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Studies are the core of every university; this is not least indicated by the Latin origin of the term universitas, which denotes a "community of teachers and students". The particular characteristic of studies at the HSG is revealed by their special architecture. "In contrast to other universities, we have three levels: Assessment Year, Bachelor's and Master's Levels," says Dr. Marc Meyer, Dean of Studies and Academic Affairs. A further feature is constituted by contextual studies, in which students extend their horizon beyond specific specialist knowledge. According to Meyer, students' expectations of a university have changed a great deal in the course of time: "They do not only want modern teaching instruments and up-to-date teaching formats but also room for discussion, reflection and feedback."
"We don't just want to draw level
but be a step ahead"
In order to live up to these expectations, the HSG regularly conducts reforms of its programmes. One of the most significant reform projects at present concerns the major in Business Administration. "It is strategically important for us to position the HSG's largest undergraduate programme well and in keeping with the times," says Marc Meyer. "We don't just want to draw level with other universities but be a step ahead of them." Besides the integration of modern forms of learning and teaching, the vertical interfaces between studies in the Assessment Year and the Bachelor's and Master's Levels are optimised. Horizontally, the reforms ensure that there are neither lacunæ nor redundancies in the range of lectures.
Another important project is entering a new stage with the adoption of regulations for the reform of contextual studies. Until this reform enters into force in 2018, work is being done on its concrete implementation. In addition, Ph.D. studies are being reconfigured in close cooperation with the Vice-President's Board for Research and Faculty.
Marc Meyer has been Dean of Studies & Academic Affairs since August 2015 and thinks that his doctor's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Berne is an advantage at a business university, in particular: "Thanks to my different specialist background, I'm able to introduce other approaches and a critical distance for the benefit of the University of St.Gallen and its students," says Marc Meyer. "The fact that I've had this confidence placed in me speaks for the institution and its flexibility." As a former principal and teacher at an academic-stream secondary school, Meyer is looking forward to being able to make an active contribution to good studies at the HSG: with exercise courses in mathematics.