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Switzerland's ETH uni among ten best in world

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Switzerland's ETH uni among ten best in world
Zurich's ETH university is the first non-Anglo-American institution to make the THE top ten in a decade. Photo: t-mizo/Flickr
15:19 CEST+02:00
Zurich's ETH university has taken ninth place in the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings released on Thursday but the institution's director warns funding cuts remain a threat.

The university, also known as Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, was the only institution outside the UK and the US to make the top ten, and the first non-Anglo-American university to scale those heights in the last decade.

The top-ten position in the Times Higher Education rankings is also a first for the university with around 18,000 students, and means the university has moved up four places since last year.

It sees the institution rubbing shoulders with the California University of Technology, which came first in the rankings, and the University of Oxford, in second place. 

The result also follows up from ETH's recent top ten placing in the authoritative 2015/16 QS World University Rankings.

"I am positively surprised and delighted that ETH Zurich has now made the leap into the world’s top ten in the THE rankings,” said ETH President Lino Guzzella in a statement published on the university's website.

"The highly qualified professors, staff and outstanding ETH students are to thank for this fantastic result," he added.

The Times Higher Education rankings, which comprises a list of the 800 best university in the world, saw the ETH score particularly well in terms of international outlook and research, as well as on citations garnered.

Praising the university's strong showing, the ETH president noted, however, that the ranking itself was secondary.

"It is and will remain a priority for us to stay among the leaders," Guzzella said.

The president also called on politicians to ensure a threatened reduction in funding levels to the university didn't taken place.

"ETH requires stable funding to maintain its position as a global leader in research, teaching and training,” he said.

The ETH result reflects a strong year for Europe with the number of UK institutions in the world's top 200 up from 29 in 2014 to 34 this year.

Germany also performed well, with with 20 universities in the top 200 up from just 12 in 2014. 

"Germany is one of the standout performers, in terms of the positions in the upper echelons of the ranking it's really strengthened its position," Phil Baty, editor of the rankings, told The Local. "It's third in the world top 200, significantly better than last year."

The ETH's sister institution, the EPFL in Lausanne, also did very well in the Times Higher Education study, coming in at a more than respectable 31st place. 

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