Zurich/Lausanne – The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) have established a first joint doctoral program. From the spring of 2022, graduates in STEM subjects in particular can complete their PhD in learning sciences.

ETH and EPFL are launching their first joint doctoral program. Starting from the spring of 2022, the two federal institutes of technology will be training experts in the field of learning sciences. According to a press release, the four-year doctoral program is above all aimed at Master’s graduates from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines​ with a keen interest in learning and education.

ETH and EPFL to offer first joint doctoral program
Image: ETH Zürich

“Our goal is to train experts who can address education-​related issues by drawing on a scientific background”, comments Pierre Dillenbourg, Associate Vice President for Education and head of the Computer-​Human Interaction in Learning and Instruction (CHILI) laboratory at EPFL. Dillenbourg was responsible for developing this doctoral program in conjunction with Manu Kapur, who holds the Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich and heads up ETH Zurich’s Future Learning Initiative.

According to Kapur, research has revealed how traditional methods of teaching are often suboptimal. “Data science, artificial intelligence and robotics open up new research approaches that further promote such insights”, Kapur explains. For this reason, the joint program represents a “significant step for the learning sciences in Switzerland, but also for science in general, as it sets the framework for joint programs in other fields to be established”, he adds.

Students can complete the study program at either of the universities. The deadline for submitting applications is December 1, 2021. A second application round will then commence next spring.  

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