Annual financial statements 2023: Student numbers remain stable at a high level

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Annual financial statements 2023: Student numbers remain stable at a high level

8,118 young people completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and 12,129 people took advantage of one of the continuing education programs. Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts launches new degree programs in nursing and medical technology

Life Sciences - that is the positive balance sheet for 2023. One downside: additional costs for heating and electricity result in a minus of 1.85 million francs.

The number of Bachelor’s and Master’s students has changed only slightly compared to the previous year and remains at a high level. Around 38% of students come from Central Switzerland, 53% from other cantons and just under 9% from abroad. In 2023, the HSLU awarded 1,622 Bachelor’s and 671 Master’s degrees. In the previous year, the figures were significantly lower at 1,385 and 612 respectively. "During the pandemic, the HSLU’s degree programs attracted an exceptionally large number of students. The large cohorts are now graduating and returning to the job market," explains HSLU Rector Barbara Bader.

Successful continuing education courses

Around 5,000 people took part in a CAS, DAS or MAS program in 2023, and just over 7,000 in a specialist course or seminar. This corresponds to around 17 percent of the continuing education market in Switzerland as a whole. "Our key figures show that, as a university of practice, we make an indispensable contribution to the education and training of specialists and managers for Central Switzerland’s economy and society," says Barbara Bader.

Research under financial pressure

In 2023, HSLU researchers launched 326 new research projects, 251 of which were funded by external research partners: Innosuisse supported 64 new projects, the Swiss National Science Foundation eight and the federal government 27. The research turnover amounts to around CHF 71 million. "In terms of content, HSLU’s research is highly successful," says Barbara Bader. "However, we are concerned that the proportion of research is significantly below the average for Swiss universities of applied sciences and that sponsor funding has fallen from 35.5 percent to 29.7 percent."

Due to this rigid financial corset, the HSLU is at a clear disadvantage compared to other universities of applied sciences. The HSLU welcomes the current political initiatives to increase residual funding for research and development - especially as this measure will further dynamize the economic structure of Central Switzerland and stimulate innovation.

A balanced budget in the service areas

At CHF 325.9 million, the total revenue of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts was a good ten million higher than in the previous year. In its central areas of activity (education, continuing education, research and development and services), the HSLU has an almost balanced budget. The deficit of 1.85 million francs in the annual financial statements is mainly due to additional energy costs of 3.3 million francs, of which the sponsoring cantons financed an additional two million francs.

"Last year, administrative costs were once again well below the Swiss average," says Barbara Bader. This shows that the university manages its resources carefully, consciously looks for synergies and that its employees are highly committed.

In 2023, 2,109 people were employed at the HSLU, including 882 professors and lecturers and 635 academic and support staff. There were 558 people working in administration and technology. In addition, there were 34 apprentices and interns. This means that the HSLU remains one of the largest employers in Central Switzerland.

One of last year’s highlights was the groundbreaking decision by the Concordat Council to entrust HSLU with the development of training and continuing education programs in the fields of nursing and medical technology.

life sciences. From the fall semester of 2024, it will now be possible to study nursing at university of applied sciences level in Central Switzerland for the first time. In addition, the range of medical technology

Life Sciences and will in future comprise three fields of study. "We are focusing closely on the needs of hospitals, Spitex and long-term care as well as the booming medical technology, medical informatics and life sciences sectors," explains Barbara Bader. "In this way, we want to contribute to supplying the regional healthcare system with qualified specialists." Both courses are in exceptionally high demand. The first nursing course is already fully booked.