Who we are

The Swiss Global Competence Lab (SGCL) is a transdisciplinary innovation platform. An association of four institutional members (Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences, The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, and The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland), SGCL is an umbrella organization connecting experts from numerous backgrounds to promote international innovation and cooperation.  

SGCL pursues the goal of becoming Switzerland’s leading organization to facilitate collaborations across disciplines, organizations, and borders by providing services based on research in the language sciences, internationalization in tertiary institutions, and related fields. To keep up with current societal and institutional trends and to address their inherent challenges, we aspire to help deepen the understanding and knowledge of global and intercultural issues by promoting global citizenship locally, in research, teaching and beyond.  

We support affiliated members and external stakeholders, universities, as well as non-educational institutions in their internationalization projects, from research to teaching activities to internal or systematic changes such as the internationalization of the curriculum or the provision of various assessment tools.  

Our expertise and broad range of services are research and community driven, led by a diverse team of experts from four institutional members who complement each other by combining distinct backgrounds to create this innovation platform unique to Switzerland.  

SUSTAINABILITY. In its trainings and wide range of services, SGCL prioritizes global competence and intercultural fluency, necessary in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). We foster impactful and long-lasting partnerships and projects to promote the urgency laid out by these SDGs.  

CONNECTION. Public events, community outreach, networking opportunities, virtual exchanges, or research projects – SGCL is proud to have reliable partners and affiliated faculty members on the local, national, and international levels, building a valuable network that highlights transparency and global interconnectedness.  

TRANSDISCIPLINARITY. In all its endeavors, SGCL prides itself in bringing together people and groups from various backgrounds to cross disciplinary boundaries. A place dedicated to and equipped for research, instructional, institutional and program interests, SGCL provides space for innovation between, across, and beyond the disciplines involved

Our Founding Members

Multi-faceted and goal-oriented, you will benefit from our interdisciplinary approach and our international orientation. At BFH, our multilingual set-up (German/French/English) creates bridges to other language regions and cultural areas. We work in close cooperation with commercial enterprises, public institutions, the arts, administrative authorities, and society in general. Research and development at BFH are concentrated within around twenty strategic research focuses which involve all eight BFH departments.

Visit the Marketing & Global Management Institute. 

HES-SO is a network of 28 schools of higher education offering degree programmes in six key fields to some 22,000 students. Our universities play a key role in the social, economic and cultural development of each of western Switzerland’s seven cantons


The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) is one of the nine professional universities recognized by the Swiss Confederation. Founded under federal law and recognized for its accreditation in 2021, SUPSI offers more than 30 bachelor and master’s degree courses.

With more than 800 researchers and scientific collaborators, research at SUPSI gives a significant contribution to the University of Applied Sciences (UAS) landscape in Switzerland. The main feature of this research is the application profile, with a number of internationally recognized areas producing work of a high scientific level. SUPSI participation in European research projects is particularly noteworthy.

SUPSI is engaged in diverse international networks with its International Office and numerous activities of research and teaching.


The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is a globally active research and study community. While working across boarders and intensifying cooperation with foreign partners in all disciplines, for both students and staff alike, ZHAW values its regional position in the greater Zurich area, an international business and research hub. We are convinced that our society needs more actors who are competent and responsible, who work in networks to generate knowledge, and who recognise cultural diversity as an advantage. The Institute of Language Competence within the Department of Applied Linguistics contributes towards such a global society by, among others, actively engaging as a funding member of the Swiss Global Competence Lab.