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ETH Zurich rides high in key uni reputation poll

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ETH Zurich rides high in key uni reputation poll
Despite the strong showing, ETH Zurich was down four places on last years result. Photo: Ed Seymour
11:51 CEST+02:00
Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich is the highest rated university in continental Europe, a prestigious new survey shows.

The renowned institution ranked 19th in the 2016 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, which rates universities based on the opinion of over 10,000 top-flight academics around the world.

That puts the ETH at the head of the list in continental Europe, with only the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and Imperial College London performing better in Europe as a whole.

Top of the list of 102 universities were three US institutions: Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford.

Speaking about the ETH result, Kay Schaller, president of the Association of Students at the university, said: “I think this reputation comes from good international cooperation – whether through scientific collaboration, projects with industry or just exchanges on different levels.

“The graduates of ETH have, in general, a very good reputation both in industry and research – especially in the Swiss and European area.”

Despite the strong showing for the ETH, the latest edition of the ranking also shows that the ETH has slipped found places since the 2015 edition of a poll which has - in the last year - seen a strong rise in the number of Asian institutions represented – up from 10 last year to 18 in the latest survey.

The THE World Reputation Rankings 2016 is based on a survey of more than 10,000 scholars from around the world. Each academic was asked to name up to 15 universities that they believe are the best for research and teaching in their discipline. Votes for institutions based on research prowess were given twice the weight of those for teaching.

In March, Zurich's ETH was named the fourth best university in Europe in the the Times Higher Education (THE) group's European Universities Top 200, the only establishment outside the UK to place in the top five of the rankings.

ETH Zurich's sister school EPFL in Lausanne placed 11th, with the universities of Basel, Zurich, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg and St Gallen all making the list.

In April, EPFL was named the top ‘young' university in the world by THE, a prize awarded to institutions with less than 50 years of history.

However, though founded in its current form in 1968, EPFL's origins as a centre of learning date back more than 160 years, to 1853.

Speaking to The Local at the time, Lionel Pousaz, a spokesman for EPFL, said although by the 1960s the institution was already a respected engineering school, it was “not playing in the same league” as the federal government-funded technology university ETH Zurich.

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