Swiss UAS Market Entry Examples via swissnex China

swissnex China has been assisting Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences’ activities in China. A few cases reveal the successful approaches from different UAS, whatever the student centered summer school program by Vaud, the Sabbatical professors program by ZHAW or research projects on SMEs and entrepreneurship by Fribourg School of Management, tells us that a clear strategically direction is more important in the operational step. Institutional alliance of Swiss UAS is suggested to be formulized for future consideration.

CASE 1 – Canton of Vaud, Summer University for students

The Education Board of Canton of Vaud has invested continuously on the “summer university” project as a main tool for the UAS internationalization recently. The idea is to bring students of the HES-SO to obtain their first abroad experience starting from a short term such as 2-3 weeks. The study topics include Nursing, Business Administration, Engineering Management and now a new topic on Innovation is being discussed.

For example, the Summer University between students from HEIG-VD and Shanghai University suggest an exchange of a mixture of students from both countries. During a full month, split into 2 times 2 weeks in each country, they are exposed to lectures, working on projects within an intercultural team, and companies’ visits.

As a direct outcome, from this short program a partnership with UTSEUS of Shanghai University (a joint venture Engineering school with France) has been made. Since September 2015, three HEIG-VD students are doing a semester exchange.

The summer school students from Vaud with swissnex China, the exchange students with the Ms. Maxline Stettler, the Director of International Affairs, Education Board Vaud

CASE 2 – ZHAW , Sabbatical program for professors

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Arts emphasizes its internationalization on providing opportunities in China for its faculty.

ZHAW has a yearly renewed mandate with swissnex. The mandate provides ZHAW professors a certain pool of funding and resources to spend 1-2 weeks in 5 swissnex locations all over the world to conduct academic projects, researches, meetings and visits. This program has been run for 3 years and a higher level of institutional agreement between ZHAW and the entire swissnex network was newly signed. The new initiative of the mandate is to bring fragmented visits to “group” commitment.

swissnex China receives 5-10 sabbatical scholars from ZHAW every year. The main purpose for the scholars is to have a first experience with China, and to look for potential contacts for their academic research or to search materials for some joint projects with Chinese conterpats in many common interesting fields.

Micheal Zirkler, professor on Applied Psycology conducted various of inteviews with Chinese young leaders for his joint research project on leadership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2015 summer

CASE 3 – Fribourg School of Management, Joint research + research intern+ EMBA

A joint project of “Swiss Blue SME and the Enabling Function of Global Cities” between Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Fribourg School of Management is listed as one of the 3 major projects at the Center for Economic Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Finance (CESEF, a new research center launched at Hong Kong PolyU in September, 2015). swissnex China facilitated series of activities for the leading professor from Fribourg during the preparation period of the project.

swissnex China has hosted two research interns from the Fribourg School to conduct field researches respectively on Swiss SMEs and entrepreneurship topics, each for 6 months. The research intern has full access to the swissnex resources.

Left: research intern Laurence Niquille organized an “Entrepreneurship night” with young Swiss entrepreneurs

Right: Prof. Philippe Regnier presented the SME research proposal to the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

A detailed document including all the UAS activities with China can be download here.