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Enhancing digital dimension of international HE – good practice from Switzerland

In a constantly changing world in the grip of a pandemic, new exchange formats have been developed and proposed within higher education institutions. Agility and innovation are at the very heart of this transition, founded on greater accessibility to inter-cultural experiences for anyone. 

In 2020, swissnex India launched the #LearningTomorrow campaign, with several events designed to foster a reflection focusing on the international education of the future. A 48-hour hackathon was organised in partnership with the Swiss national agency Movetia with the aim of creating digital solutions in response to the challenges linked to the internationalisation and digitisation of higher education.  

In December 2020, a round table exploring the impacts of the pandemic on international cooperation was held as part of the #LearningTomorrow campaign in collaboration with Movetia. The issue of complementing the range of physical mobility schemes with new online formats was at the heart of the debate. The discussions with the different Swiss stakeholders in the field of higher education were crystallised with the drafting of an entire article intended to guide and inspire the directors of international programmes. The document contains “best practices”, case studies and resources designed to instigate change towards a more digitised form of international education.  

The paper, produced in the wake of the discussions, highlights the benefits of a transformation towards more digital exchange formats: 

  • Accessibility: an extended offer to include more participants 
  • Efficacy: the inter-cultural interactions are deeper and longer-lasting 
  • Resilience: the innovation ensures better adaptation to future disruptions 
  • Sustainability: fewer CO2 emissions due to reduced travel.  

The document is available here