Yes to the Grant Initiative – Students: Indirect Counter-Proposal not Satisfying

Press release of VSS-UNES-USU from the 14.12.2014Today, the General Assembly of the Swiss Students’ Union VSS-UNES-USU decided, without opposition, to not withdraw its Grant Initiative. The initiative demands that the 26 cantonal grant schemes be harmonized. Today, they are very different from each other, and in effect, every canton has its own, distinct rules in the access to grants. That is unfair.

Today’s cantonal grant schemes are unfair because, for example, a student from the Canton of Nidwalden has a much smaller chance to receive a grant and gets a much smaller one than her colleage from the canton of Vaud, even if they both study at the same university and their family are both equally poor. Previously, the Swiss parliament has voted in favor of a counter-proposal. A counter-proposal is a bill that will only turn into law when either the corresponding people’s initiative is withdrawn or loses at the polls.

This counter-project cannot solve the issue of the unfair access to grants. It only gives some basic laws to the cantons that regulate which groups of persons can receive grants (e.g. which foreigners, up until which age). The unfair differences between the cantons, however, will not be touched by it.
That is why the General Assembly of VSS-UNES-USU has, without opposition, decided to uphold the Grant Initiative. The nearly 100 present students cannot see any advantages of the counter-proposal. On the contrary: only the Grant Initiative gives Switzerland a chance for a fair grant scheme.