About us

Issues of old age and ageing affect every individual, as well as society as a whole. They can’t be solved from any single perspective. The Institute on Ageing brings together a team of dedicated, experienced experts from a variety of disciplines who collaborate on pioneering research, continuing education and consulting services.


The Institute on Ageing was established in 2012 and offers research, continuing education and consulting services in three themed focus areas. Since 2022, it has been carried equally by the Departments of Social Work and Health. The Institute has a dedicated, interdisciplinary core team, supported by experts from other BFH organisations in line with the problem at hand.


Prof Jonathan Bennett studied psychology at the University of Zurich (licentiate 1998, doctorate 2005). He has been working at Bern University of Applied Sciences since 2009, initially in the former division of social work, and since 2012 as a lecturer at the Institute on Ageing. He has been head of the Institute since August 2016 - since 2022 in co-management with Karin Haas.

Karin Haas, Dr. rer. nat., studied nutritional sciences at the University of Vienna (Magistra 2002, doctorate 2006). Since 2007 she has worked as a lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Health, Nutrition and Dietetics. Since 2022 she has headed the Institute of Ageing together with Jonathan Bennett.

The Institute’s advisory board advises management on strategic matters and contributes to its visibility and interdisciplinary direction. It provides impetus for the advancement of research, consulting services and continuing education and establishes contacts with collaborative partners and partners in practice.

Advisory board members

  • Chantal Beyeler – adviser on pension and early retirement models, former Head of the Department of Predictive Modelling at Swiss Federal Railways (SBB)
  • Beat Bühlmann – member of the Luzern 60plus forum, the council of the Swiss Gerontology Society
  • Annemarie Kempf Schluchter – former Institutional Head of Pro Senectute Haus Reichenbach and former Member of the Grand Council of Bern
  • Andreas Kruse – Professor (chair) and Director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Heidelberg
  • Randolph Page – former Managing Director at Pro Senectute Region Bern
  • Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello – Emeritus Professor Institute of Psychology, University of Bern

We cultivate a broad, active expert network comprising universities, politics and professionals in the field domestically and abroad. Our long-standing partnership with Pro Senectute Switzerland, collaboration with the Swiss Society for Gerontology (SGG-SSG) and the academic and practice partnership (APP) with Domicil Bern and BFH Health Professions are particularly significant.


The Senevita «Designing Lifestyles in Old Age» endowment prize

Students from all subjects who are studying the topic of old age as part of a bachelor’s, consecutive master’s, DAS or MAS at Bern University of Applied Sciences, can enter for the Senevita Foundation prize. The prize is awarded for outstanding, innovative theses within the last two years. Its aim is to engage students’ interest in the topic of ‘Lifestyle design in old age’ and support knowledge transfer between research and practice.

The Senevita Foundation’s objective is to improve quality of life and accommodation in old age. It supports projects on issues relating to old age, living arrangements and lifestyles in old age and intergenerational relationships in Switzerland. The prize is organised and administered in collaboration with the Institute on Ageing.

Enter now