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Five big news stories from Switzerland you need to know about this week

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Five big news stories from Switzerland you need to know about this week
Will it still be a knife without the blade? Photo by Maciej Karoń on Unsplash

Problems on the horizon with summer train travel, and tuition fees for foreign students are among the Swiss news The Local reported this week. You can catch up on everything in this weekly roundup.

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Some foreign students at Swiss universities benefit from government support

While international students must pay higher tuition than their Swiss counterparts in most of the country’s public universities, this is not the case in two polytechnic institutes.

At ETH in Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, the fees are the same for all students, regardless of their nationality.

The reason, the two institutions say, is because some graduates of these top-notch universities are expected to “remain after graduation and contribute to Switzerland’s prosperity”.

READ ALSO: Why does Switzerland subsidise fees only for some international students?

Has Geneva lost its reputation as centre of diplomacy?

Although the Swiss city has hosted various international conferences and high-level summits for decades, and a number of historic agreements have been reached there, the question asked by some is whether Geneva can maintain its image as a "peace city".

There are concerns that this reputation is being tarnished by Russian officials, who claim that Switzerland is an "openly hostile country” because it adopted an anti-Kremlin attitude in the aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

READ ALSO: Can Geneva still claim to be the 'capital of peace'? 

Swiss students demonstrate in support of Gaza

Following in the footsteps of colleges in the United States and elsewhere, students at several Swiss universities – two in Lausanne, one in Geneva, and one in Zurich – have mobilised this week in support of Palestine.

They are calling for their universities to cut ties with Israeli institutions, and to encourage the admission of Palestinian students.

It is not known at this point whether the universities will comply with these demands.

READ ALSO: Pro-Palestinian student protests spread in Switzerland 

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Swiss army knife is going ‘blade-less’

The iconic sharp pocket knife that has become synonymous with the Swiss military – and Switzerland in general – is about to become a little less sharp.

That’s because the knife’s manufacturer, Victorinox, is working on a model without a blade – a knife without an actual knife.

The increasing safety regulations around the world have prompted the company to make this drastic change.

“The blade creates a weapon image in some markets,” company CEO Carl Elsener said in an interview, pointing out that about 80 percent of knives produced by Victorinox are exported. 
 
READ ALSO: How the iconic Swiss army knife will change its look

Foreign trains will not be reliable in summer

If you are planning to travel abroad by train this summer, your trip may take longer than usual – or not happen at all.

That’s because numerous railroad maintenance sites disrupt rail traffic in foreign countries, delaying international trains, and sometimes even cancelling them altogether.

All of Switzerland’s neighbours – Italy, France, Germany, and Austria – will be affected by these disruptions, making train travel problematic in the midst of summer holidays.

READ ALSO: Why you should not rely on trains to and from Switzerland this summer main

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And if you would like to focus on the lighter side of news, don't miss the article which weighs in on the hot-button topic of whether Switzerland really exists ... or whether it is one huge scam and a conspiracy.

READ ALSO: Does Switzerland really exist?
 

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