ETH Zurich slips out of top ten in prestigious university ranking

Switzerland's ETH technology institute has dropped one place to 11th in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but remains the top institution in continental Europe and is in lofty company.

ETH Zurich slips out of top ten in prestigious university ranking
Zurich's ETH was named the best university outside the English-speaking world. Photo: ETH

The institute, which counts Albert Einstein among its alumni, now sits just outside a top ten made up entirely of universities from the UK and the US, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019, released on Wednesday.

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge took the top two places in the rankings while Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology rounded out the top five.

ETH achieved an overall score of 89.3 in the new THE rankings. There was improvement in terms of teaching but the institute saw a slight drop in scores for research and citations, enough to see it slip a place.

“It’s a huge achievement that ETH can also hold its ground within the leading group in the THE rankings,” said ETH president Lino Guzzella in a statement on the institute’s website.

“Although rankings never tell the whole story, they are certainly a yardstick and an affirmation of our work,” Guzzella added.

The latest THE ranking for the ETH come after the institute was named the seventh best university in the world in the 2019 edition of the very highly-regarded QS world university rankings.

The ETH was not the only Swiss university to have a strong showing in the 2019 THE rankings. Lausanne’s EPFL federal technology institute came 35th globally and the University of Zurich – Switzerland’s largest –jumped 46 places from 136th to equal 90th as it re-entered the top 100 after a five-year hiatus.

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Switzerland has ‘third best university system in the world’

Switzerland's tertiary education system is the world's third best – behind only the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a new ranking published on Wednesday.

Switzerland has 'third best university system in the world’
Zurich's ETH is the best place in the world to study Life & Marine Sciences, according to QS. Photo: ETH

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 reveals the best universities for 48 different academic subjects in 78 countries.

While the US and the UK clearly dominate the latest rankings, Switzerland also performed strongly, with 22 university departments across the country ranked in the global top ten in their subject areas – nine more than last year.

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Thirteen of those departments were at Zurich’s ETH technical institute, The institute is the best place in the world to study Earth & Marine sciences, according to the QS rankings. It is also home to the third best Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Environmental Sciences departments in the world.

“Even though university comparisons are to be enjoyed within the context of their methodology, I am pleased with the consistency in which ETH maintains its high ranking in the academic world, as well as across diverse disciplines,” ETH Zurich President, Joël Mesot of the latest QS ranking.

Meanwhile Lausanne’s EHL hospitality school (École hôtelière de Lausanne) was ranked the best place to study Hospitality & Leisure Management globally.

The QS subject rankings are based on an academic reputation survey, an employer reputation survey and the impact of research carried out by institutions.

For the 2019 rankings, QS received input from around 83,000 academics worldwide.

Switzerland’s ETH was named the seventh best university in the world in 2019 in separate QS rankings published last year. The top six ranked universities are in the United States and in the United Kingdom.