ChagALL: Education Support for Gifted Immigrants in Switzerland


Year of Grant: 2015 & 2016

Location: Switzerland


At least a quarter (25%) of children in the Swiss school system is non-Swiss. Among them, talented non-German speaking first-generation immigration children are neglected and are not nurtured for higher education. 


For the past seven years, since 2008, ChagALL has been providing a customized after-school training and mentoring program for promising teens from low-income immigrant families in Zürich. This includes intense, individualized training in German, French and mathematics, and also English for vocational grammar school candidates. The aim is to help these students successfully complete high school, so that they have a better chance to access higher education and succeed in life. 


In a second phase, the program continues to support and follow up on students who have passed the qualifying exam for higher education over the first six months to help them overcome other learning difficulties and motivational problems. School reports show that German is the subject where participants receive the lowest grades whereas Mathematics tend to be their strongest subject.


Since their inception, 66 out of 92 students (72%) in the ChagALL program have passed the entry exam successfully and have further aided their families to better integrate into the Swiss community. The program has also gained a high reputation through scientific evaluation performed by the Educational Department at the University of Zürich.

This project is our second grant to ChagALL. Our inaugural 1-year grant, which was awarded in 2015, succesfully supported 19 students who attempted the matura (comparable to admission exam for undergraduate college or trade school); 15 passed, translating into a success rate of 74%.