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Radio interview on scholarships

The canton of Zurich is at the end of rankings regarding scholarships. Students sometimes have to wait up to a year for their scholarship, which is a financial burden. The following is an excerpt of the interview by our Co-President Laura Galli.

Radio report Laura Galli (VSUZH) SRF Regionaljournal Zürich Schaffhausen, 14.02.2023

Transcription: Arista Roduner

Pascal Kaiser (SRF presentation): In this ranking, the canton of Zurich is in last place. Nowhere in Switzerland does it take longer for scholarships to be paid out, students sometimes had to wait for a year. The Zurich Department of Education has reacted and almost doubled the staff in the responsible office, but that is not enough. Now there should also be less "paperwork" when applying for scholarships. "That's a good thing," say students at the University of Zurich.

Nina Thöny (SRF journalist): Scholarship applications are piling up in the canton of Zurich. In order to reduce this mountain more quickly, the Director of Education, Silvia Steiner, has already hired considerably more staff. With the current law, however, it remains time-consuming.

Silvia Steiner (Director of Education, Canton of Zurich): We cannot change that if the law remains unchanged. The government council has given me the task of submitting a draft law that speeds up, streamlines and simplifies these processes.

Nina Thöny: It should be less burdensome for the canton to examine such a law and it should be quicker. This is well received by the student association of the University of Zurich, which has put a lot of pressure on it. Co-president Laura Galli is pleased that the Department of Education is reacting.

Laura Galli (Co-President VSUZH): This is definitely an important step in the right direction. However, we will certainly continue to monitor this issue and, if necessary, continue to exert pressure if nothing happens again.

Nina Thöny: It is urgently necessary for the canton to hurry up. A few weeks ago, the association [VSUZH] and others sent an open letter to Silvia Steiner. In it, they demanded that students wait a maximum of 50 days in future for a decision regarding their scholarship. Today, students still drop out of their education because they can no longer afford it.

Laura Galli: We really hope that something will finally happen. We have been waiting for a long time and have received feedback from students who have had trouble and have not received a decision for many months. That definitely has to change.

Nina Thöny: There is still a lot to do. In January [2023], according to the canton's current figures, a student still had to wait four months for an answer, which is almost 120 days. But the canton's target would actually be 50 days. The students' association has therefore found some common ground with Silvia Steiner.

Silvia Steiner: This is too long for me as well. This is reflected in the fact that I initiated intensive personnel measures last summer [2022]. We want to shorten the processing time. I expect that the processing time will be greatly reduced this year and that the situation will improve significantly.

Nina Thöny: Apart from the additional staff, it is now really necessary to change the law. This way, students should get the money they need more quickly.

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Robert Thompson
Robert Thompson
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