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Cambridge Swiss Society

About Cambridge

The small and cosmopolitan city of Cambridge is dominated by the popular historic district, the eponymous river, the wonderful parks and gardens as well as the time-honored colleges. A significant number of the 130'000 residents are affiliated with the University of Cambridge and it is likely to bump into students, postdocs and professors in various places. Because the city is rather small but heavily trafficked, cycling is the means of transportation for most students. Cambridge is located northeast of London which can be reached by train within 50 minutes.

Punters on the River Cam.

The University of Cambridge offers a wide range of world-class educational programmes, both at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level. Besides being part of the wider university, each student is additionally a member of one of the 31 colleges. Colleges differ greatly in terms of location, size, formality, wealth and student body. All of them provide a place for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary interaction and most of them provide student accommodation. There are three women-only colleges and two colleges are restricted to graduate students.

University and College fees

Some students from Switzerland are currently eligible for Home fee status and financial support available to EU students. You need to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for Home fee status and we would recommend you check the guidance set out by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) against your personal circumstances to determine your fee status. The fee status of EU/Swiss nationals for 2018 entry onwards has yet to be determined by the UK government. We would therefore also recommend you regularly check for updates at: www.cam.ac.uk/eu.

Concerning the category "Child of a Swiss National", the UKCISA recommends that the Swiss parent must be exercising a right of residence in the UK. However, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills decided that the institutions are free to choose to follow this interpretation. As of July 2017, the university of Cambridge favors a less restrictive interpretation of the conditions for the category:

The University and the Colleges interpret the current fee regulations slightly differently from the Student Loans Company (SLC) when it comes to assessing the status of applicants where one or other parent is a Swiss national. Noting that this is not the only qualifying criterion, Cambridge (in contrast to the SLC) does not require the relevant parent(s) to be exercising their free movement rights in the UK in order to qualify for the regulated (home/EU) fee. Children of Swiss nationals, however, must still be “ordinarily resident” in the UK immediately prior to commencing the course (which does not include a short holiday before studying), and otherwise meet the other requirements of living in the EEA for the three years before study.

About the Cambridge Swiss Society

The fact that Switzerland is a small country is reflected in a small number of Swiss nationals studying at the University of Cambridge. Over the past six years, on average, only 17 undergraduate and 45 graduate students have had Swiss roots. 2016 marked a new record with exactly 77 Swiss students being enrolled at the University. The Swiss are now representing around 1% of the foreign student population. The graph below shows the trend over the last six years.

Source: Cambridge University Planning and Resource Allocation Office.
Chart: swiss student numbers

However, there are many more academics in Cambridge having a connection to Switzerland. Exchange students, postdocs, research group leaders, visiting scientists and alumni staying in Cambridge add to the diverse pool of Swiss nationals. There are also non-Swiss who are interested in Swiss culture or want to life and work in Switzerland. For all those people the Cambridge Swiss Society provides a platform and gives advises. The society represents the interests of Swiss nationals and focuses on the unique values of Swiss culture.

The Cambridge Swiss Society was founded on the 7th of May 2010 at Trinity College, Cambridge, with participation of 22 guests including the Swiss Embassy.