EPFL Philanthropy: Student Support Program

The challenges faced by society are increasingly complex, and never more so than since early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic affected societies globally.

Added to that, the increasingly frequent challenges caused by climate change and growing polarisation in politics and increasing distrust by some in science, highlights the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach and an open mindset to find innovative solutions.

At EPFL, our fundamental duty is to prepare our students for their future, not only as first-class engineers, architects and scientists, but also as engaged members of society and future responsible leaders.

To achieve this, we must provide them with an outstanding education, all the while ensuring that they acquire and embrace the importance of multi-disciplinary skills, including communication and management skills, and a creative approach to ensure success in their future careers.

Higher education institutions have a responsibility to nurture individuals who will play a key role in developing solutions to societal challenges.

EPFL continuously reviews its educational programs and its notions of excellence to keep abreast of the needs of students, the economy and society. For example, EPFL has broadened its understanding of excellence to encompass the notion of inclusivity, diversity of thought and encourage greater diversity of profiles, as well as outstanding academic performance.

That’s why, in 2019, as part of our university’s 50th Anniversary, EPFL decided to launch a new strategic initiative, The Student Support Program, which places its most important asset – the student community – at its core.

And to support our commitment to society to develop productive, well-rounded, global citizen-engineers, architects and scientists of tomorrow, EPFL has further strengthened and expanded its Student Support Program.

The Student Support Program offers you the unique opportunity to shape the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow .

EPFL, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is one of the world’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan engineering universities. With over 12,000 students, more than 350 professors and labs, EPFL encompasses five schools, two colleges and 20 research institutes bringing together faculty and staff from over 120 different countries.

EPFL serves society through the pursuit of knowledge and the beneficial application of science. EPFL’s mission is threefold, to ensure excellence in the areas of Education, Research and Innovation.

The institution provides research-based education that is project-driven and of the highest quality on an international level. Its programmes educate students using systemic and interdisciplinary approaches that are rooted in a profound knowledge of all scientific methodologies and foster an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Students are educated to be critical independent thinkers who are equipped to shape the future as responsible members of society. Innovation in the development of teaching is encouraged and quality is promoted to satisfy the high expectations of students, faculty, staff and society.

In addition, EPFL provides expanding options for life-long learning, for example through, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), or the Executive MBA, supporting professionals to strengthen their existing skills and developing the tools to develop new competencies to further or pivot in their careers.

EPFL aims to offer an educational program of excellence, meeting the needs of a society facing major upheavals. However, to tackle tomorrow’s challenges, a classic vision and definition of excellence is no longer sufficient. It is time not only to recognise the need for diversity of thought, but also, to further embrace different student profiles and promote inclusion.

Furthermore, we need to help break down barriers that prevent access to Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) subjects by supporting young people at even earlier ages, for example, when they are still at school.

And, finally, but by no means least, we need to strengthen the EPFL community, by instilling EPFL’s values of integrity, respect, tolerance of differences, openness, collaboration, and solidarity. Along with fostering a sense of belonging to the community and inspiring a culture of giving back to society.

The Student Support Program carries EPFL’s values and brings an opportunity to invest in todays’ talents to enhance their learning journeys.

From developing girls’ interest in coding, providing advanced math classes for children who are eager to learn more, supporting entrepreneurship, providing Excellence fellowships and opportunities to further develop transversal skills through MAKE projects where students learn within interdisciplinary teams by participating in or leading projects, or, through leadership training for PhD students, the Student Support program ignites, attracts and equips talents.