The Swiss government opened scholarship applications for international students wishing to study in the country between 2023 and 2024. Apart from scholars, Swiss scholarships are also open to artists.
Interested individuals have until the last day of this year to apply for the Netherland-sponsored scholarships. According to available information, the Swiss government is ready to fund international students without discriminating against subject or degree level.
Switzerland refers to them as Government Excellence Scholarships, a yearly custom by the Swiss Confederation. They aim to boost research and exchange between the country and more than 180 countries. A special commission must grill each application. The 2023-2024 scholarships seek to attract young masters or Ph.D. international researchers. The bar for artists is lower since the minimum qualification is a bachelor’s degree.
Apart from studying abroad, beneficiaries of the Excellence Scholarships receive a complete package. This includes tuition fees, health insurance, and stipends, among others. The fund also covers airfare and housing allowance in its quest to attract the best international artists and researchers.
If you want to be Funded, You Must Relocate to Switzerland.
However, successful candidates must be ready to relocate to the Swiss country during their studies. Note that research funds can also cover study at various Swiss universities and government-controlled institutes of technology. Rules guiding the scholarships dictate that the winning application must be among those whose applicants are suggested by “an academic mentor” in any qualifying higher education institutes.
For art-inclined international students, the Swiss Government Art Scholarships’ rules dictate that they must be looking to pursue their first degree in Switzerland. Qualifying arts students study in Swiss universities specializing in arts. Despite its low entry requirements, only a few countries are on the list of supported countries.
To qualify for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, one must showcase a premium research project for free for researchers looking to further their studies in Switzerland. Artists must also present original high-quality work in their field. The commission also assesses an applicant’s profile and possibilities of working together in the future.
More than showcasing exemplary work in their field, they also need to communicate in languages used during study or research, have a clearly-defined research proposal, be ready to put in all the hours required, and relocate to Switzerland for the time of the sponsored study.
International applicants not eligible for the Swiss government excellence grant include those who have stayed in the host country for over 24 months since the beginning of the scholarship and previous beneficiaries. Lastly, an applicant must have a letter from the academic host professor.
A Letter from your Host Professor is a Precondition that makes or Breaks Your Application.
The letter must outline why the professor is vested in the applicant’s journey to further their studies. Note that the professor supervises their scholarship research project or Ph.D. project. This is a precondition, and anyone wishing to apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship must make separate plans to get the support letter.
Applicants must find a host professor on their own. The letter is among the most critical documents to have for consideration since its presence or absence draws the line between acceptance and rejection. After compiling the required documents, applicants engage with the Swiss embassy in their native country.
The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships have deadlines that differ according to different countries. The countries are spread across six continents. Critical documents required during the applications process are:
- A certified medical certificate.
- A certified application form for the Swiss applications’ evaluating commission.
- A short CV of the host academic professor.
- A short motivation letter.
- A full CV.
- A certified research proposal.
- Details of your academic mentor in your home country.
- Copies of certificates from previous institutions of higher learning.
Other documents are copies of an applicant’s data as seen on their passport and recommendation letters from two professors in your field.
All scholarships commence in September and fall into categories such as not prolongable and prolongable. Research fellowships and postdoctoral scholarships fall in the not prolongable section while PhD and Arts scholarships are prolongable. Not prolongable means a student has 12 months to complete their studies under the scholarship.
Prolongable or Not Prolongable Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
On the other hand, prolongable means that the completion date is set at one year with an allowance to extend it to three years. However, the extension is capped at 12-month intervals and depends on the milestones achieved during the previous 12 months. The student and the host professor will fund further studies for prolonged types of scholarships if it goes beyond 36 months. Prolongable arts scholarships have an initial 12 months and a possibility to push it further to 21 months. The extension hinges on performance and the type of program.
Ph.D., research fellowship, and postdoctoral students can study in 14 institutions of higher learning such as the University of Basel, University of Lucerne, University of Zurich, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. Postdoctoral and Research fellowships can find a home in an additional nine institutions, including Bern University of Applied Sciences and Universities of teacher education.
Art students under the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships will likely find a home in eight institutes of higher learning, including the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland and Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana. While the Swiss government requires beneficiaries to relocate to Switzerland and even pays for all expenses, including house allowance and health insurance, the grant doesn’t cover family allowance in case you relocate with your loved ones.