SHL at a glance

In 1909, 164 young women and men enrolled in the first ever class of hoteliers at SHL, including Erika from Switzerland, Ulrich from Germany and Sven from Norway. The words of Hermann Bieder, SHL’s first ever director, remain true to this day: “Our school will become a haven of intelligence, and its power will shine out into the world of the hotel people”.

Union Helvetia – today Hotel & Gastro Union- the organisation that developed SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern, was originally founded in 1886. Right from the start, the focus was on the professional development of hotel employees. As the tourism industry took off in Switzerland, suddenly hotels and businesses were crying out for highly talented and qualified employees.

SHL more than 100 years of history

The founding organisation of SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern, Union Helvetia – today Hotel & Gastro Union - was founded 1886 with a strong focus on the professional development of hotel employees

SHL has been a leading light in the profession since 1909. Nowadays, people rank us as the very best provider of Swiss know-how in hospitality and tourism. We work with hotel schools internationally, to help them develop their own training programmes – making sure the high standards of Swiss hospitality are followed, respected and valued everywhere. 

Our graduates are leading the way in the hotel and catering industry. Not just in Switzerland or Europe, but across the world. In fact, our Alumni Network has more than 10,000 members and carries a lot of weight within the industry. To get an idea of what that could mean for your career, read Meret, Dany and Aline’s stories. 

Curious how it started in 1909?

SHL faculty and members

The SHL faculty represents a mix of full-time and visiting lecturers who use their personal hospitality experience and extensive training in the practical arts or higher hospitality management education to nurture a learning environment designed to engage students and to advance industry knowledge. Supported by industry experts and our own SHL Alumni, the SHL faculty covers all aspects of the hospitality and tourism industries in-depth. Our faculty has award-winners, lecturers who have taught in multiple institutions and most have worked in hospitality globally. SHL’s focus on combined academic and practical learning, ensures you will learn from the very best.

Get to know our members

SHL at a glance

There are only two degrees in hospitality that are accredited by the Swiss federal government, and the SHL Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management is one of them. 

Once you graduate, your degree will be recognised throughout the world. It will show prospective employers that you know how to be an inspiring hotelier, leader, manager or entrepreneur. During your studies, you will have focused on the very highest standards of excellence, along with modern management practice, and you will have worked on applied business projects. In short, you will start your career with over 100 years of expertise and excellence behind you. If you have big dreams, we could help you achieve them. 

Admission & Fees

Start your online application today

The SHL BSc in International Hospitality Management is a full-time, four-year degree programme including two paid internships. In cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne (HSLU), the degree in Hospitality Management with a Major in General Management divided into 8 semesters. The SHL BSc is accredited by the Swiss federal government and in compliance with the Bologna Declaration using the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

This gives our students a Swiss degree that is recognized throughout the world for their testimonial of excellence.

SHL at a glance

SHL Summer Academy for enthusiastic hoteliers

Join us this summer at the SHL Summer Academy to explore the pulse of hospitality. During the educational, interactive and fun one-week programme, you will gain a short, but extensive glimpse into the hospitality industry, learn more about hospitality careers, discover world-renowned Lucerne and meet lots of great people. All at once.


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