Switzerland to Set Aside Billions of Dollars to Promote Education and Research

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. allocate / ˈæl əˌkeɪt / (v) – to set something aside for a specific use

    The government allocated a huge portion of this year’s budget to the country’s security.

  2. raise the bar / reɪz ðə bɑr / (idiom) – to increase standards or expectations for someone or something

    The band has continued to raise the bar for all other musicians.

  3. vocational / voʊˈkeɪ ʃə nl / (adj) – relating to special skills

    My friend attended vocational school to learn about hairstyling.

  4. land / lænd / (v) – to succeed in getting something

    His impressive resumé landed him a position in one of the country’s top companies.

  5. sector / ˈsɛk tər / (n) – an area or part of something

    The country’s tourism, food, and transportation sectors were badly affected by the disaster.


Read the text below.

The Swiss government will be allocating nearly $29 billion to further promote education and research in the country for the next four years.

Switzerland’s education system is recognized around the world. Recently, seven Swiss universities made it to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. Because of the country’s global reputation, around 20% of its student population is comprised of international students.

To continue raising the bar, the Swiss government will prioritize the funding of its higher education. Aside from focusing on research and innovation, the country will prioritize vocational and professional training.

Most of the funds will be allocated to universities and research institutes, with the former receiving around $17 billion and the latter around $7.2 billion. The country’s Federal Council will also allocate around $4.4 billion to vocational training. This is to help people who have difficulty landing a job acquire basic skills.

According to Education Minister Guy Parmelin [gee PAH-mee-lan], the country has already been successful in promoting education and research. He attributes this success to the strong cooperation between the country’s districts and the national government.  Because of this success, he wants to ensure that Switzerland maintains its status as a global frontrunner in the education, research, and innovation sectors through continuous promotion of them.

Parmelin is also looking forward to collaborating with Brussels with regards to Switzerland’s possible involvement in the European Union’s research and education initiatives.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think allocating nearly $29 billion for education and research is a good move? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, should your country’s government follow in the footsteps of the Swiss government? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you consider your country’s education sector to be globally competitive? Why or why not?
• What are the advantages of graduating from a globally competitive institution? Discuss.