Although the number of first-year students in STEM subjects has developed positively (the number of entrants in computer science, for example, has more than doubled in the past ten years), Switzerland continues to lack engineers and computer scientists in particular.
For a resource-poor country like Switzerland, education, research and innovation are key prerequisites for remaining internationally competitive in the future. International networking with leading researchers worldwide is of outstanding importance for Switzerland as a centre of science. Since 2007, almost 9,000 Swiss project participations have been funded through the EU Framework Programme. Of these, Swiss researchers have led 2,200 projects. The research agreement brings added value of around CHF 2 billion per year to Switzerland as a research location. In globally networked research, access to international research programmes is central and ensuring Swiss participation in Horizon Europe must be a top priority.
The integration of Swiss universities into the European research landscape must be ensured in the future too, for example through participation in the Horizon 2020 programme that will run until the end of 2020. By 2019, Switzerland had been granted more than CHF 1 billion for Horizon 2020 projects from the European research fund and more than 600 European bursaries had been awarded to researchers in Switzerland. The universities in Switzerland will be at a clear competitive disadvantage if they cannot participate in the follow-on programme from Horizon 2020.