César Ritz Colleges Switzerland has been named one of the world’s top universities, according to the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings. In this interview, Tanja Florenthal, Dean of César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, shares her thoughts on this amazing achievement.
The QS World University Rankings by Subject, released March 3rd by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, names the world’s best universities for the study of 51 academic disciplines.
César Ritz Colleges Switzerland ranked 7th top school in 2021 for the study of Hospitality & Leisure Management, a notable improvement from last year’s 13th position. The full rankings can be found here.
How do you explain César Ritz Colleges Switzerland's higher ranking this year (from 13th in 2020 to 7th in 2021)?
It is our continuous focus on quality teaching, with an emphasis on real-life learning, that has helped improve our ranking. At César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, we focus on delivering a premium education experience through the application of hospitality, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
How did your school continue to ensure that the quality of education was not altered when classes moved online?
Teaching online is more than moving your lectures to Zoom. It requires a shift in course design and organization, to ensure an interactive learning experience and creative usage of technology. Online teaching requires a lot more preparation because lecturers need to carefully think about what activities are needed to support learning.
What positive changes has COVID-19 brought to the school?
It has provided more flexibility in learning and a wider range of online activities in novel situations. Students can review the learning resources and improve activities multiple times, and lecturers can monitor their progress. In face-to-face teaching, the lecturer can often be the central focus of the classroom, whereas online, students became better at regulating their own learning activities.
What are you the most proud of?
We are very proud of the different ways our lecturers brought active and experiential learning online. It is very important for classes to stay stimulating, and though the shift to online teaching happened very quickly, our faculty managed well and the feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. I am also proud of how we complement our lectures with hands-on, experiential learning. For example, our students:
What is planned to maintain or surpass this excellence?
The world has changed and the expectations of our students have increased. We need to continue offering practical and experiential learning that takes students out of the classrooms and into real-life situations. Not only will we continue to equip our students with the required knowledge and skills, we will provide them with opportunities that fuel deep learning and engage them to learn by doing. Students will be empowered to become creative, resourceful, initiative-taking, action-orientated graduates.
QS Quacquarelli Symonds is the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector. The QS World University Rankings portfolio, inaugurated in 2004, has grown to become the world’s most popular source of comparative data about university performance. Their flagship website, https://www.topuniversities.com – the home of their rankings – was viewed 147 million times in 2020, and over 98’000 media clippings pertaining to, or mentioning, QS were published by media outlets across the world in 2020.
The rankings provide an authoritative comparative analysis on the performance of 14’435 individual university programs, taken by students at 1’452 universities which can be found in 86 locations across the world, across 51 academic disciplines and five broad Faculty Areas. More methodological information can be found at https://www.topuniversities.com/subject- rankings/methodology.