As professor of constitutional, administrative and social insurance law, Thomas Gächter has the tricky task of helping his students understand abstract legal concepts. The fact that he is being honored with the special award for outstanding teaching shows that he is doing a brilliant job. According to students, his lectures are motivating, and encourage them to think for themselves and contribute to the discussion. When asked about the secrets of his success, Gächter says he tries to incorporate current topics whenever possible. So, for example, he uses ongoing discussions from the Balkans or South America to address questions of constitutional law. And there’s no shortage of material for debate from the world of politics right now, explains the instructor. Even in Switzerland, the recent referendum on self-determination raised some fundamental questions around constitutional law. Thomas Gächter’s extensive teaching experience and his political inquisitiveness make it easy for him to deliver engaging lectures. Gächter has been teaching for 15 years and knows what to look out for. He doesn’t need lecture notes, relying instead on slides, and responds ad lib to questions. He believes that passion for your subject is just as important as having relevant and clear examples: “I just love imparting my knowledge,” he says. And he also knows how important timing is. “I always make sure I’m finished in time for the break.” And this is something that goes down well with students, too.
Thomas Gächter, Professor of constitutional, administrative and social insurance law