Knowledge Empowers You
“The unique characteristic of Swiss School of Milling is the very good combination of theoretical and practical lessons. What you learn in the morning you have to practice in the afternoon. We have the pleasure to train our students with the newest machines and laboratory equipment. The most important driver for success is the team of teacher working for the school. The average age is 50 years and all teachers have a lot of experience in their fields. As a private school with a strong relation to the industry, the response time to changes on the market, in the industry, new developments and challenges is very fast. More or less in real-time this developments will be integrated in the actual lessons.”
My grandfather always told me when we met: “Michael they can take everything away from you but not the things you learned”. He was a retired teacher and I knew that he and his family lost everything during the Second World War. I always thought he is not really objective talking about learning. Several years working for a multinational company my slogan was: “You do not have to know everything, you have to know where to gather the required information you need. When I started to work as a part time teacher for apprentices becoming food technologist my opinion changed. Like always in life it is worth to change perspective, to see things from a different angle.
Thereby I realized, that my grandfather was right and that knowledge and competencies are the necessary base to reach a higher level of education. It is like building a house. If there is no stable foundation, where to build on the house? How would you learn how to cook if you know nothing about heat? How would you search for something if you do not even have an idea that you could search for? With this background I started 10 years ago as a teacher and principal at the Swiss School of Milling.
The school, the association was found under initiative of Dr. Rène Bühler, owner of Bühler Uzwil AG in 1957, together with several mills and milling equipment producer. The target was to train and educate Mill-Manager. Looking back I’m proud to state that my predecessors did a wonderful job. Together with them we established a worldwide well known school. Since 1957 more than 1700 students successfully studied here in St. Gallen. In the beginning, all courses were held in German language and lasted 10 months.
Later a course in English language was introduced and the course time here in St. Gallen was reduced from 10 to 6 months by introducing a so called correspondence course. For this correspondence course a documentation about several topics (mathematics, electrical engineering, hygiene, etc.) is send to the students. They learn the content and have to do a test which will be rated. Based on the result the students get an invitation to come to St. Gallen. This enhance the competencies of self-responsible learning and reduces the time students study here in St. Gallen.
Our school is well accepted in the milling world. Asking why the SMS is a very successful institution, several important points have to be named.
Based on the feedback of our students, the unique characteristic of our school is the very good combination of theoretical and practical lessons. What you learn in the morning you have to practice in the afternoon. We have the pleasure to train our students with the newest machines and laboratory equipment. The most important driver for success is the team of teacher working for the Swiss School of Milling. The average age is 50 years and all teachers have a lot of experience in their fields. This in conjunction with our values, our passion for milling and our passion in teaching people, is making the difference! As a private school with a strong relation to the industry, the response time to changes on the market, in the industry, new developments and challenges is very fast. More or less in real-time this developments will be integrated in the actual lessons.
It is important to mention that next to the Swiss School of milling, another important school was founded. Since 4 years the African Milling School in Kenia is offering education for millers. While the Swiss School of Milling is offering an advanced program for Millers, the African Milling School is offering an apprentices program. This will help to satisfy demands of the industry in well trained and educated millers. On the other hand this gives a lot of interested students the opportunity, to get something which, as my grandfather would say, belongs to them – knowledge!
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