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The Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities (CRUS), ACA’s member organisation in Switzerland, has recently completed a survey on the integration of the country’s Euraxess Service Centres into the researcher mobility functions at each of its universities. CRUS received a start-up grant of EUR 200 000 from the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) to introduce Euraxess to Switzerland and to promote the establishment of decentralised service centres in the Swiss Research Area from June 2008 and May 2010. Very simply, the purpose of the Euraxess Service Centres is to provide on-site assistance to mobile researchers relocating to Switzerland in matters such as accommodation, immigration, pension rights, health insurance, childcare, etc.
In reaching the end of the FP7 project, CRUS is pleased that a Euraxess Service Centre has been established at every Swiss university. However, according to the CRUS survey, the mission of the Euraxess Service Centres still needs to be made better known among the universities and researchers’ communities. Moreover, the overlap of job duties for personnel of the Euraxess Service Centres and the universities’ existing international relations offices (IRO) affected the efficacy of the centres. In spite of these challenges, though, the staff of the Euraxess Service Centres show strong personal commitment to the core idea of assisting mobile researchers and are looking for ways to cooperate with and complement their campuses’ IROs, be it through self-organisation of staff or institutional mandates to clarify roles.
The survey may be downloaded from the Swiss Euraxess website, hosted by the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities (CRUS).