Switzerland benefits from a strong internationally focussed economy. Swiss exports of goods and services represented 63.15 % of GDP in 2020 according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, a figure significantly higher than our main neighbours Germany, France and Italy. Internationalisation is central to the Swiss economy and central to our purpose in supporting this economy.
The FHNW School of Business reflects this international dimension in its commitment to open cooperation with partners around the globe. In keeping with our mission to “educate innovative and responsible managers for a networked and dynamic world”, the FHNW School of Business has been a pioneer in internationalisation for over 20 years.
GLOBALLY RECOGNISED ACCREDITATION
In 2021, the FHNW School of Business successfully completed its AACSB accreditation and now belongs to an exclusive group of the best business schools in the world who have achieved this distinction. Only about 5 percent of the more than 16,000 schools worldwide granting business degrees have earned AACSB accreditation. The AACSB accreditation attests to the excellent quality of our programmes and staff, provides a framework for continuous improvement and opens opportunities to collaborate with top-ranked partners across the globe.
The accreditation is further evidence of the determination of the FHNW School of Business to ensure that we provide the best possible services to our key stakeholders especially students, industry, governmental and civil society partners.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT PROJECTS
Since 2001, the school has supported the International Student Projects, firstly Insight China and then Focus India, followed by connectUS and more recently exploreASEAN. In 2022, we will launch our fifth International Student Project focussing on Latin America.
These projects are excellent examples of the kind of project that was so highly appreciated by the AACSB accreditation committee. The projects empower students to take on responsibility for highly complex and challenging assignments including seminars in Switzerland and abroad. Each project delivers a one-week seminar in Switzerland open to all final-year students from the FHNW Schools of Business, Engineering, Life Sciences (plus other FHNW Schools on application) as well as international students from our broad network of over 130 partner universities worldwide. In the international phase, each project takes an interdisciplinary delegation of students and staff to travel to their chosen country or region. The projects offer the participants an insight into the country or region, the business environment and relevant political, socio-economic and demographic factors. Speakers from industries, embassies and trade organisations, chambers of commerce as well as FHNW lecturers offer the participants their knowledge and experience. These projects are FHNW School of Business projects but include students and staff from across the university ensuring knowledge-sharing and increased learning opportunities for everyone involved through the constructive interaction between disciplines.
From the start, the FHNW School of Business has delivered the structures, support and guidance to enable the projects – sharing networks and experience to coach and guide the student project teams, allocating significant resources and ensuring senior management commitment. However, the projects could not exist without our sponsors and partners. These companies and organisations are financially generous, but their contribution is far greater. They also offer their time, their knowledge, their ideas and their networks. Their contribution cannot simply be measured financially, they are valuable partners in our enterprise.
As we embark on the 2021/22 project cycle, the projects once again face extremely challenging international conditions. In both 2020 and 2021, the project teams were forced to replace their planned study tours with online programmes and virtual exchanges. The project teams were able to harness digital technologies and international networks to ensure continuity. This ability to constructively respond when faced with huge challenges and to deliver an international programme despite the restraints is a wonderful example of the resilience the project teams showed in reimagining the seminars to achieve their goals through radically different means.
As the incoming Director of the FHNW School of Business, I wish the International Student Projects Insight China, Focus India, connectUS and exploreASEAN every success and good fortune for the coming academic year.
Prof Dr Regula Altmann-Jöhl
Director FHNW School of Business
Prof Dr Regula Altmann-Jöhl has been Director of the FHNW School of Business since 1 September 2021
Regula Altmann-Jöhl completed her studies in biotechnology at ETH Zurich in 1992 and obtained her doctorate in applied microbiology at the University of Basel in 1996. She then worked for eleven years at ETH Zurich, first as Manager Technology Transfer, then as Manager Strategic Projects and finally as Scientific Advisor to the Rector. From 2009 to 2011, Regula Altmann-Jöhl was Delegate for Strategic Projects at the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland in Rapperswil, and from 2012 to 2018 she was Vice-Rector for Teaching at Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences and Arts. She was Director of Kalaidos Law School from 2018 – 21.