In its annual world university rankings for 2012-13, the Times Higher Education magazine on Thursday identified ETH Zurich as the best university on the continent and the 12th best in the world, up from 15th the previous year.
“You don’t have too be Albert Einstein to study here — every Swiss citizen who has sat the Matura (matriculation) is eligible — but it doesn’t hurt,” the magazine says of the Swiss university famous for training scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
Einstein received his diploma at the university in 1901.
Heir to the Federal Polytechnic Institute, established in 1855, ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zurich now teaches around 17,000 students in 16 faculties.
In early September, it was ranked 13th in the world and best on the European continent by the QS World University Rankings.
The THE listing of 400 universities is dominated in the top 10 by American and British institutions, with the California Institute of Technology ranking first in the world for the second year in a row.
Other universities in the top five included Stanford (second), followed by Oxford, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Seven universities from Switzerland ranked in the top 200 list, with three in the top 100, including the Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL) ranked 40th, up from 46th a year previous, and the University of Zurich (89th, down from 61st).
With data crunching by Thomson Reuters, the THE rankings judge universities on their “core missions” — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook — using 13 performance indicators.