CHANGINS was founded in 1948 by the French-speaking cantons (Fribourg, Genève, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais, Vaud), Bern and Ticino to create an institution for higher education in viticulture, enology and arboriculture. A foundation, which still governs CHANGINS today, was established.
In 1975, after spending its first few years at Montagibert, north of Lausanne, the school moved to the current site at Changins, neighbouring Agroscope, the federal research station for agriculture.
The school was completely renovated in 2002, and now offers teaching facilities of highest standard. The teaching winery has expanded its activities simultaneously, allowing students to carry out a wide range of winemaking experiments independently.
Since 2008, HES students have had the opportunity to participate in a 4-week program conducted in English, called Summer University. It is held every year in turn at CHANGINS and the locations of its partner universities in California, South Africa and Australia. Due to its unique educational value it has become a major attraction of the BSc program.
The first class of the MSc HES-SO in Life Sciences, specialization viticulture and enology was offered in 2013. Several graduates from this class now occupy strategic positions in the United States and Switzerland. The Master program continues to be an important pillar in CHANGINS’ strategy to contribute to the development of the grape-wine industry in Switzerland and abroad.
The Technical School for grape growing and winemaking was renamed in 2013 and opened the first year with 19 students. The current challenge is to consolidate the new program.
The previous Changins School of Engineering was renamed CHANGINS in 2014 to reflect its new strategic positioning. All 3 schools have each found their proper place in this national center for vocational and academic education in grape growing and winemaking.
In 2014, the Wine School started offering new courses to prepare candidates for the Federal Sommelier Diploma, the first of its kind in Switzerland