US slack as Swiss profit

February 25, 2005

A rise in the number of foreign students enrolling at Swiss universities could in part be due to tightened visa restrictions in the US.

Seventeen per cent of the student body in Switzerland is made up of foreign students, a higher proportion than any other European country and second only to Australia worldwide.

For mainstream Swiss universities, enrolment rose to 21.4 per cent in 2003-04, compared with 20 per cent in 2001. Postgraduate students from outside Switzerland have increased from 40 per cent in 2001 to 45.3 per cent in 2003-04.

Half the foreigners come from neighbouring states. A quarter come from outside Europe.

Tougher requirements for students who wish to study in the US has been cited by administrators as a factor. "This may have contributed," Nivardo Ischi, secretary-general of the Swiss University Conference, said. "But, also, the Bologna Process has set in motion a general campaign of modernisation, internationalisation and efficient service that attracts students from other countries."

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