Social Media Study Tour

Press Release: Swiss Academia Gets a Boost Going Social

swissnex San Francisco and GEBERT RÜF STIFTUNG announce a novel program to train and familiarize Swiss academic institutions in the meaningful and successful use of social media to connect with local as well as global audiences.

San Francisco, California, and Basel, Switzerland – The institutions of higher education in Switzerland are among the best in Europe, if not the world. Like all universities, those in Switzerland seek to promote their message and their brand and attract the brightest scholars and researchers. Yet although social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn afford an innovative way to provide the wired world with access to real-time news and achievements, Swiss institutions of higher education have been slower to adopt these tools than their counterparts in other parts of the world.

«Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape» is a novel two-year program designed by swissnex San Francisco and made possible by GEBERT RÜF STIFTUNG and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research. Between early 2011 and early 2013, the project aims to assess barriers and advantages to using social media and carry out hands-on training, study tours, as well as publish an online resource for participants on how to use social media as an integral part of a communications strategy. The goal is to help Swiss higher education expand its presence and reach through these innovative new tools. Relevant participants from all Swiss higher education institutions including Universities of Applied Sciences and federal laboratories will be invited to participate.

Among the numerous letters of support for the project, Professor Dr. Antonio Loprieno, Rector of University of Basel and President of the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities said, «Using [swissnex’s] expertise and partnering with other Swiss universities gets everyone up to speed quickly and may allow Switzerland to get ahead of the curve with regard to social media rather than lag behind».

Bruno Giussani, European Director of the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference commented, «It is essential that Swiss universities be provided with proper comprehension of the phenomenon and applicable ideas, concepts and tools, on par with what’s used by the most advanced academics abroad».

Regardless of whether an institution has a local or international focus, these days they are all global by default thanks to the Internet. As social media proves it is here to stay (if Facebook were a nation, it would be the world’s third largest), it is necessary to have some kind of plan for social media that follows current standards and meets user expectations.

swissnex San Francisco is well suited to carry out this project because of its geographic location in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, where most of the big social media companies are located, where universities demonstrate best practice cases in the use of social media, and where trends are being generated. swissnex offers a streamlined infrastructure to receive and plan study tours, organize trainings, and work remotely with Switzerland.

«We are convinced that the results [of the project] will help us strengthen our international communication efforts to broad audiences, from media to students and faculty to the entire public at large», writes Thomas Schaller, Head Corporate Communications for ETH Zurich.

Press Contact

swissnex San Francisco
Dr. Christian Simm, Executive Director and Founder
(415) 912-5901 x104

Dr. Philipp Egger, Director
+41 79 318 66 77