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Building a global bridge in health professions

At a glance



Given the rapid change in the health care capacity and demand land-scape globally, looking at international collaboration for health professional education is key to success to meet future challenges nurses and midwives will be confronted with. The School of Health Sciences ZHAW has engaged in Advanced Practice Nursing for over 10 years and the Midwifery profession is following suit. To strengthen this further, the ZHAW Faculty of Health's strategic aims are the promotion of internationalisation, e.g. with double degree programs.

New Zealand is one of few non-European OECD countries with a population of less than 10 million that is comparable to Switzerland. Furthermore, advanced midwifery practice has a long tradition in New Zealand with well established midwife-led maternity services, and Nurse Practitioners have been licensed under their own autonomous scope of practice since 2001.


  • Expansion of international teaching/learning cooperation, incl. development of innovative e-learning-based offerings and establishment of internet-based exchange for that foster culturalsafety/diversity competences across the nursing/midwifery professions
  • Preliminary work to develop a joint and/or double degree pro-gram between the partners


  • Intercultural competence development for students and faculty of both Partners
  • Establishment of transnational digital-based teaching/learning innovations Target groups and long-term goal: The long-term goal is to establish a transnational cooperation that is characterized by excellence in teaching/learning and research. The current project emphasizes the development of intercultural compe-tencies of students and faculty. The project aims to offer students and faculty from Switzerland and New Zealand the opportunity to learn from, with, and about each other across countries and to increase the attractiveness of educational opportunities for students on their path to advanced health professionals capable of responding to global health challenges.

The project will also create an intercultural aware-ness of cross-national differences, as well as the effects on learning, teaching, and research, necessary for the development of future collaborative opportunities (e.g. double degree). To successfully establish a double degree program, preliminary work is needed, on the one hand, to try out joint teaching that is scalable in the future, and, on the other hand, to explore and develop processes and policies to mutually recognize prior learning and qualification contributions.