Scholarships for foreign students in Switzerland

In a special allocation programme, the Swiss government, through the Federal Commission for Schol-arships for Foreign Students (FCS) is offering 15 – 20 scholarships for students from Central and East-ern Europe for the 2009-2010 academic year. These scholarships are intended for postgraduate stu-dents (those who have a school-leaving diploma from a university/college).

Through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), the Swiss Government grants foreign students university scholarships (Swiss universities, Federal Institutes of Technology). These scholarships are offered on the basis of reciprocity (fixed number of scholarships for each country) or within the frame of a scholarship pool (scholarships without fixed distribution by country). They are intended for students who have graduated from university (postgraduates) and who, by staying in Switzerland, will be able to further their education and to undertake research work in the fields in which the Swiss universities are particularly active.

To a limited extent, scholarships are also offered for postgraduate studies at the Universities of Applied Sciences. This applies to the group of Western (AP-1) and Central and Eastern European countries (AP-2) included in the scholarship pool. Students must have graduated from a university or university of applied sciences with at least a Bachelor Degree and enrol in Switzerland for studies at post-graduate level. This offer applies for the seven universities of applied sciences, not including teaching colleges. In the field of the arts (design/music), the conditions for arts students relating to the country offer apply (see below).

This program is valid only for studies in Switzerland. It is not valid for on-the-job studies, part-time studies or correspondence courses.

In the framework of a special allocation, scholarships for advanced arts students (without fixed distribution by country) are offered to the best applicants who are already at an advanced stage of their training. This offer is restricted to those countries which are listed under AR, AP-1 and BR-1 as well as to China and Russia.

The scholarships are offered in principle to foreign governments. The applications have to be submitted for a preliminary selection to the national institution in charge and the Swiss diplomatic representation in the student’s country of origin. The Swiss diplomatic representation will thereupon forward the pre-selected applications to the FCS for definitive selection. Finally the Federal Department of Home Affairs awards scholarships on the advice of the FCS.

As part of a special allocation, the Swiss Government provides a number of additional scholarships to postgraduates from Central and Eastern European countries (pool system, no fixed number of scholarships for each country). The conditions are described in a special notice.

Offer of scholarships 2009/2010 according to country groups

A+ Priority Countries
Brazil, Chile, China, India, Ivory Coast, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania
A European and non-european industrial countries
AR Program based on direct reciprocity
AR-1/2 Western European countries
Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey
AR-3 Non-European industrialized countries
Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, USA
AP Program based on a pool system
AP-1 Western European countries / Countries from the European Union EU
Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
AP-2 Central and Eastern European Countries except EU countries (Special allocation)
Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine
B Non-european developing countries
BR Program based on direct reciprocity
BR-1 Non-European developing countries
BP Program based on a pool system
BP-1 African countries
Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia.
BP-2 Asian countries
Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, North Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
BP-3 Latin American countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay.
C Scholarships for Art students
All the countries mentioned under AR, AP-1 and BR-1 as well as China and Russia.

Relevant countries and range of scholarships

University scholarships are granted to candidates from both industrial and developing countries. The offer of scholarships from universities of applied sciences applies to students from European countries in the framework of the pool system. Arts scholarships are limited to countries offering reciprocal scholarship programmes.

Countries which have received scholarship offers for the 2009/2010 academic year are listed below according to country group. The detailed conditions for scholarships vary accordingto the country group. to countries listed under AR, AP-1 and BR-1 as well as to China and Russia.

Unless otherwise mentioned, the conditions mentioned below apply to all groups.

Study location

In principle, the recipients can study at any Swiss university or Federal Institute of Technology and the universities of applied sciences. For fine arts and music, scholarship holders can attend the respective public schools and conservatories.

Duration of scholarship

The duration of the scholarship is for the nine-month academic year.

The scholarships for students of country group AR and AP as a rule cannot be renewed, except for postgraduate diplomas or Masters which last 2 years at the most (3 or 4 semesters). This rule is also applicable for fine arts and music (country group C).

Scholarships for students at universities and the Federal Institutes of Technology (country group B) may in principle be renewed for a second year at the most, provided that the academic results justify it, the extension is necessary, the university and the delegate of the FCS support it, and only if there is no other agreement with the responsible authorities of the host country. Only exceptionally and after a year of probation, the recipient may be granted an extension of the scholarship to undertake a doctorate. There are no scholarships available for undergraduate studies.

Scholarship amount

The scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of

  • Sfr. 1’920.- per month for postgraduate students
  • Sfr. 1’920.- per month for fine arts and music students
  • Sfr. 1’700.- per month for students who do not yet have a degree from a university/college  (the B.A. and the B.Sc. degrees are not always recognized as university degrees). For the moment, we do not any offer scholarship for undergraduate study.
  • Sfr. 1’600.- per month for the language course.

Deadline: December 15, 2008 providing the embassy has not set an earlier date.

Further Scholarship Information

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