Established at the Top

ETH Zurich held its 6th place in the new QS World University Ranking. According to QS, it remains the top-ranked university in continental Europe confirming its position among the leading universities worldwide.
ETH Zurich is the best university in Continental Europe (Image: ETH Zürich)

ETH Zurich has demonstrated continuous improvement in the QS World University Ranking, from 12th place in 2015 to 6th place in last year’s 2020 ranking and again for 2021. It is among the top 0.5% of all ranked institutions. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and Harvard University rank consistently in the top three of the QS ranking. ETH Zurich ranks second only to University of Oxford (United Kingdom) in all of Europe.

"I am proud and happy, once again, for the excellent result," said ETH President, Joël Mesot. "It confirms that we are on the right track in terms of a globally competitive education and research sector." According to the President, the university’s success is based upon an excellent framework and unique conditions that attract talent and foster academic freedom. Combined with a long-term perspective and a high priority for research, teaching, and innovation ETH Zurich serves society. Another important aspect, he said, is the outstanding professional competence of ETH staff and their exceptional commitment to the university.

Academic Reputation

In the QS World University Ranking, academic reputation weighs in heavily at 40%. Further criteria includes: the university’s reputation with employers (10%); scientific impact measured by citations (20%); Faculty/Student ratio (20%); and, finally, the proportion of international faculty and international students of a university (each 5%). Compared to last year, ETH Zurich has further improved its academic reputation. The values related to popularity among employers, citations, and international community remained broadly stable.

“It is striking that ETH Zurich has dropped noticeably in its Faculty/Student ratio by 27 places in fact. However, the internal data ETH Zurich reports in this regard has not changed significantly from the reporting cycle last year and the current ranking,” says Paul Cross from the Institutional Research of ETH Zurich. The partial result suggests that other institutions may have improved in this particular criterion.

Swiss Institutions on the Rise

ETH Zurich’s sister university, EPFL ranked in 14th place in the QS World University rankings for 2021. Joël Mesot says that he is also very pleased about this excellent placement: “This shows the extraordinary influence of the ETH Domain, placing Swiss research and education in a leading position worldwide. It is all the more important that we can continue to count on Switzerland's generous support for universities in the future.”