General information

The Symposium

Increase your knowledge – keep learning – reflect on your practice – be inspired – pursue your own ideas – discover current developments and research – understand complex relationships – design solutions – develop quality – shape the future – exchange Familiarize yourself with national and international experts – maintain professional relationships – make new contacts – expand your own network

The World Education Leadership Symposium WELS has been the largest international specialist conference in Europe on education and leadership issues for 15 years. More than 850 education experts from around 75 countries from practice and science exchange ideas at the symposium in Zug about sustainable solutions. The conference is organized by the Institute for Education Management and Education Economics (IBB) of the University of Education Zug in cooperation with various partners. It is supported by third-party funds and other regional, national and international partners.

The symposium follows the tradition of the events of Prof. Dr. Stephan Gerhard Huber, director of the IBB, of the past years. The International School Management Symposium has been held every two years since 2004, in Zug since 2009 and in combination with the Swiss Education Symposium since 2013. Since 2020, the symposium has also been held as an online conference.

The aim of the symposium is to contribute to the development of the quality of education and thus also to make an important contribution to a sustainable society. It shows ways in which the quality of pedagogical work can be further developed.

In the keynotes, workshops, lectures, roundtables, discussion rounds and innovative formats – each aimed at face-to-face or online events – current challenges and opportunities on questions of education and school quality, education and school development, education and school management are discussed. The core idea is to share ideas, knowledge and experiences.

At the 2020 Symposium, the first online conference, 1,200 education experts from 90 countries worldwide (850 education experts from 65 countries in 2019, 1,100 experts from 76 countries took part in 2017) discussed the school of tomorrow in specialist lectures, workshops and discussions with the speakers. The participants regularly include school principals, teachers, educational scientists, representatives of educational policy, school supervision and educational administration, support systems with advice, further education and other services as well as foundations, companies and associations.

The conference languages ​​for face-to-face events in Zug are German, English and French. Simultaneous translation will be available for the entire plenary program. In the parallel program you can choose offers from all languages.

Before the conferences in Zug, we hold an international seminar, which offers an excellent opportunity to network internationally in a smaller group and to exchange knowledge and experiences across borders. The international seminar will be held in English.

The post-conference in Zug serves as a scientific forum for international researchers, for example to work on joint projects. In addition, workshops on (qualitative and quantitative) research methods are offered in German and/or English.

Since 2020, the symposia have also been held as online conferences. From 2021, they will be offered online in either the WELSfocus and WELSmain format – with a focus on a current topic that is the focus of the compressed one-day event, or as a multi-day online conference with plenary and parallel program components. The online conferences will be held in English and German.

In addition to lectures, WELSfocus and WELSmain offer numerous interactive formats, such as polls, surveys, discussion rounds in group channels with roundtables, networking and interactive breakout rooms as well as open space formats, a “marketplace”, a virtual aperitif and a collaborative writing tool.

The varied supporting program with art, culture and culinary delights offers the participants on site in Zug, but also online, further opportunities to be inspired and to exchange ideas in a pleasant atmosphere.

Target groups

  • principals
  • Co-Rectors / Deputy Principals
  • members of control groups
  • Members of school development teams
  • Teachers who are interested in further developing the quality of schools
  • Representatives of school management associations
  • Representatives of institutions for teacher training, continuing education and further training as well as counseling
  • Representatives of education policy and ministries
  • Representatives of school supervision / education administration
    educational scientists
  • Representatives of parents’ associations
  • Representatives of municipal authorities
  • Representatives of school and business partnerships
  • representatives of foundations
  • representatives of publishers
  • Representatives of social policy and social administration
  • Representatives of non-school associations and organizations

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