Campus - 19.08.2022 - 00:00 

Canton of St.Gallen completes draft of new University Law

Finalised draft of the new University Law marks another important milestone for the University of St.Gallen.
Source: HSG Newsroom

19 August 2022. The Cantonal government of St.Gallen has finished a draft of the renewed University Law and will send the document to the Cantonal Parliament (Kantonsrat) for approval. This achievement signifies another milestone in this process dealing with University of St.Gallen (HSG). In November 2018, the cantonal council commissioned the government to revise the current law. The newest draft of the bill meets broad approval and reflects the public consultation that was conducted between November 2021 and January 2022.

Preserving strengths

Parts of the law which still hold value have been kept. These include the thematic focus of HSG as a business university with traditional emphases in law and social sciences and targeted additions in other sciences. The entrepreneurial orientation of the institutes and their position as organizational units within the University will also be continued. This trademark of HSG ensures practice-oriented education, research and continuing education. Essential control elements, such as the four-year performance mandate and the associated State financial contribution, will also be retained, giving HSG a certain degree of planning security.

Adaptation of governance

The previous University Act is over 30 years old. Many developments have taken place since then and HSG has grown considerably, among other things. In the course of these developments, governance has proven to be no longer appropriate in specific cases. With the new law, the roles in the areas of strategy and supervision, teaching, research, continuing education, personal and financial management, and administration of justice will be disentangled. The individual bodies will be given clear tasks, areas of focus and specific responsibilities. The highest strategic body at HSG will remain however, future University Councils, whose six to eight members (previously eleven) will now be elected by the government (previously by the Cantonal Parliament) according to professional criteria. 

The position of President is strengthened by clear supervisory and directive powers, also in regard to the institutes. In the Senate and the newly created 32-member Senate Committee, the voices of advanced researchers and teachers (previously Mittelbau), students, doctoral students, and administrative-technical staff are given more weight. Finally, the new law strengthens continuing education, which is becoming increasingly important in the course of "lifelong learning," and enables the HSG to participate in public or private organizations such as spin-offs with self-generated funds.

"The most recent draft of this law takes into account the special profile of HSG and gives it the necessary leeway for further developments. The process of drafting it was targeted and pragmatic. We thank all those who were involved in listening to the concerns of the University and for their understanding of the needs of a leading business university that has to hold its own in an international competitive environment," said President Prof. Bernhard Ehrenzeller. 


The Cantonal Council is expected to make the commission appointment in the September session and discuss the bill in its first reading in the November 2022 session. From today's perspective, this new University Law can come into force on January 1, 2024.

Media release of the canton (in German):

Image: University of St.Gallen (HSG)