About the Lugano Summer School

Our Aim | Our Roots | Our Network

The SSPH+ Lugano Summer School places health, disease, and health systems thinking under one common framework of coherent concepts and practical implications.  The education obtained and networks created serve as an opportunity to reduce and prevent the gap between public health theory and practice.

Since 1991 practitioners and researchers from across western and eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas have come together each summer in Ticino Switzerland to focus on public health policy, economics and management. For many years the school was held in Ascona (on Lake Maggiore). The focus was on public health policy, economics and management, and the courses were taught only in French. Later, courses alternated between French and English each year and more participants from eastern Europe joined the school. Since 2009 the school has made its home in Lugano, on the campus of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) where all courses are taught in English. While the focus has always been – and continues to be – on practitioners, in recent years the audience has widened and we benefit from a mix of both practice and research participants from low, middle and high income countries engaging in mutual learning for change. In September 2019, the first woman was appointed to Dean of the summer school. The programme was launched by mid-December, aligned with the 15 year celebration of the Swiss School of Public Health, but also 100 years of Public Health in Switzerland.  Coronavirus hit and made the 29th edition become the first edition ever to be online.  For the first time, the August 2020 edition also includes support and sponsorships from other NGOs and Universities, extending the scholarship opportunities of the SDC that have long been important and highly valued.

The support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is key, enabling professionals from Eastern Europe and other emerging and transition economies to participate and share their knowledge and skills required to manage health systems and health service. Approximately 40 competitively awarded scholarships are provided to participants by SDC each year.


The Lugano Summer School is jointly organized by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), the Università della Svizzera italniana (USI) in Lugano, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel.


Our Aim


The SSPH+ Lugano Summer School in Public Health Policy, Economics and Management in Lugano is a training initiative which aims to reduce the gap between public health theory and practice.

The Courses are intended for professionals and managers of health administrations, hospitals and other services and facilities within the health sector, policy-makers and students registered for one of the SSPH+ education programs. The Lugano Summer School is an opportunity to meet new colleagues and peers, to exchange knowledge, build networks, and share insights.

Our Roots


As Marcel Tanner so eloquently and convincingly reminded us of recently during his farewell lecture at the University of Basel (15 December 2017), “No roots, No fruits”.

The SSPH+ Lugano Summer School has deep roots and produced many fruits. Over its 30 years of training to date, the school has trained and shared experiences with participants from Europe, African, Asia and the Americas.

A few highlights from our past:

Alumni Network


We invite all past participants of the Summer School to join the alumni network. Here, in this closed group newtwork of former participants, we can carry on the exchanges, insights and work to improve public health after the summer school.

The Lugano Summer School alumni group is on Linkedin

Institute of Public Health and Institute of Communication and Public Policy