The Lausanne institute headed a list of 100 top “new” universities, those that were established after 1964.
EPFL moved from second place, where it has been since the first THE 100 Under 50 list was published in 2012, displacing South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech), now ranked second.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) remained in third spot, followed by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
The Netherlands’ Maastricht University held on to sixth, ahead of the University of California, Irvine in seventh, while its UC stablemate, Santa Cruz, moved up three places to eighth, the THE said.
The UK’s University of Warwick rose from 12th to ninth and France’s Paris-Sud University fell two places to tenh.
For EPFL, Switzerland’s second-ranked university behind sister institution ETH Zurich, the high marks follow praise last month from THE as one of the “fastest rising universities in the world”.
And in January, the THE ranked the Lausanne institute, founded in 1969, at the top of a list of the 100 most international universities.
“Education, research and technology transfer are core to EPFL, which boasts more than 250 on-campus laboratories situated in 136 acres on the shores of Lake Geneva,” THE said.
“Today, the ‘parc scientifique’ is home to some 7,000 students and 3,000 professors, assistants and entrepreneurs grouped into seven schools and associated research institutes.”
Phil Blaty, rankings editor for THE, said EPFL heads a group of universities without the “trappings of tradition” that have been able to make a big impression in a small amount of time.
“The universities in this unique and pioneering ranking are disrupting the old order.,” Blaty said in a statement.
“They have proved that world-class teaching and research is not just the preserve of an ancient elite,” he said.
“Some of the institutions in the THE 100 Under 50 have achieved in a matter of decades what some institutions have taken centuries to do.”