educationsuisse: Conference of the Swiss Schools Abroad

This year’s Conference of the Swiss Schools Abroad took place in Zurich on 10–12 July. The official part of the event, which was attended by more than 100 people, took place under the motto “Zurich and education abroad”. High-calibre speakers – including Ivo Bischofberger, the President of the Council of States; Zurich Education Minister Silvia Steiner; economiesuisse Chair Monika Rühl; as well as the rectors of the University of Zurich and Zurich University of Teacher Education – addressed the issue of education both in Switzerland and abroad from a variety of perspectives. The canton of Zurich is the sponsor canton of the Swiss schools in Mexico, Catania, Madrid and the newly-opened Swiss school in Beijing. Sponsor cantons primarily support “their” schools educationally, in part because the Swiss Schools Act grants them educational supervision. Almost 8,000 children, about 980 of whom are Swiss nationals, are enrolled at the 18 Swiss schools worldwide that are recognised by the Swiss Federal Government.

Also in attendance at the conference were the school head teachers as well as the chairpersons of the school committees. In addition to the official event, the conference was an opportunity for further training and networking and to meet Isabelle Chassot, the Director of the Federal Office of Culture (FOC), which looks after the Swiss schools around the globe. The FOC runs federal support programmes and processes applications for Federal Council recognition of new Swiss schools. The network of existing Swiss schools reflects aspects of the history of Swiss migration. To this day, new schools are still founded at the initiative of local Swiss citizens.

The conference was organised by educationsuisse, an association that acts as the umbrella organisation of the Swiss schools abroad. Educationsuisse represents the interests of Swiss schools abroad towards the general public, companies and the authorities in Switzerland and provides these schools with a number of administrative, financial management and HR management services. It also supports and advises young Swiss citizens abroad and pupils at Swiss schools abroad who would like to study or undergo vocational training in Switzerland. Our employees speak German, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

The complete report on the Conference of the Swiss Schools Abroad can be found on the www.educationsuisse.ch website.

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