain grade to be eligible for enrollment.


Feb 28, 2023