Approach & methods

The project was realised as a joint effort between five partner institutions, the universities of Geneva, Fribourg and Bern and the IFEL(SUPSI), led and coordinated by FHNW. The characteristics of the institutions involved cover a broad spectrum of the Swiss Higher Education landscape: two French, three German speaking institutions, two universities of Applied Sciences and three ‘classic’ universities, four campus universities and one distance university. The project was realized as follows:

In a first step, FHNW, SUPSI (IFEL) and the University of Bern conducted a number of 60 interviews. UNIGE and UNIFR analysed, in addition, primary data from previous projects, surveys, interviews and workshops, with key stakeholders. The semi-structured interviews were conducted at the partner institutions in order to gain an in-depth understanding of collaboration practices and needs. The partners jointly developed a question guide that was flexibly followed in the conversations. The analysis of the interviews resulted in the development of co-operation requirements (deliverable 1) that were closely grounded in the data.

Secondly, on the basis of the requirements, the teams created scenarios (deliverable 2) i.e. short stories, to showcase concrete, authentic and contextualized collaboration sequences that are embedded in Higher Education settings to envision near-future collaboration in Swiss HE. The development was based on the interviews, but involved creativity and inspiration of the institutional design/project teams. Scenarios were then validated, revised and refined through further interviews according to the principles of scenario-based design (Carroll, 2000);

While requirements and scenarios were developed individually by the partners, in a final step, central functions and accounts (Deliverable 3) transcending institutional boundaries were identified in the form of a joint workshop with all project partners.

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