Application deadline: 31 March 2014
Open to: Postgraduate students of law, political science, economics, journalism or other related science, and young professionals. Scholarships are available for non-EU citizens, as well as for participants from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Date and venue: 18 August – 5 September 2014, Fribourg, Switzerland 


Today’s world faces numerous conflicts, most of which are happening within a country’s borders. Federalism and decentralisation are powerful tools for the resolutions of such conflicts. The Summer University of Fribourg, Switzerland enables students to enhance their knowledge about power sharing (e.g. federalism and decentralisation), with a special focus on its chances and limits in relation to conflict resolution. Each year, around 40 people from all over the world take part in the programme. Over the last 25 years, more than 1000 participants attended the Summer University.

The teaching will consist of a mix of lectures, case studies, self-study and group work. Prior to the Summer University, participants are required to write a paper and comment on another participant’s paper.

To prepare adequately for the course (you will need approximately 80 hours), you should :

- Write a seminar paper (up to 10 pages - find guidelines on the website)

- Write a commentary of another participant's paper (1-2 pages)

- Do the preparatory reading (there will be an examination on the first day)

Participation in the Summer University (approximately 90 hours) will suppose:

- A written examination from the preparatory reading (on the first day)

- Active participation in the lectures and group work

- A final exam (in the last week)

Upon successful completion of the course (paper and commentary, active participation, compulsory attendance and exams), participants will be awarded a diploma by the Institute of Federalism and the University of Fribourg as well as ECTS conferred by the University of Fribourg. 


In order to be eligible for the Summer School, you should be a postgraduate student of law, political science, economics, journalism or other related science, or a young professional. A good knowledge of English and a strong interest in the topics of federalism, decentralisation and conflict resolution are preconditions for applying.


The Institute of Federalism can offer the course free of charge to participants from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe (non-EU countries)  thanks to a programme contribution from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The costs  include tuition, course materials, accommodation with half board, excursions and the farewell dinner.

Please note note that travel to and from the course location, lunch, visa costs and health insurance are at the expense of the participants. Because the course is supported by the SDC (agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) some consulates may exempt you from the visa costs. Please check this with the consulate in your country when you apply for a visa.

For participants from the European Union, EFTA, North America, Australia and New Zealand the costs are:

- 1200 CHF (approx. 1000 Euro/ 1300 USD) for accommodation with half board

- Lunch (individual, about 8-10 CHF/meal)

- Travel costs to and from the course location, visa costs (if applicable) and health insurance

The tuition and course materials, excursions and the farewell dinner are covered by the Institute of Federalism.

For participants from the University of Fribourg, the Summer University is free of charge.


Applications are made via the online application form. Before starting, please have the following documents in electronic format ready (pdf, jpg, jpeg): a copy of your highest educational diploma, one reference letter, a copy of your passport, and one passport size photograph. Be aware that it is not possible to save and continue later. Participants must agree to the Terms of Participation.


Important dates

Application deadline: 31 March 2014

Confirmation of participation: 16 April 2014

Deadline for paper submission: 16 June 2014

Deadline for paper commentary: 07 July 2014

Summer University: 18 August – 05 September 2014

For any additional questions, check the FAQ section or contact the organizers at