20 Years Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH

20 Years Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH

Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) was founded in 1997. It is one of seven public-law universities of applied sciences in Switzerland.


BFH was created in 1997 as a result of converting and joining 13 colleges of higher education. The basis for the founding of BFH was the Swiss Federal Act on Universities of Applied Sciences which came into force in 1996. The aim was to implement the dual education system at university level and strengthen Switzerland as a centre of business and innovation. Today BFH comprises the five departments Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering (AHB), University for Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Bern University of the Arts (HKB), Engineering and Information Technology (TI), Business, Health, Social Work (WGS), and the affiliated Federal Institute of Sports in Magglingen (EHSM).


Practice-oriented teaching

The performance mandate of BFH includes the four areas of teaching, applied research and development, further education, and services. The core remit is practice-oriented and research-based teaching. In its six departments (incl. EHSM) BFH offers a very varied range of study programmes, extending from Architecture and Agronomy, to Mechanical Engineering, Music Pedagogy, and on to Forestry Sciences and Economy. There are a total of 30 Bachelor degree courses and 22 Master degree courses to choose from. The number of students has grown continuously over the past few years. With 6664 students in 2015 BFH is a medium-sized university of applied sciences. By offering language courses in German, French and English, BFH at university level builds bridges to other linguistic regions and labour markets.


Application-oriented research

BFH carries out application-oriented research and development and is actively committed to the field of transfer of knowledge and technology. The research is concentrated on some 20 strategic focal key areas from all departments, with BFH engaged in close collaboration with partners from business, public institutions and culture. In seven BFH Centres it combines competencies from selected areas. In this way BFH meets the demand for interdisciplinary solutions for present and future social and technological challenges. The multi-departmental Centres were formed on the basis of established research groups and institutes, and their special combined structure is unique in Switzerland.


Practice-based further education and services

The departments of BFH provide a range of further education courses that is adapted to the requirements of business, administration, culture and society. In 2015, 1860 people completed a postgraduate course (EMBA, MAS, DAS or CAS). What is more, all six departments (incl. EHSM) offer seminars and courses. The services provided are also characterised by a strong focus on practice. The departments provide services in product testing, planning, expertise and consultancy.

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