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The Institut auf dem Rosenberg, a private international boarding school located in St. Gallen, Switzerland, is a sponsor of the “Talent for New Knowledge” program to give students an orientation in the rapidly evolving digital 21st century so that they can acquire the skills and knowledge behind the scenes. The International Boarding School is among the top international boarding schools in the world because of its unique, holistic, creative, and entrepreneurial approach to education and offers over 40 courses that go beyond the core academic program.
General Manager Bernard Gandemann and his friend Antita Gandemann described how for 130 years more than four generations of the Gandemann family have created a special learning environment that fosters individual development and nurtures a natural curiosity, ensuring academic excellence.
The choice of academic courses of the Institut auf dem Rosenberg is unique not only among private boarding schools in Switzerland, but also around the world.
The International Boarding School offers five different programs, including the British GCE Advanced Levels (A Levels), the American High School Diploma, the AP Diploma, the IB DP (International Baccalaureate), and the GIB (German International Baccalaureate).
Mr. Bernard, what values underlie the philosophy of the Institut auf dem Rosenberg?
Since its founding in 1889, the main goal of the school has been to become a link between academic education and practical skills. Our main goal – to realize the potential of graduates and lay the foundation for them to be able to adapt to the realities of the 21st century. We are trying to raise a generation of new world leaders with skills that go far beyond the school curriculum and help them quickly adapt to the digital age.
Swiss education is considered one of the most prestigious in the world and is famous for its scientific approach. How is this implemented at school?
I believe that academic education cannot fully prepare students for the changes that are taking place in the modern world. That is why the Institut auf dem Rosenberg has created a special educational environment that challenges the traditional educational system.
The curriculum is based on the unique Rosenberg International Curriculum (RIC). It is internationally recognized and prepares students for IGCSE, A-Levels, Advanced Placement (AP), IB International Baccalaureate, and GIB DP. The school also created an innovative Talents & Enrichment program consisting of 60 courses, beginning with Creative Technologies & Robotics and ending with seminars from the Norman Foster Foundation.
Collaboration with leaders in science and technology allows the curriculum to be adapted to a world that is constantly evolving. At the first Creative Lab of its kind, students combine knowledge and understanding of future technologies to develop their talents in such areas as creative invention, robotics, rapid prototyping, and product design.
The school also created Future Park, an innovative space where students create their own designs under the guidance of leading experts from ETH Zurich, Boston Dynamics, and SAGA space architects.
The park also includes an Outdoor Lab, Climate Garden, Vertical Farm, Farm Bot and Wind Trees, which generate renewable energy used to charge the school’s electric cars.
Future Park is also the place where the robot named Spot by Boston Dynamics is located. It is programmed by students to detect any changes at the boarding school.
The park is constantly evolving and the Drone Port and Future Living Pods, which combine ancient traditions with modern technology, will soon appear here.
Can you tell us more about the conditions under which the students live?
There are 16 restored Art Nouveau mansions on the 10 hectares of private parkland. The school also has a golf course, tennis court, cafe and residential buildings.
Keeping pace with the times and technology, the international boarding school Institut auf dem Rosenberg offers such unique spaces as:
• The Creative Lab is equipped with the latest technology. It is an educational and experimental space where students prepare for a new technological world. Here they study robotics and programming, modern art and design, developing creative skills.
• Rosenberg Future Park is an educational and playground comprised of several projects that allow boarding school students to imagine and shape the future of humanity on Earth and beyond. Park’s partners are the world’s leading innovative companies: ETH Zurich, Boston Dynamics, SAGA Space Architects and Yasai.
• The HumaniX® Pavillon is a program that teaches cognitive skills through human interaction. It develops critical and business thinking as well as cultural acumen. In the future it will help in solving the problem of the integration of people with an individual intellect.
• Fitness club – professors will create an individual training program for each student, as well as give recommendations for the health and nutrition.
• The Multimedia Center is where students can work on projects, conduct research, and engage in self-study. Students also have access to the JSTOR system, which contains thousands of books and scientific journals.
• The Mario Molini Center for Science – named in honor of the Nobel laureate and graduate of the school, the center is equipped with the latest scientific equipment.
• Golf playground – more than 400 square meters, equipped with professional equipment and holes, as well as mats for the correction of blows and techniques of the game.
• Student residences – all spaces are decorated in bright colors, with cherry wood finishing, the rooms are furnished with simple but elegant furniture, and the bathrooms are decorated in marble.
• The kitchen – the chef and his team, who have passed the Michelin School, do not use piece bartenders, flavor enhancers, or thickeners. Today students are offered a balanced healthy meal with ingredients from local suppliers.
How do you develop students’ talents?
Unlike other schools, we know how to recognize the potential of each student and focus on developing their talents. The Institut auf dem Rosenberg has developed the Individual Development Plan (IDP®). It ensures that each student at the school receives a personal plan and support for his or her personal development. Planning ahead, making regular progress, and knowledgeable mentors are key to unlocking the potential of our students.
The support and special monitoring system allows graduates to show remarkable academic success year after year. In 2020 the A and A* grades made up 84% of the total British A-Levels exam results, and in 2021 the average IB (International Baccalaureate) score was 38 points above the world average of 33.
What subjects can students choose as elective classes?
The International Boarding School Institut auf dem Rosenberg offers over 100 additional programs to choose from. This allows students to study many different fields: from fashion design, hotel management and architecture to engineering, biomedicine and gambling theory.
We strive to give only the knowledge that will be relevant to our students in the future. That is why we are considered the most innovative and most promising school in the world.
We know that you are also a graduate of the Institut auf dem Rosenberg. Tell us, what skills have helped you the most in life?
When I talk about skills, I mean the ones that do not lose their relevance over time: responsibility, respect for those who work with us, and understanding of the privelle we have been given. This is what we have been teaching students for a century now. We are writing with our history and traditions, but we realize that we also have to look into the future and give students the knowledge that will not become stale in 10-20 years.
As a graduate of the Institut auf dem Rosenberg, I learned not only to respect values, but also to be aware of the interconnectedness of the circumstances and to look at the possibilities and the future with optimism. This has allowed me to be open, engaged, and always find solutions throughout my career. This helps me even now that my friend Antje Gandemann and I are running the school.