Campus - 20.01.2023 - 10:55 

HSG students have the most international experience compared to other Swiss universities

Over 50 percent of HSG students gain study and work experience abroad. This makes it the most internationally mobile university in Switzerland. 

At least 20 percent of all graduates of Swiss universities should gain study and work experience abroad - this is the strategic goal of the Swiss Confederation and the European Higher Education Area. The Internationalisation Index for Switzerland, published for the first time on 19 January 2023, shows that HSG far exceeds this goal: Statistics show that 52.6 percent of all students gain relevant international experience during their time at HSG.

This makes HSG the Swiss university with the highest mobility rate, ahead of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (32.3 percent) and the Pädagogische Hochschule St.Gallen (27.7 percent). The Swiss average for the 34 universities were surveyed is 15.7 per cent. 

Experiences abroad increase employability

The index was published by Movetia, the national agency for exchange and mobility. "Stays abroad increase the employability of graduates because they acquire important professional and personal skills for gainful employment," writes Movetia in the study. However, investing in comprehensive internationalisation is not only worthwhile for students. Internationalisation also improves the quality of teaching and research, promotes innovation and strengthens the visibility, competitiveness and reputation of universities at home and abroad.

According to Movetia, there are three catalysts for student mobility: International elements in degree programmes, the promotion of an international study environment (mixing nationalities of students and lecturers) and the creation of attractive framework conditions for "incomings" (foreign students doing an exchange locally). The mobility rate is not dependent on the size or age of a university or its language region and relies on an institution’s framework and the "institutional mindset". 

Internationalisation, another key figure the study looked at placed HSG in the second position behind the Università della Svizzera italiana. The degree of internationalisation is made up of the following param-eters: Internationalisation of teaching, international cooperation in research, strategic decisions to promote internationalisation and nationality of students and lecturers.

Exchange with over 200 universities worldwide possible

An international orientation is one of HSG's fundamental values. Today, it offers exchange opportunities with over 200 partner universities worldwide. In 2022, around 1400 HSG students took advantage of this opportunity and spent one or two semesters abroad. At the same time, around 700 foreign students were guests at the HSG. In 2000, HSG was the first university in Switzerland to implement the Bologna reform, which harmonised the study architecture throughout Europe and thus greatly simplified exchange studies. HSG also makes various international double degrees possible at Master's level. Students complete a Master's degree at a partner university in addition to their HSG studies. These include renowned business universities such as the Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ESADE) in Barceolona, the École des hautes études commerciales (HEC) in Paris, the Rotterdam School of Manage-ment (RSM) and the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan.

But students on exchange in St.Gallen also find the best conditions: Every semester, around 350 "incomings" stay in St.Gallen. These visiting students are assigned an HSG student as a "buddy" who helps them with questions about university and social life. In addition, the HSG has continuously expanded its English-language study programmes in recent years. Several Master's programmes are now offered entirely in English and there are three bilingual programmes at Bachelor's level.

The Movetia study is based on data from the Federal Statistical Office. The pre-pandemic mobility behaviour of students graduating in 2020 (Bachelor and Master) was examined. According to Movetia, the index shows, "how differently the internationalisation and student mobility relevant to Switzerland as a country of innovation is implemented at Swiss universities.”

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