20 days
1384 EUR/full
1384 EUR/full
Tuition fee
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This online What Defines a Country’s Success - Switzerland's Experience in Comparison programme from University of Zurich explores the development of Switzerland in comparison with other successful small countries.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Students will find out how Switzerland became one of the richest and most globalized countries in the world. During the three weeks of the summer school, you will learn about the country’s roots and how it became an international finance center. We will also study Switzerland’s globally successful industries, such as watchmaking, pharmaceuticals, and food processing, by talking to leading experts.

We will then compare Switzerland to other successful small and open countries in today’s world. Together, we will explore their singularities, similarities and remarkable differences. This will help us to understand whether there is one recipe for political stability and economic success, or if there are many different development paths.

By doing so, we will examine which historical, sociological, and political factors have to be taken into account when explaining a country’s success.

Last but not least, this will also help us to understand why countries react differently to crises such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Outcomes

In this What Defines a Country’s Success - Switzerland's Experience in Comparison programme from University of Zurich , you will:

  • Understand the different preconditions and historic experiences in the economic development of small countries based on a comparative, interdisciplinary approach.
  • Analyze various Swiss success stories and identify Switzerland’s singularities and its commonalities with other countries.
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the different “national models” and how their elements fit together.
  • Draw conclusions for ongoing debates on the relevant factors for successful economic development and for the efficient management of countries in times of a crisis, such as the current pandemic.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Switzerland’s Humble Beginnings
  • Switzerland as an Early Globalizer – Global Trading in a World of Empires
  • Three sectors for which Switzerland is famous
  • How to catch up with the UK – Small Countries' Industrialization in 19th-20thc
  • The Search for Social Peace - From Class Struggle to Social Partnership & Welfare State
  • The Search for Political Stability – Overcoming regional, political, and religious cleavages

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 20 days

Start dates & application deadlines







Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Talented Bachelor students who have completed their first year of study and Master students.
  • Applicants must possess a sufficient command of English (broadly CEFR B2 or equivalent) to be able to actively contribute to classes. This needs to be visible from your motivation letter, previous studies or work experience.

Technological requirements

To follow this online summer school, you will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection. To participate in the daily video conferences, we highly recommend using high speed broadband access for an optimal learning experience.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    1384 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1384 EUR for the full programme during 20 days.
  • EU/EEA

    1384 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1384 EUR for the full programme during 20 days.

CHF 1,500  


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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What Defines a Country’s Success - Switzerland's Experience in Comparison
University of Zurich


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