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Prestigious universities Zurich up, Lausanne down, in latest QS rankings

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Formula for success: ETH Zurich has consistently performed well in global rankings.

(Keystone)

The federal technology institute ETH Zurich has risen to 7th in the latest QS university rankings, making it the top uni in continental Europe. Its counterpart in Lausanne dropped ten places to 22nd.

The rankings, published late on Wednesday by London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), represent a mixed bag for Switzerland’s top two institutions: for ETHZ, 7th marks its best ranking to date; for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), it’s the first time since 2012 it hasn’t made the top 20.

Across the six indicators used by QS to rank the “best 1000 universities in the world”, ETHZ notably improved its performance on research as well as on student-professor ratios. It also maintained its consistently high ‘employer reputation’ score – an area where EPFL lost out.

The result leaves ETHZ as the top continental European university and the first non-US or non-UK institution. The leading four spots went to American universities MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Caltech. Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge ranked 5th and 6th respectively.

Praising the ranking as the result of a “great team effort from the entire ETH community”, university president Lino Guzzella also noted in a press releaseexternal link that his institute was one of the few publicly-funded in the top ten, something that also “reflects the support and commitment of the Swiss society”.

EPFL, despite slipping overall, performed notably well on the international indicator, scoring a perfect 100/100 for its proportion of foreign students and professors.

+ Why foreign students are so attracted to Swiss universities

Nine Swiss universities in total appeared in the QS 1000 list, including the universities of Zurich (73rd), Geneva (108th), and Bern (139th).

QS first published their ranking in 2004. Along with the Times Higher Education and Shanghai rankings, it is one of the most cited indicators of university quality.

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