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Strategic goals

Knowledge-based and competence-oriented

Graduates of the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences possess reflective, professional, research and practice-based competences which can be applied in demanding professional fields in our knowledge-based society.

  1. The ZHAW fosters the independent, self-reflective and cooperative development of knowledge and competence based on internationally compatible competence profiles. Furthermore, the ZHAW supports individualised educational programmes, insofar as this is possible in view of subject-specific disciplinary requirements and available resources.
  2. At the ZHAW, fundamental and systematic importance is given to the research-based development of knowledge and competence («research-based learning»), which is seen as the basis for reflective and transformative cooperation with practical application.
  3. Digital educational programmes and media support the cooperative, individualised development of knowledge and competence, which is independent of time and location.
  4. Both in admissions and during the course of studies, the ZHAW takes into consideration knowledge and competence which has been acquired by students through non-formal and informal education («recognition of learning»).


The ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences assumes joint responsibility for the cultural, ecological, economic, legal, social and technical sustainability of our society.

  1. The ZHAW offers its students transformative experience and educational formats and fosters competences in the development and application of transformative knowledge.
  2. The ZHAW consolidates its transformative research and development, both methodologically and as regards content. The university sees itself as a societal knowledge transformer and fundamentally works together with its social partners creatively and in a multifaceted manner for its understanding of research and its research profile.
  3. Researchers take part in common transformative research and development areas which go beyond the limits of their Schools, in addition to the main research focus areas of the individual Schools.
  4. The ZHAW promotes its young academics at all levels and in a manner specific to their field. In areas in which years of continuity must be demonstrated and where high, internationally recognised quality of research and development is provided, as well as in its transformative focus areas, the ZHAW also promotes its young academics through participation in nationally or internationally networked post-graduate and doctoral programmes.


The ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences is regionally integrated and cooperates with international partners. It is oriented towards global challenges and markets and is a university with a focus on Europe.

  1. Graduates of the ZHAW are educated interculturally.
  2. The ZHAW is an attractive university to students from abroad. It is in demand as a partner university in the creation of international university networks and for joint and double-degree study and continuing education programmes.
  3. Employees at the ZHAW are involved in exchanges with international scientific communities and partners from practice and they use their international contacts for peer consultation and support of their own activities.
  4. Research and development at the ZHAW is regionally integrated and internationally networked.  It is conducted in multinational partnerships and participates actively in the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation.