Development Phases

1852
Implementing the proposal put forward by Carlo Cattaneo, Canton Ticino opens the Cantonal High School, offering higher education courses in mechanics and architecture.

1856
The higher education courses in mechanics and architecture are discontinued, following the inauguration of the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich.

1856-1950
A number of vocational schools offering higher education courses mainly in the technical sector are started up by both the Canton and by private individuals, with varying degrees of success.

1915
The Cantonal School of Master Builders opens in Lugano, earning a strong reputation based on soundness and continuity with the establishments referred to above.

1950
The School of Master Builders becomes a Higher Technical College (STS).

1963
The STS awards the first architecture and civil engineering diplomas recognised by the Confederation.

1976
As a result of private initiative, the Dimitri Theatre School opens in Verscio.

1985
As a third level cycle at the Educational Centre for Artistic Industry (CSIA), Canton Ticino opens the College of Applied Arts (SSAA) in Lugano.
As a result of private initiative, the Music Academy, which will later become the Conservatory of Southern Switzerland, opens in Lugano.

1986
The STS expands its range of courses, and now also trains computer scientists and electronic engineers.

1987
As a third level cycle following on from the commercial schools, Canton Ticino founds the College for Financial and Administrative Managers (SSQEA).

1988
As a result of private initiative, the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research (IDSIA) is opened in Lugano.

1992
As a result of private-public initiative, the Institute of Computer Integrated Manufacturing of Southern Switzerland (ICIMSI) is opened in Manno, with the objective of conducting applied research in support of industry.

1993
The establishment of the STS Electronic Engineering Section, based in Manno, in the building formerly occupied by the CSCS. The Computer Science Section moves from Trevano to Manno.

1995
The Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts (SUP) are specified on the model of the German Fachhochschulen by means of a special new Federal Law, which stipulates the conditions under which organisations conducting third level education and applied research activities (to be integrated regionally in special institutions of a suitable size and offering programmes in various fields of study) can be recognised as SUP institutions.

1995-1997
Canton Ticino lays the legislative foundations for both the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Federal law, and for the University of Southern Switzerland (USI), Cantonal law, stipulating close cooperation between the two institutions.

1997
SUPSI is established: integrating STS, SSQEA and SSAA and dividing up into four departments (Construction and Territory, Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Applied Art, Business Administration). Courses begin in Lugano and Manno, provisionally recognised by the Confederation. SUPSI also integrates ICIMSI, the Cantonal Experimental Technical Institution (ICTS) and the Cantonal Office of Geology and Hydrology, which has recently become the Institute of Earth Science (IST).

1998
The College of Social Work, recently established by Canton Ticino, becomes the fifth department of SUPSI.

1999
IDSIA is integrated into SUPSI. An agreement between USI and SUPSI recognises IDSIA as a jointly run institute.

2000
The first SUPSI diplomas are awarded in Architecture, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Interior Design, Visual Communication, Conservation and Restoration, Business Administration and Social Work.

2001
The Ticino Economy Prize (Premio dell'Economia Ticinese) for the best SUPSI graduates is established by the Canton Ticino Chamber of Commerce for Industry and Craftsmanship, the Association of Ticino Industries, the Ticino Banking Association and by Ticino Section Swiss Construction Companies.

2003
Following an international peer review, SUPSI is awarded federal recognition for an unlimited period of time.
SUPSI is restructured into three departments (Environment, Construction and Design, Business and Social Sciences, Technology Innovation) including the previously autonomous research institutes.

2004
SUPSI integrates the Fernfachhochshule Schweiz (FFHS), a distance-learning SUP recognised by the Confederation, based in Brig (Valais) and with training centres in Basel, Berne and Zurich.

2005
SUPSI and the other Swiss SUP institutes begin to run three-year degree courses (Bachelor) in line with the European university standards specified by the Bologna Declaration, and replacing the former three-year diploma courses.
The Confederation takes over from the Cantons with regard to university education in the artistic and healthcare fields.
SUPSI is the first organisation in Southern Switzerland to take on the role of leading house in a European Union research project.

2006
By means of the associated school statute (as with the FFHS), SUPSI integrates the Dimitri Theatre School and the Conservatory of Southern Switzerland, which in the meantime have obtained inter-cantonal university recognition.
Nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy courses begin in the new SUPSI Department of Health Sciences.
The Specialisation Master courses for professional operators, conducted since the establishment of SUPSI, become courses leading to a 60-credit Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in accordance with Federal legislation.
The SUPSI Board decides to acknowledge 1950 as its foundation year, for the continuity of objectives and contents between STS and SUPSI.

2007
The first Master’s course begins at SUPSI (90-120 credits (MA) in accordance with the Bologna Declaration), in Applied Informatics, in collaboration with USI.
Affiliation of the Phsyiotherapie Graubünden (Landquart, Canton Grisons) to the Bachelor in Physiotherapy run by the Department of Health Sciences.

2008
SUPSI awards its first Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees, in eighteen difference courses, and inaugurates further Master’s courses (MA).

2009
The Locarno Alta scuola pedagogica is integrated into SUPSI, creating the fifth department (Department of Education and Learning).

2014
On 1 October 2014 the Department of Health Sciences (DSAN) and the Department of Business and Social Sciences (DSAS) will merge, becoming the Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care (DEASS).

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