Since 2014, the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration is part of the University of Lausanne.
Former logo of the IDHEAP.

The Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (French: Institut des hautes études en administration publique, IDHEAP) is a Swiss graduate school of public administration. In 2014, the independent foundation was integrated into the University of Lausanne.[1]

The school teaches graduate and post-graduate courses for public sector executives and (more recently) students wishing to take up public service. It also provides professional training for members of administrative bodies. It receives support from the Swiss Confederation under the Swiss Federal Law on University Funding. IDHEAP is located on the campus of the University of Lausanne.[2][3]

Beyond its teaching activities, IDHEAP also carries out research and counselling missions regarding the public sector. IDHEAP has been designated as the leading institution of the Swiss Public Administration Network,[4] which aims to foster cooperation between the universities of Bern, Lausanne and Lugano, to boost research works and doctoral studies in public administration.


IDHEAP was created (under the form of a “Foundation for a graduate school in public administration”) by Enrico Bignami, former delegate of the Board of Directors of Nestlé and creator of IMEDE (now the International Institute for Management Development),[5] who wished to establish a Swiss MBA for the public sector. The other founders were the canton of Vaud, the University of Lausanne, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Association of Friends of IDHEAP.


The institute is accredited by the Swiss Confederation (via OAQ[8][9]), and the MPA is accredited by the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation.[10]


The programmes of the IDHEAP include:

Master of Public Administration (MPA) programme

The MPA program[11] is a 90 ECTS executive, flexible length and multidisciplinary program (Master of Advanced Studies), designed for public sector managers or would-be managers. It is also open to anyone wishing to pursue a career in an organization whose activities involve working with the public sector.

The curriculum includes a foundation course (6 core modules of 6 days –one day a week during the academic year), 3 course options of 12 days, chosen among a list of 18 elective courses and an approximately 100 pages thesis covering an original and in-depth research project carried out from an interdisciplinary perspective and supervised by a professor at IDHEAP and an external expert.

Teaching includes group works (both presential and online), simulations, case studies (which may require students to work on real mandates and counselling missions carried out by the Institute) and research works.

The IDHEAP courses are delivered in French (although an international Executive MPA will soon be offered in English). The two other working languages are German and English. Both a student's trimester’s work and the dissertation can be written in French, German, English or Italian.

The average age of a graduate is 37, with a 66/34 split of men/women. 80 percent of graduates already have a university degree, most of them in political sciences, arts, economics, and law.


The IDHEAP teaching and research units participate in research projects financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and R&D financed by the Commission for Technology and Innovation or the European Union four-year Information Society Technologies framework programs. Some research receives support from programs such as the Swiss Virtual Campus, the Interreg fund (European Cross-border Cooperation) or COST – European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research. Part of the research work carried out at IDHEAP is financed by consulting or experts’ fees.

33 research projects are currently under way at the school. Recent examples include:

IDHEAP publishes a full list of research projects on its website, at

Five new research projects were awarded to IDHEAP in 2007 by the Swiss National Fund for Research. In 2007, three doctorates of Public Administration were awarded by the University of Lausanne on the recommendation of IDHEAP.

Also in 2007, the university's Prof. Giuliano Bonoli was awarded the Latsis prize[18] by the Swiss National Research Fund for his comparative research works on social policies.

Mandates and counselling missions

IDHEAP carried out 40 mandates in 2007: these were benchmarking missions, fusion of small towns and administrations, fiscal optimization, efficiency evaluations, organizational audit, satisfaction surveys, marketing audit, and organizational reengineering. Among the main clients, were the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Swiss Parliament, the Swiss Conference of Universities, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, the Swiss Federal Office for Migration, the Swiss Federal Office of Social Insurance, the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology, the Swiss states of Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Valais, Vaud, the cities of Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel, The Institute for Research and Debate on Governance, The Lausanne Olympic Capital association and BEDAG SA.

Exchange and partnership agreements

IDHEAP has exchange and partnership agreements with the following:[19]

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 Rapport annuel 2012 de l'Université de Lausanne, (page visited on 30 May 2013).
  2. (French)
  3. (French)
  4. 1 2 Archived February 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. IMD business school, Switzerland
  6. 1 2 (French)
  7. 1 2 (French)
  8. Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ)
  11. 1 2 Idheap :: Idheap :: Mpa & Cours
  12. (French)
  13. (French)
  14. (French)
  15. (French)$all)/EF33A44A67671543C1257410002F26CE?OpenDocument
  16. (French)$all)/82EE36F1A80825C9C1257410002F1D55?OpenDocument
  17. (French)$all)/9FC65B493239996AC125740F0049B6A8?OpenDocument
  18. (French)
  19. (French)

See also

Coordinates: 46°31′35″N 6°34′40″E / 46.5264°N 6.5779°E / 46.5264; 6.5779

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