What's it like to work in Swiss academia?
August 28, 2011 2:09 AM Subscribe
How does working in a Swiss university compare with working in British or American academia? And thoughts on living and working in Switzerland more generally.
posted by lapsangsouchong to work & money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Relative to a British university, is the weight of bureaucracy more or less pressing on the individual academic's shoulders? Is there an equivalent to the dread REF? Relative to an American university, is the tenure review process humane or brutal, and are you allowed to give marks other than 'A'?
Is there a decent amount of research funding available, at the level of the university and in the form of external (eg, government) research grants? Is there an 'autonomous' intellectual life, so to speak, or does each part of Switzerland feel like a provincial backwater of the larger neighbouring countries (Zürich to Germany, Geneva to France, etc)? What about the students, and teaching load?
The salary is high, of course, but is this offset by the cost of living in Switzerland, and/or high taxes or social security? I know that Switzerland is extraordinarily expensive to live in, but I have no idea what the income tax brackets look like. I also know that some people who work in Switzerland prefer to live across the border, where their money goes further: assuming that this is feasible, what are the advantages (eg, cheaper rents) and disadvantages (eg, complicated tax affairs)?
Finally, does the government try to help residents who speak one of the country's official languages to learn the others?
Your responses to any of these questions would be much appreciated. Thanks!