With their strategic planning, which is carried out quarterly, the rectors and presidents of the Swiss universities jointly set the objectives for their institutions for the coming years and define the corresponding federal funding needs. While the focus of planning for 2004-2007 was on improving the ratio of teachers to students, the emphasis during the period from 2008-2011 was on the further development of doctoral education. Planning for 2012-2016 concentrated on the needs of young researchers who opted for a scientific career – whether it was in the academic area, in the private sector or in administration. For the strategic planning for the period from 2017-2020, the rectors and presidents of Swiss universities will focus on developing junior researchers.
Strategic planning for Swiss universities for the period from 2017-2020 (german, french) was submitted to SUC at the end of 2014. The main priority for CRUS for 2017-2020 is to position Switzerland as a global leader in the area of research. This goal will be achieved by providing researchers with optimal conditions. For this reason, measures will be initiated to develop junior researchers, to provide research infrastructure and to provide access to scientific information. As in the previous round of planning, CRUS is once again taking up the issue of doctoral education in order to consolidate this topic. Compared to the previous planning periods, the period through 2020 is expected to see a slight increase in the number of students. During the period from 2017-2020, CRUS is therefore focussing on an improvement in quality in the area of teaching.
The legal basis for preparing the university planning for SUC by CRUS is the Agreement between the Federal Government and University Cantons on Cooperation in the Area of Higher Education (Art. 13, para. 2(c)). The Agreement, in turn, is based on the University Funding Act (UFA) and the Intercantonal Agreement on University Coordination.