Private funding and its dangers to academia: an experience in Switzerland

Hugentobler, Manuela Annette; Müller, Markus; Andres Morrissey, Franz (2017). Private funding and its dangers to academia: an experience in Switzerland. European Journal of Higher Education, 7(2), pp. 203-213. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/21568235.2016.1275975

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Academic freedom, a deep-rooted right in the Swiss Constitution, is endangered. Private sponsorship agreements, secretly negotiated between university leaders and big companies, become increasingly vital for universities in Switzerland. Swiss authorities are pushing this development: not only are they taking austerity measures, but also rewarding growth in private third-party funding with even more federal subsidies. This essay presents, after citing a few examples, a short overview of the state of academic freedom with regard to private monies in Switzerland. Introducing academic freedom as a constitutional obligation, it analyses the dangers of private sponsorship for independent universities and then tries to give some insight into the development of necessary framework conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Public Law > Institute of Public Law
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures

UniBE Contributor:

Hugentobler, Manuela Annette, Müller, Markus (A), Andres Morrissey, Franz


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Taylor & Francis




Manuela Annette Hugentobler

Date Deposited:

28 Mar 2017 16:53

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

University funding, third-party funds, academic freedom, private sponsorship, Switzerland


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