This year, the higher education division chose to organise its annual event over a two-day period in Lugano, in collaboration with the Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI). More than 150 guests attended the Thursday conferences, and then the workshops the following day focusing on four key modern-day issues: innovation, inclusion, digitisation and sustainability.

The operators in the fields of mobility and cooperation spent two days together in the stunning surroundings of the Ticino Conservatory of Music. Chaired with grace and panache by Irina Ferencz from the Academic Cooperation Association, the aim of the conferences was to increase public awareness of current issues.

European inspiration and local flavours

On the Thursday afternoon, the audience had the opportunity to enjoy five conferences given by foreign speakers: Mart Waterval from NUFFIC, Ulrich Grothus from the Academic Cooperation Association, Katalin Anna Németh of Eötvös Loránd University, Joachim Wyssling of the European University Foundation and Simon Marti from SwissCore. Amanda Crameri, Head of the Tertiary Education Division at Movetia, also gave a detailed presentation of the mobility and cooperation implemented as part of the Swiss programme for Erasmus+. The nine measures presented by Olivier Tschopp, CEO of Movetia, designed to develop mobility and cooperation raised a number of questions that were subsequently put to the speakers. There was a general consensus among those present that globalisation is an inevitable process and that the resulting challenges can only be overcome by means of international collaboration. Internationalisation should therefore be seen as an essential tool that plays a legitimate role in the strategy of tertiary-level institutions.

After an afternoon packed with information, the participants spent time networking in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere during a flying dinner opened by Prof. Boas Erez, Chancellor of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), followed by a fun activity organised by the Erasmus Student Network Switzerland.

Debates and discussions

The second day of the event began with a fascinating presentation by Franco Gervasoni, Director of the SUPSI, underlining the importance of internationalisation in universities. Josef Widmer, Deputy Director of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), took the floor to examine the political outlook with regard to exchanges and mobility in Switzerland, stating that “Switzerland must not remain on the sidelines”.

Motivated by the mornings’ presentations and those of the previous day, the participants then broke out into four groups to follow the workshops organised by the Movetia Tertiary Education team. These discussions in small groups examined subjects such as: new formats of mobility for the future, drawing inspiration from the next European programme; greener mobility based on the example of a pilot project at the ETH; enhanced quality of training offered to teaching staff through mobility, calling on the experience of the Heidelberg Pedagogical School; and greater inclusion in cooperation activities based on the testimony of a project leader at the ZHAW.

The event was relayed on Twitter via #Movetia_HEI2019 – follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss a thing

A wider audience for the 2019 edition

The annual Higher Education event enables key players in the fields of mobility and cooperation to meet one another and discuss a wide range of issues. As already mentioned by Olivier Tschopp, CEO of Movetia, “The debate on mobility must be opened up to new audiences”. Accordingly, the representatives of mobility services and the internationalisation strategy managers of research universities, universities of teacher education as well as universities of applied sciences were invited to join a number of political stakeholders in discussing the future of mobility and cooperation both in Switzerland and abroad.