Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration

Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration

IDHEAP - Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration is an independent foundation associated with the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne ( École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ) devoted to graduate and post-graduate training for public sector executives and (more recently) students wishing to take up public service. It also provides professional training for members of administrative bodies. It receives support from the Swiss Confederation under the Swiss Federal Law on University Funding.

IDHEAP offers :
* a doctorate in Public Administration [] []
* a Master of Public Administration [] (MPA), designed for experienced public sector executives (average age : 37), which may be taken full time (1 year) or part time (2 or 3 years)
* a Master of Arts in Public Management and Policies [fr] (the PMP Master), designed for young bachelors attracted by careers in the public sector;
* the DEAP [] : a multi-disciplinary full-time and intensive course for executives, based on concrete projects that the participants bring with them from their respective areas.
* short executive programs [] (SSC) tailored to individual needs, for decision-takers in the public and para-public sectors;
* a Master of Advanced Studies [ [$all)/EF33A44A67671543C1257410002F26CE?OpenDocument ] ] (MAS), a Diploma of Advanced Studies [$all)/82EE36F1A80825C9C1257410002F1D55?OpenDocument] (DAS) and a Certificate of Advanced Studies [$all)/9FC65B493239996AC125740F0049B6A8?OpenDocument ] (CAS) in Management of Vocational Training Institutions and Education Policy, designed in partnership with the University of Geneva, the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training [ ] (SFIVET) and the State of Vaud High Pedagogical School [ ] (HEP). Beyond its teaching activities, IDHEAP also carries out research and counselling missions aimed at furthering basic knowledge of how the public sector operates.IDHEAP has been designated as the « leading institution » of the Swiss Public Administration Network [] (SPAN) which aims to foster cooperation between the universities of Bern, Lausanne and Lugano, to boost research works and doctoral studies in public administration.

hort history and chronology

IDHEAP was created (under the form of a “Foundation for a graduate school in public administration”) by Enrico Bignami, former delegate of the Board of Directors of Nestlé and creator of IMEDE (now International Institute for Management Development [] , who wished to establish « a Swiss MBA for the public sector ». The other founders were the canton of Vaud, the University of Lausanne, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Association of Friends of IDHEAP.
*1982: Convention with the University of Lausanne.
*1983: Opening of the Research Centre. Signature of a Convention with the Swiss Federal Personnel Office.
*1984: Short courses for the State of Vaud launched.
*1987: Recognition by the Swiss Confederation.
*1990: Co-operation agreement with the [ European Institute of Public Administration ] (EIPA/ IEAP) in Maastricht.
*1994: Creation of the MPA (Master of Public Administration). Launch of the executive training programs for managers.
*1995: Introduction of the joint IDHEAP –University of Lausanne doctorate [] [] .
*2000: The service contract with the canton of Vaud and the Confederation takes effect.
*2001: Co-operation agreement with the [ National School of Public Administration in Quebec] (Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique - ENAP).
*2003: Co-operation convention with the University of Bern, Center of Competence in Public Management.
*2007: IDHEAP designated as the leading institution of the Swiss Public Administration Network [] .
*2009-2010: Opening of a new building on the Lausanne university campus.


The institute is accredited by the Swiss Confederation (OAQ [] [] ), and the MPA is accredited by the EAPAA [] (European Association for Public Administration Accreditation).


Chair 'Public Management and Marketing' (Prof. M. Pasquier [] )

* Strategic management of organisations
* Public marketing (notably relations between the organisation and the citizen/client)
* Communication by public or non-profit organisations []

Chair 'Public policies/Europe'

* Adaptation of Swiss public policies to international requirements
* Repercussions of European integration on Swiss institutions
* Horizontal and vertical collaboration between the States and the Swiss Confederation []

Chair 'Public finance' (Prof. N. Soguel [] )

* Financial equalisation and rapprochement between local authorities (States, municipalities)
* Evaluation of financial situations (debt situations, operating costs, budget, financial plans)
* Concept for / analysis of financing systems (taxes, charges, contributions) []

Chair 'Swiss public administration and institutional policies' (Prof. A. Ladner [] )

* Operation of/ reforms in institutions (parliament, government, direct democracy) at a Federal and Cantonal level
* Evaluation of how Federalism and inter-Cantonal collaboration operates
* Information and analysis based on “Badac” (Database of the Swiss Cantons and Cities) []

Chair 'Local policy/Public policy evaluation' (Prof. K. Horber-Papazian [] )

* Evaluations of public policies
* Local and regional development, allocation of tasks between States and municipalities, and vertical and horizontal collaboration
* Mediation and participation in public management []

Chair 'Public policy/Environmental studies' (Prof. P. Knoepfel [] )

* Management of natural resources /Agenda 21
* Cultural and environmental policies
* Policies for political and administrative knowledge management []

Chair 'Public management /Human resources' (Prof. Y. Emery [] )

* Public management: strategic approaches, quality management and producing more flexible organisations
* Personnel policies and integrated HRM (Human Resources Management) concept
* Key processes of HRM: recruitment, performance management, remuneration, personal development, management of working hours []

Chair 'Social policies' (Prof. G. Bonoli [] )

* International comparison of social policies (structures, effectiveness, costs)
* Reform of retirement systems
* Activation policies
* Reconciling work and family life
* New social risks and problems
* The political dimension of social policies []

Chair 'Public management/Information systems' (Prof. JL. Chappelet [] )

* Statistical analysis, modelling, text and data mining technology
* Designing and developing knowledge management systems
* Quality systems, and in particular statistical control of processes
* Management of information and information /organisational systems
* E-government and e-democracy, information society policies
* Sport management and sport policies []

The MPA program

The MPA programme [] is a 90 ECTS [] executive, flexible length and multidisciplinary program drawn up according to European accreditation standards, designed for public sector managers or would-be managers. It is also opened to anyone wishing to pursue a career in an organisation whose activities involve working with the public sector.

The curriculum includes a foundation course (6 core modules of 6 days –one day a week during the academic year), 3 course options of 12 days, chosen among a list of 18 elective courses [] and an +/- 100 pages thesis [$FILE/Note+sur+la+préparation+du+mémoire.pdf] [$FILE/Liste+des+mémoires+85_07.pdf] crowning a original and in-depth research project carried out in an interdisciplinary perspective and supervised by a professor at IDHEAP and an external expert.

Teaching includes group works (both presential and online), simulations, case studies (which may require students to work on real mandates and counselling missions carried out by the Institute) and research works. The MPA offers a direct insight into the transformations that are happening in public services through numerous contributions from outside experts.

The IDHEAP courses are delivered in French (although an international Executive MPA will soon be offered in English). The two other working languages are German and English. It should be pointed out, however, that both the trimester’s work and the dissertation can be written in French, German, English or Italian.

Graduate profile:
* average age : 37
* 66 % men, 34 % women
* 80 % already have a university degree, mainly in political sciences, arts, economics and law.


The IDHEAP teaching and research units participate in fundamental research projects financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation [] (FNS) and R&D financed by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) or the European Union (four-year Information Society Technologies framework programmes). Some research receives support from programmes such as the Swiss Virtual Campus, the Interreg fund (European Cross-border Cooperation) or COST – European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research. Part of the research work carried out at IDHEAP is financed by consulting or experts’ fees.

33 research projects are currently under way. Recent examples include :
* BADAC [] (Database of the Swiss States and Cities), Conference of Cantonal Chancellors
* Conditions for a joint representation of the scope for public action on a local level, Swiss National Science Foundation
* eGOV (integrated platform for an online, one-stop government), 5th IST (Information Society Technologies) framework programme, European Union
* Modelling transport in Switzerland, Swiss Federal Statistical Office
* MOTOWN – Workey (Workflow designer and builder), Commission for Technology and Innovation
* Income and public spending: impact on budgetary balance and econometric modelling, Swiss National Science Foundation
* Institutional regimes for urban resources, IRIS project (integration, regulation and social innovations) for the Lake Geneva triangle
* SOMIT [] (Sports Organisation Management Interactive Teaching), Swiss virtual campus []
* Actors’ strategies regarding ongoing training, Swiss National Science Foundation (National Research Project 43)
* The Swiss Decision Making System in the Era of Globalization, Swiss National Science Foundation (Priority Programme “Switzerland Tomorrow”).5 new research projects have been awarded to IDHEAP in 2007 by the Swiss National Fund for Research (FNS). 3 doctorate of Public Administration were awarded by the University of Lausanne on the recommendation of IDHEAP in 2007.For a more comprehensive list of research projects carried out by the IDHEAP, please have a look at the IDHEAP website: []

Mandates and counselling missions

40 mandates were carried out in 2007 : benchmarking missions, fusion of small towns and administrations, fiscal optimization, efficiency evaluations, organizational audit, satisfaction surveys, marketing audit, organizational reengineering… Among the main clients, were the principalty of Lichtstenstein, the International French-speaking Organization (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie), the Swiss Parliament [] , the Swiss Conference of Universities [] , the Swiss Federal Office of Culture [] , the Swiss Federal Office of Migrations [] , the Swiss Federal Office of Social Insurances [] , the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology [] , the Swiss states of Bern [] , Fribourg [] , Neuchâtel [] , Valais [] , Vaud [] , the cities of Berne [] , Geneva [] , Lausanne [] and Neuchâtel [] , The Institute for Research and Debate on Governance [] (IRG), The « Lausanne, Olympic Capital » association and BEDAG SA.


11 books, 22 research papers, 26 chapters in scientic books, 4 Cahiers de l’IDHEAP , 8 IDHEAP Working papers and 32 popularization papers were published by the IDHEAP teaching staff in 2007, while Prof. Giuliano Bonoli was awarded the Latsis price [] by the Swiss National research Fund for his comparative research works on social policies.

Teaching staff

The teaching staff comprises :
* 8 tenured professors, most of whom acquired an experience in the public or the private sector prior to their academic career and who maintain links with the professional world through mandates, expert networks and high level counselling missions ;
* 2 external professors (both holding Ph.D) ;
* 4 assistant professors (with Ph.D) ;
* 42 assistants and scientific collaborators holding at least a graduate degree, including 1 Postdoc Researcher holding a Ph.D in Public administration and 9 Ph.D candidates.16 members of the teaching staff belong to the editorial board of Peer reviewed scientific reviews.

Exchange and partnership agreements []

Foreign universities:

* the Faculty of Economic, social and political sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain [] ;
* Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, USA [] ;
* the German University of Administrative Science (Deutsche Hochschule für Verwaltungswissenschaft (HFV Speyer [] );
* the National School of Public Administration in Quebec (École nationale d'administration publique - ENAP [] );
* the Portuguese National School of Administration (Instituto Nacional de Administração - INA [] ) ;
* the Sun Yat Sen University (Zhongshan) in Canton [] ;Swiss universities

* the Center of Competence in Public Administration of the University of Bern [] ;
* the University of Fribourg Institute for the Management of Non Profit Organizations [] (SOMIT program);
* the University of Geneva (FORDIF program)
* the University of Lausanne [] ;
* the Università della Svizzera italiana [] (the Italian speaking university of Switzerland)Other Swiss higher education institutions

* the State of Vaud High Pedagogical School [ ] (FORDIF program [] )
* the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne [] );
* the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training [ ] (FORDIF program)


*Swiss Confederation : 33.7%
*State of Vaud : 51.5%
*Tuition fees : 9.6%
*Mandates & counselling : 2%
*Financial products : 1.2%
*Others : 2%


Headed by Dr. Barbara Haering, the board of directors includes representatives of the State of Vaud, of the University of Lausanne, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(EPFL) and of the IDHAP alumni association.Président : Dr. Barbara Haering, member of the European Research Area Board, former Member of the Swiss Parliament, former Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
Director : Prof. Jean-Loup Chappelet [] .
General Secretary : Mr. Jacques-André Vulliet


The Association of IDHEAP Graduates (AD-IDHEAP [] ) has some four 450 members and is dedicated to promoting the network created by the MPA and to further enhance the value of this qualification on the labour market.AD-IDHEAP brings together all IDHEAP MPA graduates, professors and scientific staff, as well as individuals who have attended courses for at least one semester.AD-IDHEAP is a non-profit-making association and is politically neutral. It was established on 28 May 1986.

* Ensure communication between the Graduate School and its members
* Represent its members on the Management and Foundation Board of IDHEAP
* Prepare, update and disseminate its membership list
* Organise conferences and recreational activities for its members

Contact :Association of IDHEAP graduates (AD-IDHEAP)Route de la Maladière 21CH-1022 Chavannes-près-RenensTel. +41 (0)21 557 40 00 - fax +41 (0)21 557 40 09e-mail:


IDHEAP is located near the Lausanne university campus [] [] , 10 minutes away from the city center in metro (M1 line), on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is 40 minutes from Geneva and its international institutions and less than 2 hours from the major European capitals.



FORDIF [] []
iVOTE []

External sources of information on IDHEAP

Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ) [] []
Conference of Swiss Universities (CUS)
* []
European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA)
* []
European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
* []
Lausanne Business School (University of Lausanne)
* []
Rector's Conference of the Swiss Universities (CUS) []
Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS) [ ] []
Swiss Federal Law on University Funding –LAU []
Swiss Public Administration Network (PNAP)
* []
Swiss Virtual Campus [] []

University of Lausanne
Switzerland's federal authorities portal ( []

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