Higher education Scholarships Talent promotion International cooperation

Scholarships as a career booster

What do foreign students do after they have completed their federal scholarship in Switzerland? Where do they work? Do they still maintain contacts with Switzerland?

Authors: Walter Grossenbacher-Mansuy +1
Students in a lecture

Each year, the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to young foreign scholars and artists. This scholarship programme helps to encourage international exchanges and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. Recipients are selected by the awarding body, the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).

In 2023, SERI commissioned Dr David Weibel from the research, analysis and consulting firm w hoch 2 GmbH to conduct a survey among former federal scholarship holders. The results are both pleasing and surprising.

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You were asked by SERI to interview former federal scholarship holders from 1996-2021 about their experiences and their career trajectories after the scholarship. What were the three most important findings in your view?

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Which finding surprised you most personally? 

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The vast majority of respondents felt that the Federal Excellence Scholarship had greatly their professional career. In what way did the scholarship holders benefit?

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And what were the biggest challenges for scholarship holders during their stay in Switzerland?

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Walter Grossenbacher-Mansuy, SERI Head of Unit talent promotion walter.grossenbacher@sbfi.admin.ch +41 58 463 26 75