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Exploring the future of higher education with Luciana Vaccaro


Dr. Luciana Vaccaro, an influential figure in Swiss higher education, recently shared her strategic vision for the evolving landscape of academia during a conference at EHL's Lausanne campus. As both the Rector of HES-SO, the largest University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, and the President of swissuniversities, she holds a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of higher education in the country.

With over a decade of experience in Swiss academia, Vaccaro's leadership spans various domains, including research, education, and international collaboration. Her tenure as Rector of HES-SO has been marked by a focus on guiding the institution to fulfill its core missions while adapting to the changing demands of the modern world.

At the heart of Vaccaro's vision are three critical pillars: internationalization, digitalization, and continued learning. She believes that these elements are essential for preparing students to thrive in a globalized and technologically driven society. Emphasizing the importance of providing students with international experiences, Vaccaro lauds EHL's efforts in fostering a diverse and multicultural learning environment.

Vaccaro's commitment to internationalization extends beyond individual institutions. She has championed initiatives such as HES-SO's participation in the UNITA alliance, a collaboration between European universities aimed at fostering mobility and cooperation. Through partnerships like these, Vaccaro seeks to expand opportunities for students to engage with different cultures and perspectives.

Digitalization is another key focus area for Vaccaro. While acknowledging the transformative potential of technology in education, she stresses the importance of using it judiciously to enhance the learning experience. Vaccaro advocates for integrating digital tools into pedagogical frameworks to create immersive and interactive learning environments.

Moreover, Vaccaro recognizes the need for lifelong learning in today's rapidly evolving job market. She envisions a future where education is flexible, modular, and accessible throughout one's career. Vaccaro promotes initiatives such as micro-certifications and executive education programs to facilitate continuous professional development.

Looking ahead, Vaccaro remains optimistic about the future of European academia. She envisions a unified European degree system that recognizes the interconnectedness of higher education across borders. Despite the challenges posed by budgetary constraints and geopolitical uncertainties, Vaccaro remains committed to advancing the cause of higher education both in Switzerland and beyond.

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