From Zurich-Fluntern Red Cross to Careum

Education and care have enjoyed a long tradition at Careum, going all the way back to 1882 – how the Red Cross nurses’ home evolved into a state-of-the-art place for health care professionals to learn and come together.

From its foundation at the end of the nineteenth century to the present day, Careum has certainly come a long way. But the founder’s original aim has remained unchanged for 140 years – to promote education and training in the health care sector. Let’s take a look back at a few key milestones:

1882: Training institution for nurses

The Red Cross nurses’ home was founded in Zurich-Fluntern in 1882 by the Zürcher Verein für freies Christentum. After its founding, the training institution for nurses evolves into a non-denominational school for nursing and health care. This includes a training hospital, which establishes itself as a private clinic and teaching hospital specialising in gynaecology and obstetrics. The Red Cross nurses’ home would later become the Zurich-Fluntern Red Cross Nursing School and Hospital.

1997: The end of an era for the Red Cross hospital

Developments in health and training policy in the 1990s prompt the Foundation to change course and pursue a new path. Following the introduction of the Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act, the Red Cross hospital closes its doors in 1997. New plans for a model school for nursing professions are drawn up, and the site undergoes a process of redevelopment from 2003 onwards.

2004: The Foundation changes its name

In 2004, the Foundation is given the name “Careum” which it still bears to this day. This is derived from the words “care” and “lyceum” (a place of learning in ancient Athens), thus combining the key elements of the Foundation’s purpose: care and education. 2004 is also the year when the Foundation parts company with its founder, the Zürcher Verein für freies Christentum.

2005: The Careum Campus is born

The Careum Educational Center with vocational and PET colleges opens its doors in 2005 after a public mandate is issued by the Canton. This effectively lays the foundations for the Careum Campus in Zurich, and is followed by the construction of the library and publishing facilities. Its central location in the heart of Zurich’s university district allows Careum to forge a series of partnerships, including teaming up with the Faculty of Medicine at the University to develop a series of interprofessional learning settings which prepare students for interdisciplinary cooperation. The vision of an interprofessional campus starts to take shape.

Careum Campus Zürich

Campus in Zurich

The Careum Campus in Zurich provides an ideal environment for learning, researching and working.


2012–2015: Careum makes strides

The Department of Health Science at Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences relocates to the Careum Campus in Zurich in 2012. In the same year, Careum Continuing Education, based in Aarau, joins the Careum family, and Edubase is created a little while later. The company, which provides digital training materials in a simple, modern and straightforward manner, is established by the Kalaidos Education Group and Careum in 2015.

2016: Auditorium the perfect addition to the campus

Careum expands the campus in Zurich with a state-of-the-art events hub for conferences, seminars and lectures. The Careum Auditorium, completed in 2016, serves as a place for those who work in the worlds of health care and education to come together and makes an important contribution towards solving the problem of the acute shortage of space in Zurich’s university district.

2019: First joint strategy

The Kalaidos Department of Health Science is renamed the Careum School of Health in 2019, but remains part of Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences. The research department at Careum is fully integrated into the Careum School of Health. At the same time, Careum and its subsidiaries the Careum Educational Centre, Careum School of Health, Careum Continuing Education and Edubase grow closer together, and the first joint strategy is adopted.

2020: More teaching space on the campus

Space on the Careum Campus in Zurich is getting tight, and more teaching and office spaces are needed. The new temporary Careum 3 building is opened in autumn 2020, housing the Careum School of Health and the Center of Health Literacy.