An overview of FFHS

The Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences (Fernfachhochschule Schweiz – FFHS)  is a nationally recognised university. Since 1998, it has been offering part-time Bachelor and Master’s degrees and continuing education programmes. With more than 20 years of experience in distance learning, it is the leading e-learning university in Switzerland and is an alternative for students looking to combine work, family and study.

FFHS has four locations in Zurich, Basel, Bern and Brig. It has 170 employees and more than 500 lecturers who communicate their specialist knowledge to the round 2,800 students (status: 2022) in a practice-oriented manner. In its four research institutes, FFHS performs application-oriented research in the areas of web science, management & innovation, health and e-learning under a performance mandate from the federal government.

Since 2004, FFHS has been affiliated to the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana - SUPSI) and incorporated into its overall strategy.

Since 2017, FFHS has had a UNESCO Chair of Personalised and Adaptive Distance Education.

Blended Learning an der FFHS

A pioneer in blended learning

FFHS has been offering degree courses as per the «blended learning» model for over 20 years and is considered to be a pioneer in distance learning in Switzerland. Its model is based on around 80% self or online study and 20% classroom teaching. The innovative form of study – a combination of e-learning with traditional teaching and direct practical relevance – closes a gap in the Swiss education system: FFHS trains highly qualified professionals without removing them from the employment market.

FFHS is sponsored by its foundation, which is registered in Brig-Glis (CH). The foundation has a non-profit nature and does not have any commercial purpose. It is primarily dedicated to overseeing national tasks in the area of distance learning and e-learning, applied research and development at the university level and the provision of services for third parties.

The emergence of universities of applied sciences in the 1990s marked a new type of university, which quickly became established in the Swiss education system. Universities of applied sciences offer a practical education at a university level that is in high demand among students and employers. The foundation of universities of applied science revalued the vocational route by making it possible for qualified professionals to continue to study at university level.

In Switzerland today there are eight public universities of applied sciences.

As an affiliated school of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), the Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciencesis one of eight public universities of applied sciences in Switzerland.


(Source: State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI)

The distance learning system is fundamentally bound to the same goals and quality standards as brick-and-mortar universities. As an affiliated school of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), FFHS fulfils the mandate from the federal government in the areas of education, further education, research and development and services.

Standorte der FFHS


The FFHS headquarters are in Brig and it runs four campuses across German-speaking Switzerland. Students can choose to receive their classroom tuition on one of these campuses (Zurich, Bern, Basel or Brig). FFHS also runs a study centre in St. Gallen.