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Alpbach Summer School on European Health Care and Social Systems in Transition

August 19 to 27, 2015

Programme: PDF

This summer school addresses the hot topic of organizing and financing a health and social system, the influences and trends that have to be taken into account as well as ways of building a sustainable and equitable health and social system for the future.

The key learning objectives are:

  • To provide participants with an overview of the economic, financial and organizational concepts of health and social systems;
  • To introduce participants to the diverse influencing factors and processes which form a health and social care system, such as social and epidemiological data, legal frameworks or drug authorization regulations;
  • To understand and analyse the interrelationships of health and social systems and identify challenges on the local, national and European levels;
  • To discuss possible solutions to previously identified problems by tapping the professional and systemic backgrounds of the participants.

The course is composed of lectures, case studies, group discussions and presentations and is designed to promote interaction among the participants and lecturers. The faculty consists of European experts who provide first hand insights into their respective fields, basing their presentations on scientific and professional experiences. The course language is English.

Thematic background

Health is fundamental to human development, social and economic advancement and active participation in one’s community and society. However, even in the most affluent countries health and social systems have not yet managed to eliminate inequalities and inequities in health. The recent economic crisis along with the ageing society, technological advancements and an increase in chronic diseases put an ever-growing strain on the limited resources of the health and social sectors. Over the past years, the health and social systems of the European countries have tried to live up to these challenges, their efforts resulting in a state of constant reform. In addition, the expectations of patients have dramatically changed since the introduction of the first public health services more than a century ago, as have the surrounding conditions a health and social system has to take into account.


The summer school is geared towards graduate and post-graduate students as well as young health professionals from all relevant backgrounds, including medicine, economics, law, public health and social security institutions. No limit on age or professional background applies.

Proficiency in English (European level C1) is required. Please note that participants need to be able to follow group discussions, express their own opinion, present a case-study and complete a multiple choice final exam.


Please send the completed Request for participation form (PDF) together with your CV and a proof of thorough knowledge of English (non-native speakers) to summerschools@alpbach.org until March 31, 2015.


The participation fee of EUR 1.100,- includes:

  • 50 hours of lectures and group exercises
  • Registration
  • Course material
  • Lunch and refreshments during the course
  • An evening social event including dinner
  • Free participation in all events of the European Forum Alpbach as far as the course schedule allows

Travel and accommodation costs have to be covered by the participants.

Discounts and scholarships

Students up to 30 and assistant professors up to 40 years of age are eligible for a 50% discount upon submission of relevant identification. A limited number of scholarships covering the participation of the summer school are available.

Scholarship application documents can be found here.