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Immigration Restriction Mobility and Swiss Education

From ICEF Monitor:

 Swiss immigration vote already impacting education.  Last month, Swiss voters narrowly backed a referendum proposal for strict controls on immigration from the European Union. The final count showed that 50.3% voted in favour of the “Against Mass Immigration” proposal that sought “to limit immigration [and] set quotas for permits issued to foreigners and asylum seekers.”

The referendum proposal was advanced by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party and reflects growing popular concern about immigration in Switzerland.

As BBC News recently reported, roughly a quarter of Switzerland’s population of eight million is foreign….

….The national debate is reflected in Swiss education as well, where concerns have been growing over how to fund spaces for a rising number of foreign students in the country’s universities….

…“On 13 February the European Students’ Union, or ESU, together with the national union of students in Switzerland, called for education and research to be protected from the results of the poll and for the country to continue collaboration in developing a European Higher Education Area.

‘Switzerland is on a slippery slope of isolating its students and academics from the outside world. This could have devastating effects that would be difficult to reverse,’ said Elisabeth Gehrke, vice-chair of the ESU.

The concerns of higher education leaders, academics and students appear to have been trumped by a ‘guillotine clause’ in agreements between the EU and Switzerland that makes all of them conditional on the free movement of people.”

…. It is possible as well that other political actors in Switzerland, the Swiss Social Democrat party in particular, may call for a second referendum if the country’s agreements with the EU are cancelled – in effect, inviting the Swiss people to vote on whether they want to implement the results of the previous referendum or retain the country’s current bilateral relationship with the EU.

Much depends on how the forthcoming Swiss legislation takes shape and observers in Switzerland and across Europe are keenly watching for further developments.’


More of the xenophobic sentiment infecting right wing politics internationally, apparently due to ‘concern’ about immigration and population growth, what about funding their system, and those Swiss who want and need outward mobility?




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