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Contributing to the future in the midst of a crisis

The University Conference supported employees and students in dealing with future-oriented issues during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Executive Board was handed a report from the lecturers in the spring semester that covered additional working hours, digitisation in academic programmes and the current situation in research. The lecturers also requested that they be actively involved in establishing rules for working from home. Towards the end of the year, when discussing the “ZHAW digital” strategic initiative, the Executive Board also looked at which conclusions can be drawn from the COVID-19 crisis with respect to the planned, long-term digital transformation of academic programmes. Right at the beginning of 2021, the Executive Board approved the request of the University Conference (HSV) to bring forward an evaluation of the current situation of this process.

At the same time, the University Conference worked on improving its own processes and collaboration with the Executive Board. It launched a project for a peer-review system for self-evaluation as part of the university’s quality strategy. The Executive Board responded with a counterproposal to a request from the plenum for rights of interpellation of the University Conference. As a result, the Executive Board and the University Conference agreed that they will now hold semester discussions twice a year. In addition, the University Conference was involved in the institutional accreditation of the ZHAW as well as in the launch of a new magazine for employees. The ZHAW Students’ Union will continue to work on implementing the participation policy.

The board elected Stephan Rösli (ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics) the new Secretary General because Monika Mäder's (ZHAW School of Social Work) term came to an end. In addition, Claudio Cometta (ZHAW School of Management and Law), a ZHAW member, was elected as lecturer representative to the Council of the Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts.