The Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen (SFISM) is a leading Swiss sports institution for further education and training.

SFISM is part of the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO) and forms part of the Magglingen umbrella organisation that unifies Swiss sports policy, sports promotion and sports science. It is a federal government institution, that is expected to be independently accredited in 2022. SFISM is a strategical partner institution of BFH.


Together with the assistant rector Dr. Thomas Wyss and SFISM's management board, the rector Dr. Urs Mäder manages the university and represents it within FOSPO Executive Board as well as externally.

Rektor EHSM
Urs Mäder, rector EHSM; Thomas Wyss, assistant rector

SFISM Advisory Board

The SFISM Advisory Board advises the Director of FOSPO from a university standpoint on matters of education, research and development as well as services, in particular on the following topics:

a. Strategic orientation of the university-specific activities of SFISM;

b. Positioning of SFISM in the university landscape;

c. SFISM's quality assurance strategy.

The SFISM Advisory Board comprises a maximum of five members with proven experience and a relationship to university policy in the fields of science, culture, business, society or sport. The following members of the SFISM Advisory Board were appointed at the end of 2021 at the proposal of the Director of FOSPO by the Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports DDPS:

  • Dr Martina van Berkel, former elite athlete and athlete representative as Co-President of the Swiss Olympic Team Athletes Commission on the Executive Board of Swiss Olympic. She works as a Digital Innovation Manager at UBS in Zurich.
  • Anna Hellman, Director of ThinkSport in Lausanne, a platform that links international sports organisations with academic institutions. Anna Hellmann has acquired over 15 years' experience in the field of sports management at the national and international level.
  • Prof. em. Dr med. dent. Daniel Buser, former professor at the Clinic for Dental Medicine at the University of Bern, Chairman of the Board of Directors of sitem-Insel AG, a centre of excellence for translational medicine at the Insel Campus in Bern. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kongress + Kursaal AG Bern and President of the Jugendförderung Berner Handball foundation.
  • Prof. em. Dr Bengt Kayser, former head of the Institute of Kinesiology at the University of Lausanne. He worked as a scientist on a range of topics in the field of sports biology and is very well networked both in Switzerland and internationally.

The SFISM Advisory Board usually meets four times a year under the leadership of the Director of FOSPO.

On 3 March 1944, the Swiss Federal Council directed the Federal Department of Defence (FDoD) to establish a sports school based in Magglingen. Choosing Magglingen as the location was the beginning of a process that would prove momentous for the Swiss sports movement. The legal foundation for the ETS sports school followed in 1947, and a ruling of 20 January 1948 defined the mission and organisation of the ETS, providing the legal basis for the many responsibilities with which the ETS was tasked, on behalf of the Confederation, until 1972. The mission included training, research and advisory services, publication and film services and administration.

The intention of creating a research facility was there from the early years, but a dedicated research institute was only established in 1966.

In 1989 the ETS was renamed the Swiss Sports School Magglingen (SSSM). In 1999, the ever increasing societal and, therefore, political importance of sport led to the reorganisation of the sports school to become the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO). A close link with Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH was established at that time and SFISM is still a part of BFH today.

SFISM was established through the merger of SSSM and the SWI research institute in 2005. In 2010, the Youth + Sports (Y+S) unit was taken out of SFISM to form a separate department within FOSPO. The decision to remove the Y+S sport policy apparatus for promoting sports created the necessary foundations for SFISM to develop its own identity as a university.

Please note

The academic work ‘Die Eidgenössische Sportschule Magglingen 1944- 1994: 50 Jahre im Dienst der Sportförderung’ [Swiss Sports School Magglingen 1944-1994: 50 years of promoting sport] by Lutz Eichenberger provides a detailed examination of the development of the SSSM. It can be viewed or borrowed from the SFISM sports media library.