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.

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Swiss uni is fourth most innovative in Europe

Lausanne's EPFL has been ranked the fourth most innovative in Europe in the first ever Reuters Top 100: Europe's Most Innovative Universities ranking launched on Tuesday.

Swiss uni is fourth most innovative in Europe
The EPFL in Lausanne scored particularly high for commercial impact. Photo: Alain Herzog

Established in its current form in 1968, the EPFL is a sister school to the prestigious ETH technology school in Zurich.

With around 10,000 students – half of them from Switzerland and the other half from around the world – the EPFL came in fourth in the Reuters rankings behind top-place getters Belgium’s KU Leuven, Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge.

The Reuters rankings comprised ten different metrics including patent filing, patents granted and commercial impact, or the extent to which research at an institution has affected commercial research and development activities.

With its innovation park housing both startups and massive companies like Nestle and Siemens, the EPFL scored particularly well in terms of commercial impact, scoring 84.8 points against an average of 48.7.

The EPFL is one of four Swiss universities to make the new Reuters list with the University of Zurich at number 10, Zurich’s ETH at number 13 and the University of Basel at number 33.

Germany, meanwhile, has the most institutions on the list – 24 in total – while the UK can boast 17.

The Reuters ranking is just the latest in a series of good results for the EPFL.

In April, it was voted the best ‘young’ university in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings of universities under 50 years old for the second year in a row.

In March, the university was named Europe’s 11th best in the THE’s Europe ranking while it is currently ranking 48th globally by the same organization.