My Studies – Our Future: Four UZH Students Share Their Experiences.
My Studies – Our Future: Four UZH Students Share Their Experiences.

Studying, teaching, continuing education

Students’ Future Prospects at a Glance

Society is changing, and so are students’ expectations of their university programs. UZH is sharpening the strategic focus of its education provision with a wide-ranging initiative.


Solid and up-to-date teaching is of fundamental importance to students’ future prospects. UZH is continually developing its curriculum and teaching formats in order to meet the demands of a rapidly transforming society.

Future-oriented solutions
Expectations are high: universities should equip students with analytical and problem-solving skills so that they can face the complex challenges of our times. At the same time, university instruction is becoming more demanding due to the growing internationalization and widened accessibility of higher education.
Universities are increasingly joining forces across national borders in order to find new, future-oriented solutions for these challenges and to share resources for the development of teaching and learning. This also applies to UZH: as a member of the Una Europa alliance, the university is collaborating with strong partner universities on new formats for instruction and on student mobility.

Climbing to the top
As a top international research university, UZH has both the aim and the potential to make its teaching among the best in Europe. The university has already taken important steps in this direction with the introduction of a quality assurance system for teaching and the establishment of the School for Transdisciplinary Studies, which is one-of-a-kind in Switzerland. UZH is already ahead of the pack when it comes to lifelong learning. The pandemic also gave the university a push in the right direction in terms of deploying and developing digital teaching formats.

Guidelines for further development
The Future of Teaching at UZH, an initiative launched in 2022, lays out strategic guidelines for the development of teaching and learning at the university. The initiative focuses on supporting instructors, whose expertise and enthusiasm can make or break the success of a course.

With innovative teaching, UZH is equipping the younger generation to shape their future responsibly.

Developing Teaching Together

UZH emphasizes quality and innovation when it comes to the development of its teaching activities. The Teaching Fund (“Lehrkredit”) that was established in 2016 was replaced with the broader UZH Teaching Fund (ULF) in 2022. The amount of funding has nearly tripled and will amount to an annual CHF 2 million from 2023 on. It contains five funding lines. Transdisciplinary and internationally-oriented curricula that fit the university’s priorities are among the areas being supported with the fund. “UZH Curriculum” is a set of guidelines that have been developed to lay out university-wide quality standards for evaluating and developing courses. They provide instructors with a cross-disciplinary framework for developing attractive academic programs.

Flexible Lifelong Learning

With society and technology undergoing rapid transformation, the need for lifelong learning is growing, as is the demand for shorter, more flexible and more open formats for acquiring university-level education. UZH sees itself as a trailblazer when it comes to lifelong learning. The university is undertaking efforts to make its course offerings more accessible while at the same time ensuring their high level of quality. Microcredentials are one option for making university education more flexible. UZH is using its membership in Una Europa to launch microcredentials and is currently clarifying the necessary legal, technical and didactic requirements.

Expanding Horizons

New cooperations are currently arising between European universities, and they offer great potential for change when it comes to teaching. Common virtual campuses are being built, online learning resources are being shared, and experimental, innovative forms of student mobility are being created. UZH is involved in university networks in order to be part of these dynamic developments and to showcase and contribute its strengths on the international stage. In 2022, UZH joined Una Europa and is using the alliance in part to develop innovative, interdisciplinary teaching projects in the field of European studies and sustainability.

Improving Digital Services

Teaching and learning activities rely on having digital services that are as smooth, intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Since 2020, the Process Owner E-ducation division has been coordinating the strategic development of these services within administrative support units for students and teachers. Currently, a digitalization governance structure is being set up and implemented with the aim of facilitating efficient and effective cooperation between these stakeholders. In 2022, the module booking tool for students was revamped and made more user-friendly. Thanks to the My Studies (Mein Studium) application that was also launched in 2022, students are now able to keep track of the progress of their studies more easily. In 2023, new examination software will be introduced.

Campus of the Future

UZH is pursuing an experimental approach when it comes to designing spaces for teaching and learning and is continuing to focus on the development of its campus as the main location for interaction and knowledge exchange. The Teaching and Learning Spaces of the Future concept defines UZH’s standards for medium- and long-term construction and renovation projects. It also serves as a guide for concrete teaching development projects (e.g., as part of FORUM UZH). UZH is also encouraging the implementation of easy, low-threshold updates, for instance hybrid teaching lecture halls and innovative study spaces that offer a range of learning options.

“Keeping the big picture in mind”

Gabriele Siegert,
Vice President Education and Student Affairs

Interview on Studying and Teaching

Views on teaching developments at UZH

“Studying means discovering new things. I’m especially motivated and inspired when instructors use unconventional teaching formats to talk about their research experiences – and in this way share their joy of discovery with others.”

Mira Dhiraj Peiler

Bachelor’s student (English literature and linguistics and popular culture studies)

“Preparing students for the complex challenges of a digitalized society requires collaboration across disciplines. After all, the world outside of university isn’t organized into distinct disciplines either.”

Anja Schulze

Professor of Mobility and Digital Innovation Management at the Department of Business Administration and head of the DSI’s Mobility Community

“Joining Una Europa allows UZH to shape the future of higher education in Europe and work hand in hand with our partner universities to develop new, innovative programs and cooperations.”

Peter Finke

Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Co-Vice Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Una Europa Study Program Coordinator

“Digital learning formats enable students to acquire knowledge at their own pace taking into account their background knowledge. The valuable time with teaching staff can then be used for more interactive activities. But developing these kinds of courses takes time and effort. That’s why I believe the support provided by UZH’s Teaching Fund and teaching development teams is invaluable. Working together makes us strong!”

Ursula Brack

Education Concept Development at UZH’s Digital Society Initiative

“The question of whether animal experiments are necessary and ethically justifiable is highly relevant and requires a transdisciplinary approach. In my course, I help students form a considered opinion based on ethics and science.”

Paulin Jirkof

3R Coordinator at UZH’s Office for Animal Welfare and 3R. She manages the course 3Rs and the Ethics of Animal Research at the UZH School for Transdisciplinary Studies.

Stories about Studying and Teaching

New Approaches to Learning

In traditional seminar and lecture formats, instructors explain a topic, while students present and discuss their ideas. But these formats are increasingly complemented by new, innovative approaches to learning, many of which are being developed right here at UZH. Read on to find out just how innovative and imaginative our approaches are.

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