Campus - 09.09.2019 - 00:00 

Annual press conference with a focus on "Innovations in teaching"

Teaching at the University of St.Gallen is being continually developed according to the latest knowledge of teaching and international trends. The university’s management team provided information on this as part of its annual press conference.

9 September 2019. The largest projects in this constant process include not only fundamental reforms of important programmes such as the compulsory contextual studies and the Bachelor's degree course in business administration, but also further development of teaching in all courses, for example using the new Canvas learning platform. In autumn 2021, the first computer science students will begin their degree course at the University of St.Gallen, as Professor Lukas Gschwend, Vice President for Studies & Academic Affairs, explained at the annual press conference.

Revised contextual studies

Contextual studies is a unique selling point of the University of St.Gallen. The aim is that, in addition to the expertise in their core subject, students will be taught social, historical and cultural awareness via contextual studies, helping them to orientate themselves in their professional and public life. Contextual studies was offered for the first time in its comprehensively revised form in the 2018-19 academic year.

The revision of contextual studies has resulted in eight focus areas that allow students to deepen their knowledge: media, cultures, history, society, responsibility, creativity, law and technology. This enables students to also build a new professional community in the contextual studies course and acquire additional qualifications, which are also explicitly stated in their Diploma Supplement.

Revision of business administration

The Bachelor's programme in business administration begins its first year in the autumn semester of 2019. It is the largest course programme at the University of St.Gallen, and has existed in its current form since 2002 and has proved to be very strong. "After more than 10 years, a certain need for reform was undeniable, which was also clear from the feedback regularly obtained from students and recruiters," Lukas Gschwend said.

Computer science students from 2021

The task of developing a computer science degree course at HSG arose for the University of St.Gallen from the cantonal IT education initiative. The "Computer science degree course @HSG" project was launched with the start-up funding of 18.6 million francs. "This is currently being used to drive forward preparations to found a School of Information and Computer Science and the establishment of five further computer science chairs and approx. 18 additional faculty staff," vice president Lukas Gschwend explained. Independently of this, HSG already created four new computer science chairs for the requirements of the existing programmes during the past year from its own funds, which will also be transferred to the future School of Information and Computer Science. The goal is to establish a completely new degree course focus and research focus in computer science.

The "Canvas" learning platform, Platztor campus

Additionally, information was provided on the new "Canvas" learning platform as part of the annual press conference. In an introduction to the annual press conference, State Councillor Stefan Kölliker, Head of the St.Gallen Department of Education and President of the University Council, reiterated his thanks to the St.Gallen voters who voted at the end of June with a clear majority for the loan for a new university campus at Platztor, St.Gallen.

Changeover in the president's board

In his review and outlook, President Thomas Bieger spoke about the balanced development model that HSG has followed over the past ten years and which has strengthened its position in the increasingly intense international competition of top universities. Thomas Bieger recalled the fact that a university is primarily defined by people, i.e. excellent researchers and teachers, students, but also committed people in the administration department.

In his explanations, Thomas Bieger, whose term of office ends on 31 January 2020, also looked back at the developments in his nine years as president of the University of St.Gallen. He did this using some numbers, among others. For example, the number of students has grown from more than 6,700 to almost 8,700 during his term of office, while full professorships with full-time equivalence expanded from 71 to 87. During the same period, HSG improved its place in the European Business Schools Ranking produced by the Financial Times from 16th to 4th.

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