Pioneering projects for the school of the future

Next submission deadline: 01.09.2024

Societal development and the digital transformation are influencing the skills that children and adolescents need to be able to deal with the social challenges of the future. To help new learning and teaching projects with scaling potential achieve a breakthrough, Gebert Rüf Stiftung supports schools at all levels that provide relevant impetus for the «school of the future» through exemplary bottom-up initiatives. The funding programme is aimed at teachers and school managers with implementation-oriented projects.

Objective: pioneering projects for the school of the future

School is a place where students are prepared for the world of tomorrow. Contemporary classroom teaching strives to cultivate responsible citizens equipped with critical judgement who are capable of helping to shape the future in step with the times. Skills such as creativity, independent and critical thinking, the ability to collaborate and engage in dialogue, as well as curiosity, entrepreneurial skills and a productive error culture are becoming increasingly important for addressing future challenges. By teaching future skills, pioneer projects are strengthening a new, co-operative culture of problem solving.

Today's world is full of digital tools that influence our daily lives. On the one hand, schools must be able to cope with new technological developments and promote an understanding of them; on the other, they need to use digitalisation to leverage the potential for exchanges and individualisation for students. Open teaching formats not only encourage research-based and more project-oriented learning, but also the students' self-competence and methodological skills. Teaching digital education in a way that is relevant and appropriate for the target audience is challenging. «Pedagogy» therefore necessarily comes before «technology», because it is always teachers who make the technologies comprehensible for pupils – in a pedagogically reflective and didactically skilful way.

At secondary and vocational schools, Gebert Rüf Stiftung places a specific focus on strengthening entrepreneurial skills and digital technology competences, which are not yet widely implemented in today's education.

Support criteria for «Education Pioneers» projects

  • Bottom-up initiatives by teachers, school managers, schools of all levels (primary, secondary, middle and vocational schools) or cooperation projects with partners from outside the school.
  • Submission and project management by teachers/school managers.
  • Teaching projects focussing on the (digital) teaching of «future skills» and entrepreneurial skills, student activation and open education.
  • Formats that are scalable to other schools, in the municipality, the canton or throughout Switzerland.
  • Budget range of CHF 10,000 to CHF 100,000 for project implementation, pure infrastructure costs are not covered.
  • A letter of support must be provided from the relevant school authority and other teachers or school managers regarding the implementation and scaling of the project idea.
  • No funding for isolated tool/software development.

Project submission

Projects may be submitted to Gebert Rüf Stiftung by one of the quarterly deadlines (1 February, 1 May, 1 September, 1 December) in accordance with the general requirements. The submission procedure has two stages.

Use our web portal to submit your project and upload all the required documents as described in the following guidelines. 

Project evaluation

Projects for the «Education Pioneers» area of activity may be submitted at any time. For ongoing calls for projects the selection process lasts approximately six months, from submission of the project proposal (1st stage) to the final decision after the project presentation to the board of trustees (2nd stage); for projects with a budget up to CHF 50,000, it usually takes three months. The board of trustees reaches the grant-making decision at its quarterly plenary meeting on the basis of the support criteria and the strategic objectives of the area of activity.

The first projects (2019) served to sharpen the field of activity and are not exemplary for the current funding focus.

No reconsideration applications can be accepted; no correspondence will be entered into regarding grant-making decisions.

Approved projects can find more information on the support agreement, reporting and project communications here.

Inspired Teaching - from exchange to implementation
Cooperation program with Movetia

Teachers who, following their mobility or cooperation project with Movetia, wish to implement the school and teaching experience gained at their primary, secondary, middle or vocational school can apply for implementation funding.

The project must aim to develop the «School of the Future» and, in particular, promote future competences such as creativity, critical thinking and collaboration skills of pupils and learners in the digital age.

With the cooperation program «Inspired Teaching», Movetia and Gebert Rüf Stiftung support the concrete implementation of pedagogical teaching projects in schools.

Funding amount up to CHF 10,000: Application via Movetia
Funding amount over CHF 10,000: Application via Gebert Rüf Stiftung and the Education Pioneers program. See above for criteria and deadlines.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: idee@grstiftung.notexisting@nodomain.comch

Good Practice - Learning from other schools

proEdu's «Schulvisite» enables the exchange of exemplary teaching projects and the networking of schools across regions. Following the «Open Education» principles, project leaders are invited to make themselves available as hosts with their model project.
School visit
Becoming a host school

Picture Credits Header

The images were provided by the following Education Pioneers projects:
Herby – The correction app for students and teachers
LernFilm Festival – Producing learning films in the classroom