Swiss Global Competence Lab
The Swiss Global Competence Lab is a dynamic, transdisciplinary innovation platform aiming at providing research and expert services in the area of the internationalisation of organisations.
In today’s globalised world, internationally transferable skills are key for students to become global citizens. Leading universities have the responsibility to create opportunities for students to acquire these skills.
The aim is to meet the increasing demand for services and innovation in the areas of multilingualism, communication, intercultural competence, and global citizenship triggered by globalisation. The Swiss Global Competence Lab, while open to providing services to all types of internationalised organisations, has developed particular expertise in the area of internationalisation of higher education. The Lab provides the organisational framework for collaboration in this thematic area, anchoring internationalisation firmly within the ZHAW and its partner institutions in Switzerland. The Swiss Global Competence Lab is of potential relevance to all internationalised organisations and of significant relevance to the Swiss higher education area.
Internationalization of the Curriculum: Moving ahead together, 17-18 November 2022, Campus Est Lugano-Viganello
Internationalization of the curriculum (IoC) is a transformative process of higher education that begins, first and foremost, with a commitment. In this event, four universities in Switzerland (BFH, HES-SO, SUPSI, ZHAW) report on their joint commitment to advance IoC in Swiss higher education in a systematic and impactful way. Together with invited guest speakers from different parts of the world, participants will reflect on, and exchange experiences about, the potential and challenges involved in making internationalization a formal component of higher education curricula.
The lab pursues the goal of becoming Switzerland’s leading organisation providing expertise and services in the area of internationalisation, the internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC), and English-Medium Instruction. In order to reach these goals, ZHAW cooperates closely with partner institutions as well as with partners from the educational and industrial sectors. It focuses on two main activities:
- It coordinates transdisciplinary research and cooperation aimed at enhancing the international profile and competitiveness of higher education in Switzerland. This includes the communication of results to the wider public.
- By means of trainings, assessment tools, and consulting, it provides expert services and develops solutions to challenges for educational institutions and other organisation types in Switzerland which seek to improve their international profile and competitiveness.
The Swiss Global Competence Lab facilitates collaboration across disciplines and types of organisation. The basic mode of operation has been laid down in a joint policy and action plan for the years 2021 through 2025, which defines the Lab’s operational activities. Currently, there are four institutional members contributing towards the Lab in different ways (BFH, HES-SO, SUPSI, ZHAW). The mode of operation of the lab, the basic commitment of institutional members and the thematic remit of the lab have been defined in the framework of Movetia projects 2019-1-CH01-OF-0017 and 2020-1-CH01-OF-0030.
The Lab is coordinated by the Research Area Language Management and Globalisation at ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Studer. The SGCL is coordinated by a lab manager and relies on a wide network of partner institutions in Switzerland, Europe, and overseas. It is sustained by the contribution and cooperation of its member institutions and associated researchers and experts. The SGCL is governed by a board.
The Swiss Global Competence Lab provides training and assessment, and it develops solutions for its client institutions. It connects specialists across disciplines and sectors to enhance innovation and cooperation. Its services specialise in three key areas of internationalisation, i.e. internationalisation expertise, staff and student development, and transdisciplinary networking and cooperation.
- Support desk for national and international research projects related to internationalisation
- Peer audits and assessment services
- Support to develop a set of indicators for classroom observation to help assess the intercultural competence of teachers or the quality of an intercultural interaction in consideration of the context
- Development of specific teaching materials for the internationalised classroom
- Website or online portal with guidelines, best practices, FAQs, useful links, and general guidance
- Support for the establishment of pre-degree courses to best prepare the national and international studentship
- Communication with the wider public and media
- Consulting services and training opportunities in the field of internationalisation for both academic and administrative staff
- Support and training for staff who want to change their language of instruction to English
- Support services for students who seek international educational opportunities, beyond traditional mobility support
- Administrative support and advisory for staff who want to visit a university abroad
- Establish contact or find suitable contacts with an institution or a corporate/private research partner abroad
- Coordination of research projects between different institutions
- Access to a network of experts in different fields who are able to provide specialised feedback or advice on internationalisation issues
- Identification of synergies for multi-center studies
- Lead the way to building a Europe-wide network of Global Competence Labs
- Communication of current research and trends to the wider public
The SCGL provides services addressed to
- project clients, both public and private,
- communication and consultancy professionals,
- research institutions and communities,
- addressees of professional education,
- as well as media producers and society at large.