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Programmes and projects

Higher education institutions receive federal project contributions (in accordance with Article 59 of the Higher Education Act (HEdA) that enable them to conduct innovative projects – either jointly or individually – that are of Swiss-wide relevance in higher education policy. Half of the funding for the projects and programmes comes from the federal government and half from the higher education institutions.

As part of its planning, swissuniversities proposes the strategic direction of the programmes and projects every four years and applies for funding for them from the Swiss Higher Education Council.

swissuniversities coordinates the larger programmes and distributes the funds, among other things by means of project calls to the institutions eligible for contributions. In the case of smaller projects, one higher education institution assumes the lead role. Below is an overview of past, current and planned programmes and projects.



swissuniversities has applied to the Swiss Higher Education Council for CHF 125 million to support the launch of 13 programmes and projects. The selection process consists of two stages: Following an evaluation of the project ountlines, the Higher Education Council has decided to pursue all 13 programmes and projects further. Project applications are currently being drawn up. The Higher Education Council will make the decision on funding in November 2020. The 13 programmes and projects are:

  • Mobility promotion for doctoral students and further development of the third cycle
  • Cooperation project on study programme reform, Vetsuisse Faculty
  • Swiss Learning Health System
  • Open Science - FAIR Services for Swiss Universities
  • SUDAC 2 - swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network
  • Diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities in the development of higher education institutions
  • Enhancing digital skills in teaching
  • Subject-specific didactics: network consolidation and career development
  • Maintenance and expansion of the national network for promoting education in the STEM subjects – cross-higher-education-institution-type training and further education for teachers
  • Pilot programmes to strengthen the dual competencies profile of young talent at universities of applied sciences and arts (UASAs) and universities of teacher education (UTEs)
  • The Swiss Centre for Islam and Society
  • AGE-INT – Switzerland’s international expertise in 'Innovative solutions for an ageing society
  • Sustainable development at Swiss higher education institutions – student projects (U Change)

As part of the preparation of the project applications 2021-2024, project management teams are provided with a «Diversity Mainstreaming check list» (German/French) in order to make sure that all programmes take into account diversity aspects.


The programmes and projects below are currently under way. Further information on the individual programmes and projects is provided on the relevant project pages.

No.ProjectLead Funding for Projects 2017-2020 (CHF)

Phd programmes and development of third-cylce education
Project proposal (German/French)

swissuniversities 27'000’000
3Strategy to Combat Lack of Qualified Workers in the Healthcare Industry
Project proposal (German)
Berner Fachhochschule 2’999’653
4Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS). A national platform for health systems and services research, policy and practice
Project proposal (German)
Universität Luzern 4'400'000
5Scientific information: Access, processing and sageguarding
Project proposal (German)
swissuniversities 30’000’000
6swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC)
Project proposal
swissuniversities 4’000’000
7Equal opportunity and university development
Project proposal (German)
swissuniversities 12'000'000

Enhancing digital skills in teaching 2019-2020/2021-2024
Project proposal (French)

swissuniversities 2019-2020: 10'000'000
9Development of acadmic skills in subject-specific didactics
Project proposal (German)
swissuniversities 24'000'000
10Development of a National Network to Promote STEM Education – Teacher Training and Further Training for Teachers within all Types fo Higher Education Institutions
Project proposal (German)
FHNW 3'000'000

Pilot programmes to strengthen the dual competencies profile of young talent at universities of applied sciences and arts (UASAs) and universities of teacher education (UTEs)
Project proposal (German)

swissuniversities 7'000'000
12Swiss Centre for Islam and Society
Project proposal (German)
Universität Freiburg 1'600'000
13AGE-NT Age(ing) in Society: National innovation network
Project proposal (German)


14Innovation in Biocatalysis: Toolbox for Sustainable Bio-Based Production
Project proposal (German)
ZHAW 2'000'000
16Proposal and Implementation of a Swiss Research Centre for Barrier-free Communication
Project proposal (German)


18Sustainable Development at Swiss Higher Education Instiutions – Student Projects
Project proposal (German)

Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz





Special Programme: Increasing the number of Medical School Graduates
Report (German/French)

swissuniversities und beteiligte Hochschulen






The Swiss University Conference supported ten programmes and nine projects during this period (in accordance with the Federal Act on Aid to Universities (UFG)).

SUC programmes

No.TitleParticipating institutionsAmount 2013-2016 (CHF)
P-01Doctoral programmesall universities22'917'000
P-02Scientific information: access, processing and safeguardingall universities36'312'000
P-03Research in the humanities and social sciencesall cantonal universities4'368'000
P-04Equal opportunities for women and men at universities / gender studiesall cantonal universities13'740'000 The Swiss Initiative in Systems BiologyUniversities of Basel, Bern, Freiburg, Genève, Neuchâtel, Lausanne, Zürich, EPF Lausanne, ETH Zürich48'775'000
P-06Nano-Tera.chUniversities of Basel, Genève, Neuchâtel, Lausanne, USI, EPF Lausanne, ETH Zürich15'556'000
P-07Sustainable Development in Teaching and Research at Swiss Universitiesall cantonal universities3'927'000
P-08Swiss Public Administration Network SPANUniversities of Bern, Lausanne, USI, IDHEAP4'908'000
P-09Swiss School of Public Health SPPH+Universities of Basel, Bern, Genève, Neuchâtel, Lausanne, Zürich, USI6'871'000
P-10Konsolidierung von Lehre und Forschung im Bereich medizinische Grundversorgung / HausarztmedizinUniversities of Basel, Bern, Genève, Lausanne, Zürich3'000'000

Joint projects and innovation projects

No.TitleParticipating institutionsAmount 2013-2016 (CHF)
KIP 02Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental PhysicsUniversität Bern (Leading House)1'987'000
KIP 03Centre du droit des migrationsUniversities of Neuchâtel (Leading House), Bern, Fribourg2'000'000
KIP 04Center for Religion, Economy and PoliticsUniversities of Luzern (Leading House), Basel, Freiburg, Lausanne, Zürich2'000'000
KIP 05Swiss Earth Observatory Network SEONUniversities of Zürich (Leading House), Basel, Freiburg, Lausanne, ETH Zürich1'500'000
KIP 06Center for Advanced Surface Analysis CASAUniversities of Lausanne (Leading House), Genève, EPF Lausanne2'000'000
KIP 07A Swiss Plaform for Advanced Scientific Computing PASCUSI (Leading House), all universities12'000'000
KIP 08Swiss Non-Human Primate Research Competence CenterUniversities of Freiburg (Leading House), Zürich1'400'000
KIP 12Centre de compétence en sciences du sportUniversities of Lausanne (Leading House), Genève4'000'000
KIP 18Platforms for translational research in medicine (SwissTransMed) Universities of Bern (Leading House), Basel, Genève, Lausanne, Zürich, ETH Zürich, EPF Lausanne7'000'000