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Foundation Council gains more members

SWITCH is adapting its structures in line with new legislation and increasing the size of its Foundation Council.

Text: Anja Eigenmann, published on 13.06.2016

The university landscape has changed since the SWITCH foundation was set up to promote innovative ICT for the benefit of education and research almost 30 years ago. New universities have been created in Ticino and Lucerne, and specialised universities have been introduced for applied sciences and teacher education. On top of this, the new Federal Act on the Funding and Coordination of the Higher Education Sector came into force on 1 January 2015. It is intended to ensure competitiveness and high standards of quality in Swiss higher education, and it explicitly covers the Federal Institutes of Technology, the cantonal universities, the universities of applied sciences, the universities of teacher education and other tertiary institutions.

While SWITCH has continually adapted to changing circumstances in the past, its activities have always been focused on the traditional universities. The new law means that the composition of the Foundation Council must be updated because the universities of applied sciences and teacher education have up to now been underrepresented.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Foundation Council of 22 March 2016, there was a majority vote in favour of increasing the number of members from 31 to 38. The number of representatives from universities of applied sciences has been increased from three to seven, while the number from universities of teacher education has been increased from one to two. In addition, the libraries and the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) now have one representative each.

The following new Foundation Committee members were elected at the same extraordinary meeting:

  • Dr Axel Marion, swissuniversities
  • Didier Rey, EPFL

Other members include

  • Peter Kofmel, swissuniversities / chamber of universities of applied sciences (Chairman of the Foundation Council)
  • Torsten Braun, University of Bern (Vice-Chairman of the Foundation Council)
  • Mario Gay, Università della Svizzera italiana

At the ordinary meeting of the Foundation Council on 9 June 2016, the institutions concerned announced the additional representatives under the new representation rules. The overview (see document) lists all of the Foundation Council members and highlights those who are new.

Teaser: The University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland’s Muttenz campus (Artist's impression for pool architekten, Zurich by maaars, Zurich.)
About the author
Anja   Eigenmann

Anja Eigenmann

Anja Eigenmann has worked at SWITCH since 2012 and is currently an editor for online and print media. She trained as a journalist and later completed a Master of Advanced Studies in Business Communications. She has previously been an editor-in-chief and consultant, among other things, and has led a course in online content writing.

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