Sustainability at UniDistance Suisse

Our values – responsibility, integrity, innovation and enthusiasm – reflect our mission: to provide access to quality education for those who are unable or do not wish to attend the more traditional universities. Lifelong learning, in all of life’s situations, guarantees lasting development, socially, environmentally and economically.

Read our objectives with regard to sustainable development (in French and German)

Our objectives and measures

Our objectives with regard to sustainability revolve around three priorities: raising awareness, creating a sense of responsibility and supporting.

It is therefore a matter of raising the awareness of students and employees in respect of sustainable development, giving them the means to act and standing alongside them when they take initiatives to that end.

So, we are taking part in U-change, a programme to encourage student initiatives aimed at sustainable development. Our students can submit project proposals whenever a call for proposals is issued.

In future, we want to set up and run a platform dedicated to the contribution and exchange of ideas and initiatives for the students and employees.

Finally, our sustainability strategy provides for other measures and objectives, including setting up a centre of competence dedicated to sustainability within the Quality Assurance unit. This cross-functional unit will ensure that each UniDistance Suisse department integrates sustainability into its projects.

Tobias Schöpfer
Head of Quality assurance
tobias.schoepfer@fernuni.ch

Social sustainability

Social sustainability

Our flexible distance learning courses are accessible to people in situations that would not allow them to study at a more conventional university.

This concerns, among others:

  • people who are working and who aspire to better professional prospects
  • people who are busy looking after their family and who will go back to work when their children have grown up
  • people with reduced mobility who can study at home and, thus, reduce their need to travel
  • people living a long way away from urban centres, who can study at home, thereby reducing the need to travel.
  • elite athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen who are preparing for their career change.

Through the range of courses, programmes and services we offer, we contribute to equal opportunities and to lifelong learning.

Find out how studies work at UniDistance Suisse and get in touch with us if you require particular arrangements or support for your studies.

Our human resources policy also embodies this determination to achieve equality and balance.

Environmental sustainability

Building

Building

Our new building meets the Minergie standards, which exceed the legal requirements with regard to energy consumption. There is plenty of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. It has a ‘living’ roof planted up to absorb rainwater; most of the plot is given over to nature, with a garden planted with local tree species and water features. Parking spaces for electric cars and bicycles are provided for employees. Finally, potential for an extension to the building was taken into account at the design stage.

For the attended group classes which are held on Saturdays in different cities in Switzerland, we collaborate with other universities and use their buildings, which would otherwise be empty at weekends. In this way, we bring together our students at the most convenient time for them, while at the same time reducing our ecological impact to a minimum.

    Did you know? It is estimated that around 45% of energy consumption in Switzerland is attributable to buildings – as well as a third of CO2 emissions.

    Transport

    Transport

    Distance learning is in our DNA. So, to us, it’s only natural for journeys to be reduced to a minimum –for our teams as well as for the students. So, for example, …

    • All our employees are offered am SBB Half-Fare Travelcard. This is reflected in the fact that most of them use public transport.
    • Although we are based in Brig, we ensure that we hold the attended group classes in central cities such as Lausanne, Fribourg or Bern in order to reduce students’ journey times.
    • The students have to travel less than once a month on average for their studies. This is also the case for most of the lecturers.

    Economic sustainability

    UniDistance Suisse represents an opportunity for the economic development of the canton of Valais: it draws talented people to the region by creating attractive jobs. It also addresses the lack of skilled and qualified employees through its state-of-the-art programmes of studies. Finally, it offers the possibility of taking a course in tandem with work, thus contributing to the professional retraining of working people.

    Did you know? The Master’s in Artificial Intelligence generated 26 high value-added jobs between October 2018 and January 2020.