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 unable to benefit from a mobility scheme in person.  

In 2020, swissnex India launched the #LearningTomorrow campaign, with several events designed to foster a thought process focusing on the international education of the future. A 48-hour hackathon was organised in partnership with Movetia with the aim of creating a digital solution 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 mobility was also held as part of this 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. 

Highlights of the additional online solutions

Physical mobility for the purposes of education in another country is indisputably a unique cultural experience which cannot be replaced by a digital exchange – even if universities and students have found creative alternatives during the pandemic. Digitisation nevertheless makes it possible to learn and collaborate without having to travel, thereby broadening the learning environment. This is a different means of acquiring an inter-cultural experience. 

The publication, 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. 


swissnex India, and more particularly its CEO, Sébastien Hug, initiated this programme in collaboration with Movetia. Three specialists from Swiss institutions share their insights in this article; Amanda Crameri of Movetia, Rocío Robinson of the University of St.Gallen and Robert Buttery of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FNHW). 

“Digital progress opens up new possibilities and can be seen as a perfect pairing to internationalisation @home, although certain risks and obstacles must be reduced.” Amanda Crameri

The document is available in English. To be read and shared without moderation!

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