2019: The IT Education Initiative (ITBO)

In February 2019, the cantonal electorate voted by a clear majority to approve a new campaign known as the IT Education Initiative. This result expressed public understanding of the great importance of competence in information technology, at all levels of education, for the future of the Canton of St.Gallen.

Independently of the referendum proposal, HSG had already created four new professorial chairs in 2018, which are responsible for providing teaching and research in various sub-disciplines of computer science. These professorships, in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Data Science, Interaction and Communication-Based Systems, and Software Systems Programming and Development were all filled with proven experts.

The public acceptance of the IT Education Initiative allowed HSG to establish a School of Information and Computer Science and to offer new bachelor's and master's degree programme introduced. The IT Education Initiative provided the start-up funding for these new degree programmes and enabled HSG to create five additional chairs in computer science.

These new chairs, combined with existing teaching capacities, enable HSG to start the master's programme in late summer 2021. In future, the new school will train computer scientists who aspire to careers as entrepreneurs or executives, among other possibilities. It is envisaged that around 150 such students can be trained per year.