General information

The symposium

Increase your knowledge – learn further – reflect on your practice – let yourself be inspired – pursue your own ideas – discover current developments and research – understand complex relationships – create solutions – develop quality – create the future – exchange Get to know 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 symposium in the whole of Europe on education and leadership issues for 15 years. Over 850 education experts from around 75 countries from practice and science exchange ideas about future-proof solutions at the symposium in Zug. The conference is organized by the Institute for Educational Management and Economics of Education (IBB) at the University of Education in 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, in the past few years. The international school management symposium has been held every two years since 2004, in Zug since 2009 and since 2013 in combination with the Swiss Education Symposium. Since 2020, the symposium has optionally also been held as an online conference.

The aim of the symposium is to make a contribution 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 educational work can be further developed.

In the keynotes, workshops, lectures, round tables, discussion groups and innovative formats – each geared to face-to-face or online events – current challenges and opportunities relating to 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 (in 2019 there were 850 education experts from 65 countries, in 2017 1,100 experts from 76 countries took part) on 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 education administration, support systems with advice, further training and other services as well as foundations, companies and associations.

The conference languages ​​of the face-to-face events in Zug are German, English and French. Simultaneous translations are available for the entire plenary program. In the parallel program you can choose offers in 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 experience across borders. The international seminar will be held in English.

The follow-up 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 either in WELSfocus or WELSmain format – with a focus on a current topic that is at the center of the condensed one-day event, or as a multi-day online conference with plenary and parallel program components. The online conferences are held in English and German.

In addition to lectures, WELSfocus and WELSmain offer numerous interactive formats, such as voting, surveys, discussion groups in group channels with round tables, 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 cuisine 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

  • Headmasters
  • Co-Rectors / Deputy Heads of School
  • Members of steering groups
  • School development team members
  • Teachers who are interested in further developing the quality of schools
  • Representatives of school management associations
  • Representatives of institutions for teacher training and further education as well as counseling
  • Representatives of education policy and ministries
  • Representatives of the school inspectorate / education administration
  • Educational scientists
  • Representatives of parents’ associations
  • Representatives of municipal authorities
  • Representatives of the 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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