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Establishing lifelong learning as a strategy

Complexity and rapid economical and societal change increasingly require lifelong learning. In July 2020, the Executive Board adopted the lifelong learning strategy.

The lifelong learning strategy is a new addition to the ZHAW University Strategy 2015–2025. It aims to foster knowledge, learning and entrepreneurial skills, all of which form an important basis for lifelong learning. The ZHAW also aims to strengthen synergies between research, study, continuing education, business services and innovation, as well as to intensify collaboration with other universities and partners in business and society. Another goal of the lifelong learning strategy is to promote, in terms of both time and place, flexibility and accessibility in the ZHAW's educational programmes. These should be as individual and as compatible as possible with different life situations. Finally, a fourth goal is to open up and expand higher education offerings in order to meet the needs of the labour market on the one hand and individual educational interests on the other.

First measures in place

To implement the lifelong learning strategy, measures are planned at various levels. At an overall university-wide level, these measures include recognising expertise acquired outside of educational institutions and strengthening European networking. At the School level, we strive to open up the university to auditing students and raise awareness among young people. Other measures are being launched or have already been implemented as pilot projects in individual Schools. One of the measures that we are currently developing is a new master’s degree programme with a largely open curriculum. In the future, we will also conduct pilot projects at individual Schools to see how we can offer continuing education courses “à la carte” as well as senior mentoring programmes.