Swiss-US Academic Relations Bolstered By New Dual Degree

An agreement between the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute creates opportunities for international study and accreditation from both institutions.

May 2, 2023 | Boston & New York

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) signed an agreement last month to establish a dual degree program with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts. The agreement, set to be implemented starting in fall 2024, establishes a joint educational program between the two institutions, in which students from both universities can study internationally, gain intercultural competence, and ultimately earn a Master of Science degree from each institution.

The agreement was signed by Urs Hilber, Dean of the ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management (LSFM), Dirk Wilhelm, Dean of the ZHAW School of Engineering (SoE), Jean King, Dean of the WPI School of Arts and Sciences, and Carolina Ruiz, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at WPI.

In addition to the dual degrees, the agreement establishes opportunities for faculty and student exchange programs, as well as opportunities for research collaboration. It also serves as a model for potential future collaborations between WPI and additional ZHAW schools.

The program represents a new step in the collaborative relationship between the two institutions and is a milestone in the ZHAW’s internationalization efforts in New England, which the ZHAW LSFM targeted due to the region’s strength in the sciences. In October 2022, ZHAW LSFM leadership came to Boston on a delegation visit facilitated by Swissnex to seek new collaborations on food innovation. During the trip, they met with representatives at WPI and finalized preparations for the dual degree agreement. ZHAW is planning to celebrate the opening of its new “Future of Food” teaching and research facility early next year during Lake Week 2024.

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences, founded in 2007, is one of the leading universities of applied sciences in Switzerland. It offers teaching, research, continuing education and other services that are both practice-oriented and science-based across eight schools.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems.