Lugano Summer School


Continuing Education in Systems Thinking

UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Lugano, Switzerland

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Workload, Class Schedule, Grading, Certificate, Credits

LSS 2012 Workload  The total workload of the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Summer School is about 45-48 hours within two weeks. Of these, some 32-35 hours will be taught classes (including exercises, discussions, and coffee breaks). Participants will be expected to do a minimum of approximately 12-15 hours of individual or group work in the form of assignments (readings, practical exercises, case work, and short essays). Participants electing to submit a publication will need to calculate additional time for drafting their paper.

LSS 2012 Schedule  Following a brief welcome and round of mutual introduction, there will be an introductory session of around two hours on the idea, history, and current state of applied systems thinking. This will be followed by the two main courses on soft systems methodology (SSM) and critical systems heuristics (CSH). Either course will comprise four sessions of between three and three and a half hours each. Finally, we will have a concluding discussion session of about three hours. There will thus be ten sessions altogether. In addition, there will be regular readings and assignments. As June afternoons can be rather hot in Lugano, taught classes will all take place in the mornings.

Gran Giro del Lago - one of many boat tours on Lugano Lake  

Free Time  As a rule (with one exception), afternoons will be free of classes, to give participants sufficient time for individual work (required readings and other assignments) as well as for sightseeing and other leisure activities. A facultative boat excursion (included in the tuition fee) is planned for one of the first afternoons. Saturday and Sunday of the weekend between the two weeks of the Summer School will be free, so that participants can plan larger excursions.

Grading  In Doctoral Summer Schools and in Young Researcher' Conferences, there will be no grading of participants. In the other Summer Schools, grading is the rule and is mandatory for all participants who wish to receive a certificate or to earn academic credits (see below). Participants will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in class as well as individual and group assignments. Each professor will grade the participants for their work in that particular course. Presentations may be graded separately. All grades will be averaged to determine the final grade. Successful completion of the Summer School requires completion of all assignments in each course, resulting in at least a "Pass" level final grade.

Certificate  In Doctoral Summer Schools and Young Researcher' Conferences, all participants will receive a certificate of attendance. In the other Summer Schools, participants completing all classes with at least a "Pass" grade average will receive a certificate of successful completion of the Summer School.

Academic Credit  Swiss universities, including the University of Italian Switzerland, have adopted the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). As a rule, a one-hour semester course is equivalent to 1.5 credit points. A semester comprises 14 weeks of classes. A typical semester program of 20 hours per week (280 hours altogether) will thus be credited with 30 points.

The UK credit points system and the North American credit units systems compare with ECTS as follows: 1 ECTS credit point is equivalent to 2 UK credit points and to 1/2 North American credit units, respectively. That is, a typical semester of 20 hours per week gives you 60 credit points in the UK and 15 credit units in the US or Canada.

Suggested Credit Points  It is suggested that successful participants of regular Summer Schools be awarded 8 European credit points (ECTS), corresponding to 16 UK credit points or 4 North American credit units. In institutions that do not use one of these credit point systems, it is suggested that the equivalent of 5 semester hours be credited to successful participants.

For Doctoral Summer Schools, 6 ECTS (corresponding to 12 UK credit points or 3 North American credit units) are suggested, or an equivalent of 4 semester hours.

For Young Researchers' Conferences, 4 ECTS (corresponding to 8 UK credit points or 2 North American credit units) are suggested, or an equivalent of 2.5 semester hours.

Participants who wish to earn credit points should in any case check with their supervisors at their home university whether they can be granted academic credit for attending the Summer School and how many credit points may be transferred.

Accreditation  The Lugano Summer School is seeking accreditation with outstanding degree programs in Systems Design or related fields of study (see the Section "Target Group" in the "Participants" page) in different countries. University departments interested in accrediting the Summer School should contact the School Director (see the "Contact" page).

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