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Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

From 11 pupils in 1853 to more than 6,000 this year, the Lausanne school has greatly expanded during its 150 years.

This content was published on March 31, 2003 - 08:45

But right from the very beginning, what later became the Federal Institute of Technology had a reputation for being very selective.

November 7, 1853: a year before Zurich, Lausanne inaugurated the embryonic form of the future institute. Founded by private citizens, on the model of the Ecole Centrale in Paris, the school envisaged training "builders of the highest level".

The first intake studied chemistry, maths, art, architecture and civil engineering. The course lasted two years.

The number of students grew rapidly but finance was a problem. In 1869, the school merged with the Lausanne Academy.

When the latter became a university in 1890, its technical faculty became the engineering school of Lausanne University.

It was in 1969 that the Swiss government adopted the law on federal polytechnics. With it came a guarantee that the Lausanne institute would be transfered in its entirety to a single, new site in Dorigny within 25 years.

In 1978, the institute inaugurated the first buildings on its new campus.

New departments were opened including computer science.

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