Switzerland has 12 doctoral degree-granting research universities offering a wide range of educational opportunities to international students. Out of these, the two Federal Institutes of Technology are world leaders in science and engineering education and research.
Apart from these, applied education programmes are offered by the seven universities of applied sciences and the 15 teacher training colleges. While the aim of the doctoral degree-granting universities is teaching and basic research, universities of applied sciences and teacher education place a stronger emphasis on knowledge that can be transferred to industry and economy as well as applied research and development.
All these institutions are largely publicly funded.
Cost of education
Swiss tuition fees are comparatively low with higher education being publicly funded. Most Swiss universities charge between US$ 800-1,200 per academic year. The living expenses are between CHF 18,000- 28,000 per year (depending on the location of the university and personal demands).
Switzerland has for long been a preferred destination for students to pursue their education in hotel management. It has specialised institutes in the areas of international affairs, public administration, finance and hotel management as well.
According to Mattia Celio, Science and Technology Consellor, Embassy of Switzerland, "The past few years have seen students going to the country to study sciences especially in disciplines such as biotechnology, photochemistry, biomedical engineering, material science and nanotechnology. Language studies is another popular area of study."
Over 500 Indian students were enrolled in Swiss Universities for Bachelor's, Master's and research programmes as of December 2008 (excluding those pursuing their education at the private schools).
Scholarships, living expenses
Through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), the Swiss Government grants foreign students scholarships to pursue their higher education (Master's, PhD or post-doctoral) at Swiss universities. This opportunity is also offered to Indian students.
The living expenses may range from US$ 14,000-23,000 per year, depending upon the location and individual requirements. For foreign students, the number of weekly work hours is generally limited to 15, but this depends on the canton (in Geneva, for example, you can work up to 30 hours per week).
Notwithstanding this, studies in Swiss universities are very demanding in time and require dedication. Thus students do not generally have time for work alongside their studies. As far as visa formalities are concerned, students can get more information by visiting www.eda.admin.ch/newdelhi.
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