The UK has worked hard to reach agreements with the EU and has now been successful in gaining association to the EU research programmes. This step gives universities in Switzerland hope that the European Union will be able to find solutions for the inclusion of third countries in the still ongoing programme, and that Switzerland's negotiation efforts in Brussels can quickly yield results.
Full association to the EU education and research programmes remains an absolute priority for Swiss universities. Participation in the EU programmes cannot be replaced by various bilateral agreements with individual countries. swissuniversities points out the considerable disadvantages of non-association with the EU programmes not only for Swiss universities but also for Switzerland as a whole. Knowledge and education are among Switzerland's most important resources. If universities are weakened, Switzerland will also lose its attractiveness as a location. It is therefore in the general interest of society to prevent an erosion of the international positioning of Switzerland as a centre of knowledge and education.