Hochalpines Institut Ftan expands and focuses its educational programme

Posted on 4th Nov 2021 in School News, Switzerland

The Board of Directors of Hochalpines Institut Ftan AG (Swiss International School and Sports Academy) has taken the strategic decisions necessary to safeguard the school’s successful operations over the long term and to continue its long-standing tradition. Starting in the academic year 2022/23, even greater emphasis will be placed on key topics such as sustainable development, global cititzenship, and sports, while also strengthening the school’s ties to the local region.

In March of 2021, Education in Motion acquired a majority shareholding in Hochalpines Institut Ftan AG (HIF), thereby securing the school’s long-term financial future. This now makes HIF part of a worldwide family of schools that share a clearly defined mission: to pioneer education for a sustainable future. The focus is on inspiring and empowering students with the passion, skills and opportunities to make a difference in the world.

The HIF Board of Directors has now adapted the school’s existing educational programme to reflect these principles. The main focus will continue to be on the Swiss Matura curriculum, which follows the achievement targets set by the Canton Graubuenden and will be expanded to include new subjects and modules. Thus, students at HIF are to spend several months working independently on a self-chosen “passion project” involving a topic of relevance to society or the environment. This will build on the existing Leadership and Personality training. Going forward, the languages on offer – Rhaeto-Romanic, Italian, and French – will be supplemented by Mandarin Chinese as an extra-curricular option. In addition, outdoor activities in nature and sporting activities will become integral elements of the Swiss Matura extra curricular programme.

Sustainable learning in the natural splendour of the Engadine Valley

A further core element of the new strategy will be the “Ignite” programme, a demanding course of study targeting pupils in the 9th form that is unique in all of Switzerland. The concept is to use experiential learning in the Engadine Alpine landscape to hone the students’ interpersonal skills, appreciation for ecological and social interdependencies, and sense of personal civic responsibility. The “Ignite” programme will allow up to 70 additional students from the across Education in Motion family of schools to attend HIF starting in the academic year 2022/23.

Likewise, the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) programme will be supplemented by subjects such as art, music, and science. The guidance provided to students regarding higher education and career opportunities will be expanded to cover three years. Students also will have the opportunity to earn their Swiss Matura and IB degree concomitantly. Finally, a greater emphasis will be placed on athletics. In collaboration with various sports clubs throughout the region, the competitive sports programme will be expanded and will be accessible to all young people residing in the region.

Jon Peer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hochalpines Institut Ftan AG, commented as follows: “These programmes will give young people, particularly those from our region, the unique opportunity to give their education a more international outlook and, going forward, to shoulder their part of the responsibility for the world’s social and ecological concerns.”

Christian Gürtler, Vice Chairman of the majority shareholder’s Board of Directors, added: “These educational programmes will allow HIF to position and establish itself within the Swiss and European educational landscape. This is because our academic curriculum, with its holistic and systematic orientation towards sustainable development, is unique in all of Switzerland.” 

Focus on the Swiss Matura; closure of the Secondary School

In consultation with the municipal authorities of the region, the Board of Directors has decided to focus the school’s operations entirely on the College, with its Swiss Matura, IB programme, and the “Ignite” programme, and to continue operating the Secondary School only for the current student body of eight students. No new students will be admitted to the Secondary School since there are enough alternatives on offer throughout the region. On the other hand, the competitive sports programme will also be open to local youth attending a school other than HIF.

Repayment of the loan to the municipality

The HIF Board of Directors wishes to thank the Municipality of Scuol for the crucial financial support it has provided over several years in the form of a loan amounting to three million Swiss francs. The Board has resolved to repay the loan at maturity by the end of the year. In return, the Municipality of Scuol is to waive its pre-emptive purchase and re-sale rights. 

HIF also plans to invest in its infrastructure. As a first step, wide-ranging renovation work is planned in the older part of the school. This is to be followed by infrastructural additions that will also involve the construction of new buildings.

Becoming part of the EiM family of schools

Education in Motion (EiM) is a global education company that aspires to be a leader in pioneering education for a sustainable future. By delivering Worldwise education through each of its schools, it aims to empower communities with the knowledge, skills and motivation to make a difference for the world. EiM has established a diverse family of eduation brands, each with different focus areas but with the same core mission. As a new member of the EiM family, Hochalpines Institut Ftan joins recognised school brands such as Dulwich College International, Dulwich International High School, and Green School International. Today, the EiM network is nurturing more than 10,000 students to Live Worldwise.