Mandate, Strategy and Legal Foundation
Providing continuing education is a statutory mandate from the federal government. It is prominently enshrined in the ETH Act, and in ETH Zurich’s strategy.
Art. 2 Purpose:
1 The role of the Federal Institutes of Technology (FITs) and their affiliated research institutes shall be:
a. to educate students and specialists in scientific and technical fields and ensure continuing education and training
Art. 8 Teaching:
1 The two FITs shall discharge their teaching duties in particular by:
c. providing postgraduate courses and other continuing education;
d. organising special courses;
e. offering courses for those returning to the employment market.
Performance mandate of the Federal Council to the ETH Domain for the period 2013-2016
“[The ETH Domain] will ensure the provision of a varied range of high-quality continuing education courses and in doing so make an important contribution towards lifelong learning.”
Continuing Education in the Mission Statement of ETH Zurich
"ETH Zurich takes into account the fact that learning is being seen more and more as a life-long process. Correspondingly, the basic curriculum is kept relatively short and is later supplemented by postgraduate and further education courses. This is to promote a more rapid transfer of knowledge and technology between the university and the world outside."
Strategy and Development Plan 2012-16
“Academic continuing education plays an important role in knowledge and technology transfer and therefore benefits society and the economy. ETH Zurich sets up continuing education programmes in its core subject areas. The provision is based on the needs of society, the individual requirements of participants and of companies and administrative organisations and, not least, the scientific interests and available capacity of the continuing education providers at ETH Zurich. The courses (...) meet the institution’s high quality standards and are research-based. The continuing education takes account of the fact that ETH Zurich alumni take up leading roles as specialists and senior managers working in business and for the state and generates significant secondary benefits for the university.”
A more detailled description is available in the German version of the Strategic Orientation: Strategie und Entwicklungsplan der ETH Zürich 2012-16, p. 25
Continuing Education Ordinance
ETH Zurich defines the objectives, courses, responsibilities and processes of continuing education in the Continuing Education Ordinance and in the Organisational Rules on Continuing Education. The new Ordinance and the new Rules were approved by the ETH Zurich Executive Board on 26 March 2013 and come into force on 1 October 2013.
For every continuing education Master’s, Diploma or Certificate programme, the ETH Zurich Executive Board has to approve the Programme Regulations at the request of the department providing the course.