An interim solution to the halt of Erasmus + has been given the all clear by the Federal Council at a meeting this week in Bern. In an announcement likely to be welcomed by academia, students and business alike, the Federal Council has agreed that costs of implementing an interim solution to maintain key elements of Erasmus + will be met from the budget of CHF 22.7m originally earmarked for the Erasmus+ programme. This temporary fix does not provide the full range of opportunities offered by Erasmus+. However, according to a government statement, “It ensures that Swiss participants enjoy as much continuity as possible until such time as Switzerland can again become an associate country in Erasmus+.”
Exchange programmes will be given priority, with 89% of the available funding going to fund this area. This means that the share of the budget dedicated to other projects is much lower than the amount allocated to full association to Erasmus+. The country will now set its own criteria regarding the projects to be funded and will award funds only to “excellent projects which meet the education policy objectives set by the Confederation and the cantons.”
The Federal Council has made it clear that it wishes Switzerland to regain full associate country status. The government also aims to re-establish its association to the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The Federal Council will draw up an interim solution on this issue at a later stage, once the situation with the EU has been clarified.