Mission Statement, International Relations Office at the University of Zurich
1. Partner institutions and networks
2. Mobility and the internationalization of teaching
4. Promoting the younger generation of researchers
5. Developing countries
6. International Presence
The past few years have seen considerable changes in the role played by universities. Alongside expanding globalization, the developments that have taken place within Europe have created new realities and new options as well as new challenges. There is a greater awareness of Europe as an entity; intellectual, social and scientific-technological dimensions have gained in prominence and will continue to do so.
Universities play a crucial role in reinforcing a common cultural and academic European identity. In this sense, a process was set in motion by the Bologna Declaration with its declared goal of a Europe linked by bonds of knowledge based on education and research. This means that European educational institutions can enter into dialogue with institutions of research and higher learning all over the world, thus creating an opportunity for them to reassess their roles.
As an educational and research institution, the University of Zurich is committed to maintaining its prominent role in teaching and research in the European and global context and will continue to make its presence yet more felt and more visible.
In order to fully exploit the new opportunities now available in the European and international arena, the University of Zurich is pursuing a strategy of internationalization based on the firm foundations of promoting mobility for researchers and students alike and rooted in reinforcing the European and international dimensions of its degree programs. To this end, UZH seeks to work with outstanding partners and networks. The key points of the internationalization strategy are the following:
- The University of Zurich collaborates in both research and teaching with strategically selected, internationally renowned universities and networks.
- The University of Zurich promotes mobility for students, lecturers and researchers as well as the integration of the international dimension in teaching.
- The University of Zurich attracts some of the world’s most eminent scholars who are at the forefront in their fields of research and who attach great importance to excellence in teaching.
- The University of Zurich encourages and supports the younger generation of academics and helps them to acquire international experience.
- The University of Zurich collaborates with selected partners in developing and emerging countries and is actively involved in the North/South dialogue.
- The University of Zurich asserts its presence on the international scene.
- The University of Zurich promotes Master’s and PhD degree programs in English.
Networks between universities of equal standing are of strategic importance. Institutional networks and strategic partnerships – League of European Research Universities (LERU), European University Association (EUA), International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), OECD program on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE) etc. – help to establish the status of the University of Zurich in the field of education in Europe and to improve its image internationally.
The decisions reached by the institutes and faculties regarding research partnerships and networks, as well as strategic alliances, are based largely on qualitative criteria.
The high standard of the partner institutions is what counts most when it comes to collaboration under the auspices of the ERASMUS program and the bilateral exchange partnerships. Partnerships are mainly focused on Europe. The existing partnership network is being further developed in globally significant regions and with internationally renowned partner institutions.
The University of Zurich fosters the integration of the international dimension – and particularly the European dimension – in all degree programs. Visits by guest lecturers both at the University of Zurich and at institutions abroad are encouraged in order to promote the internationalization of teaching at UZH.
So-called mobility windows have been set up to boost mobility in all degree programs and at all levels – Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD. These are phases in the curriculum which lend themselves particularly well to periods of study abroad, and full recognition is guaranteed for work at partner institutions. In addition, the University provides grants to foster internationalization and mobility.
To encourage internationalization at the student level, programs for international students and summer schools as well as German language courses are planned.
The University of Zurich supports and promotes the existing international networks and partnerships cultivated by the various institutes and faculties. The university wishes to attract the world's best academics, either as members of staff or for cooperation projects. Researchers at the University are given advice on how to take part in European and international research programs.
At the University of Zurich, young researchers of outstanding ability can carry out research in an international setting. Funds are available to enable those who have obtained their doctorates to spend a period of study abroad doing research.
There are European promotional programs that make it possible for UZH researchers to work abroad and for foreign scientists to do research at the University of Zurich. The research fund provides financial support to young scholars returning to the University of Zurich from abroad. Moreover, doctoral programs provide outstanding students from abroad with attractive opportunities to gain qualifications at the University of Zurich.
The University of Zurich works together with selected universities from developing countries. The aim is to promote exchange in teaching, research and administration to the benefit of both parties.
The University of Zurich operates on an international platform, and all major documents are published in German and English. This is particularly the case with the University's home page, which not only presents information on classes and lectures, but also provides background information on researchers and their academic CVs, research projects and lists of publications in both languages. In addition, the University of Zurich is committed to the principle of open access, thus ensuring that all aspects of its academic life are clearly visible.
Multi-lingual Switzerland lies at the very heart of Europe. The University of Zurich cultivates its identity as a German-speaking university especially at the Bachelor's degree level. Degree programs in English are promoted at the Master’s and doctoral level.
Drawn up by the International Relations Commission and the International Relations Office
Authorized by the Executive Board of the University on 2 March 2006