How they work

As a result of federalism, the autonomy granted and the distribution of responsibilities between political authorities and universities vary according to canton.

The organisation of the universities is complex insofar as they are structured into faculties, which are subdivided into research and teaching units and administrative services. Administrative units are also attached to the rectorate/management/. There are also various authorities and commissions, some of which are independent.

University policy, research and teaching are thus defined in different places that do not have the same competences. Generally speaking, the main thrust of university policy and the management of the institution are the responsibility of the central bodies (rectorate/ management). The organisation of teaching and research is the responsibility of the faculties, which must however respect the general framework determined at a central level. Certain matters are also debated and decided upon at research unit level.