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The FHNW Latin American Centre

The FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland has retained an involvement with Latin America for over ten years and is constantly building on its accumulated competencies and networks, particularly in the areas of applied vocational training and culture.

Based on its increasingly focused activities in Latin America as well as its long-standing relationships in the realms of science and culture, the FHNW fosters exchange and research cooperation between the Northwestern Switzerland educational area and the Latin American region with a particular emphasis on Colombia.

Latin America for students and participants in continuing education

In the area of teaching (degrees and continuing education), the FHNW offers a raft of activities and programmes designed to provide students with international skills and improve their career prospects.

  • Student exchange programmes: those studying economics, technology and art at the FHNW can spend a semester at one of 43 partner universities in Latin America.
  • Student project work: students explore Latin American themes as part of supervised project work/internships (assignments, bachelor’s and master’s theses).
  • Entrepreneurship Summer School: the FHNW and Colombia’s Universidad EAFIT hold an annual two-week summer school on entrepreneurship in an intercultural context. Held in Basel and Medellín, the event combines sustainable, not-for-profit and for-profit projects. It is open to all students of the FHNW.
  • CAS in Land Administration: in partnership with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the FHNW Institute of Geomatics offers a continuing education programme for professionals in Colombia that is aimed at promoting the decentralisation of land administration and the re-surveying of the country.


Medellín, Colombia

Latin America for teachers, researchers and partners in industry

Networks and activities facilitated by the FHNW in Latin America provide lecturers and researchers with myriad opportunities to collaborate in joint education and research projects with scientific partners in the region.

  • Teaching assignments in cooperation with Latin American partners: lecturers have the option, e.g. as visiting professors, of undertaking teaching assignments of varying duration at one of our partner universities.
  • Organisation and hosting of international conferences: the Institute of Geomatics organises the annual Geo-Python Conference for the geomatics research community: the three-day event offers users and developers of this popular geospatial programming language a chance to exchange ideas and experiences at the FHNW. The 2019 edition of the conference brought 200-plus participants from over 30 countries to Muttenz, including many from Latin America.
  • Seminar and conference papers: FHNW staff are encouraged to present their know-how in the form of lectures and presentations at high-profile seminars and research conferences with a Latin American dimension, including those run by the Latin American Council of Management Schools (CLADEA) and the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE).

Success stories

  • Consultancy project funded by SECO: as part of the Multipurpose System for Land Cadastres project, the FHNW School of Architecture, Construction and Geomatics has developed a land surveying projection system that supports the implementation of far-reaching land administration reforms in Colombia. April 2020 saw Colombia’s Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) take the decision to use the FHNW’s projection system for all cadastral applications.
  • Joint development of an educational institution: the FHNW is helping Colombia’s Universidad del Norte establish a college of art in Barranquilla by developing a curriculum for the degree programme in Cultural Entrepreneurship it is planning. The development process places art, design and the economy in symbiosis with aspects such as cooperation, co-creation and co-existence. The project is being piloted in 2021.
  • Visiting professorship at the FHNW School of Life Sciences: the FHNW School of Life Sciences has maintained close links with the Universidad de Sonora in Mexico for many years. This takes the form of student exchanges and a visiting professorship at the School in the field of biomedicine and health sciences. The current incumbent is Prof. Dr. Aracely Angulo-Molina.

Punto de Encuentro


The Latin American Centre coordinates the activities of the FHNW with its partner organisations and promotes contacts with governmental and administrative institutions in Switzerland and Latin America.


Lydia Chalita
Lydia Chalita

Assistant BSc International Management / Head of Latin American Center, FHNW

Telephone +41 56 202 88 95 (direct)


The FHNW is actively represented in Latin American networks by its staff.

FHNW partner universities in Latin America

The FHNW maintains relations with partner universities in Latin America.