Toward a Digital Strategy

The impact of digital technologies is a major economic, political, social and scientific issue of our time, which also profoundly impacts the academic world. The University of Geneva must therefore be constantly tracking the changes brought about by digital technologies and taking them into account in the context of its missions, which are education, research and services to the city of Geneva. In an age of rapid technological and social innovations, the University of Geneva has the ambition to promote excellence and innovation in all digital matters.



To achieve this objective, the Rectorate has incorporated digital technology into its strategy and appointed a Vice-Rector in charge of defining and piloting digital initiatives in the fields of education, research and services to the city of Geneva. In this context, the Rectorate has created a Digital Strategy Office and appointed a Director of Digital Strategy, whose mission is to stimulate innovative projects by monitoring and coordinating digital initiatives within the institution.

The University's digital strategy is in line with the four major missions defined in “Horizon 2025”, the University's strategic plan launched in 2015. These are:

1) To promote the emergence of interdisciplinary activities, both in research and education;

2) To strengthen links with International Geneva and integrate global issues into education and research;

3) To affirm the regional, national and international reference role of the University;

4) To play a pioneering role in the use and development of new technologies for education and research.

Like the digital realm, which is constantly evolving, the University's digital strategy is necessarily scalable and agile, in order to adapt rapidly to current and future digital developments and therefore be able to respond to social, economic and environmental challenges.

An example of a public event to which the Digital Strategy has contributed is the Open Geneva Hackathons, which took place in May 2017.

Focus of the Digital Strategy

Digital technology as an OBJECT of teaching and research
The University of Geneva has a responsibility to prepare its students, the academic community and the local citizenry for the digital age, by giving them the means to understand and face the challenges it presents. It conducts teaching and research related to digital technologies in an interdisciplinary fashion. Therefore, digital technology is not only understood in its technological dimension, but also in its other dimensions, in particular cultural, economic, legal and social. Digital technology is thus an object of the University's activities.

Digital technology as a TOOL for teaching and research
The University of Geneva offers its students, the university community and the City of Geneva digital services that enable the various stakeholders to benefit in a broad range of ways from the teaching and research on digital issues. Digital technology is thus a means of carrying out the activities of the University.

Digital technology as a society ISSUE
Aware of its privileged position on the global digital map (Geneva has been designated as the "world capital of digital diplomacy" in the 2030 Geneva's strategy plan), The University of Geneva participates actively in digital debates at the local, national and international levels and participates through its actions in the implementation of national, cantonal and global digital strategy plans. It contributes to the positioning of Geneva and Switzerland in digital matters in close cooperation with other stakeholders, including Geneva’s international organizations.

Digital Strategy Bodies

The Rectorate has set up a Digital Strategy Office, which is chaired by the Vice-Rector in charge of digital strategy and whose  mission is to spearhead the following activities under the leadership of the Director of Digital Strategy:

  • Observe and Connect
    The DSO monitors digital initiatives at the University and elsewhere, and connects actors to ensure institutional synergy in terms of digital activities, as well as alignment and coordination with regional, national and international digital strategies.
  • Listen and Initiate
    The DSO consults regularly with internal and external stakeholders (students, teachers, researchers, administrators and partners in the city of Geneva and around the world) to identify and initiate new strategic digital activities and partnerships.

The Rectorate will be forming a Digital Advisory Board that will bring together internal and external experts in the digital domain. The goal of this body will be advising the Rectorate on the institution’s strategic digital policies.