Global and Intercultural Dimension in Curriculum Development
Switzerland is taking part in the Bologna Process in the field of higher education. This process aims to guarantee, at national and international level, permeability, transparency and mobility and hence in the European context to work towards strengthening Europe’s competitiveness as a learning location.
The internationalisation of higher education institutions is a process which has recently gained momentum. Numerous higher education institutions operate student exchanges and joint research projects with higher education institutions abroad. Other higher education institutions are already taking account of the international dimension in all of their activities. They offer international students further and continuing education programmes both in Switzerland, through English-language courses of study, and abroad, through so-called offshore products.
Partnerships and networks
Cooperation between higher education institutions concerns relations between Swiss higher education institutions and the corresponding foreign institutions. It is often based on agreements and is geared to the exchange of researchers, academic staff, students and information and to the implementation of joint research and teaching projects. In addition there are a number of higher education conferences at European level.
Higher education institutions may be active in a number of national and international organisations. Internationalism is an important strategic concern for them. International networks are maintained through bilateral treaties, international alliances, and national and international organisations.
The Swiss information network Euresearch informs interested parties about the possibilities of and procedures for involvement in European research activities. Researchers wishing to participate in a project of the EU framework research programme or already preparing a concrete project can make use of the specialised services of the national Euresearch contact points.
The main objective of the swissnex network is to help Swiss higher education and research institutions develop their international activities by acting in a subsidiary capacity. In the guest region a close network of contacts is forged with universities, research institutes and companies and made available to interested Swiss institutions and individuals.
The Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) is committed to international cooperation, in particular with relevant university bodies in other countries. The CRUS information and documentation service informs Swiss students about the range of courses on offer abroad and provides general reference works on the education and higher education sector, study guides, specialist study guides, prospectuses and general information material.
The Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KFH) supports Swiss universities of applied sciences in their internationalisation processes. According to the KFH policy position “Internationalisation of the Universities of Applied Sciences – Support by the KFH”, the universities of applied sciences are to be encouraged to develop new opportunities in the globalised market of educational and research institutions and to make the most benefit from it.
The information platform International Relations – Universities of Applied Sciences of Switzerland (IRUAS) is the networking organisation for all those in the Swiss universities of applied sciences operating on an international level and involved in the field of mobility. Along with strategic and conceptual contributions to development at the institutional level, support and services in the context of mobility and internationalisation are increasingly being demanded.
National and international mobility is being promoted and supported under the Swiss Conference of Rectors of Universities of Teacher Education (COHEP) Recommendations on improving national and international mobility. The mobility expert group is ensuring the continuity, coherence and sustainability of COHEP efforts in the field of the mobility of students, academic staff and other staff of the universities of teacher education, and initiating development projects. It is the contact point for questions relating to mobility in teacher training and works together with relevant partner organisations.
EUCOR is the cross-border European Confederation of Upper Rhine Universities in Basel, Freiburg i.Br., Karlsruhe, Mulhouse und Strasbourg. With the EUCOR student pass students at these universities can attend lectures and use libraries and other facilities.
A framework agreement between the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg (BeNeFri) allows the students of one of these universities to attend lectures at both other participating universities.
International University of Lake Constance
The countries around the Lake Constance region operate a joint network in the field of higher education institutions: the International University of Lake Constance (IBH) is an association of higher education institutions in which different universities from Germany, Austria and Switzerland cooperate together to provide students with access to cross-border study courses and thus give them a qualification which is recognised in different countries.
The Euraxess initiative launched by the European Commission helps researchers access the European employment market. The aim of Euraxess is to remove barriers to the free dissemination of knowledge and structure the employment market for European researchers in a more open and competitive manner. One instrument of this initiative is Euraxess Jobs, the portal for job vacancies and staff recruitment for researchers and research institutions. In Switzerland researchers find job vacancies and other services on the national portal Euraxess Switzerland.