ETH Zurich is ‘top uni’ in continental Europe

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich has the best reputation of all universities in continental Europe, according to a new world ranking.

ETH Zurich is 'top uni' in continental Europe
Photo: ETH

The 2013 World Reputation Rankings issued by the Times Higher Education magazine show the ETH breaking into the top 20.

The elite university moved up from 22nd to 20th place in the annual rankings, which were topped by Harvard University, ahead of other US and UK “super-brands”.

The other Swiss federal institute of technology, the EPFL Lausanne, also managed to raise its profile, moving from band 61-70 to 51-60.

“It is significant that both institutions have a clear technological focus, which has allowed them to carve out names for themselves,” Rankings editor Phil Baty said.

In a statement to The Local, ETH Zurich said it was "very pleased with the good result". 

"Being described as 'Switzerland's number one institution in continental Europe' comes as a confirmation of the excellent reputation ETH Zurich enjoys within the scientific community," media spokesman Roman Klingler said.

But the news wasn’t all good for Switzerland, which went from having three representatives in the top 100 to just two this year.

The University of Zurich plummeted from the 71-80 band last year to outside the top 100.

The World Reputation Rankings are based on a survey of senior academics and claim to provide the only global index showing the power of university brands.

“A university’s reputation is subjective, but it matters deeply in today’s highly competitive global marketplace,” Baty said.

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Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

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In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic.