QS World University Rankings: ETH top in 16 subjects

In the latest QS rankings by subject, ETH ranks among the top ten in 16 disciplines. In the earth sciences, it comes in first place.
(Photograph: ETH Zurich / Gian Marco Castelberg)

For years, ETH Zurich has ranked among the top ten universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings; in summer 2022, ETH came in at ninth place. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has now published the rankings broken down by subject, and ETH performed brilliantly here as well: 16 disciplines ranked in the top ten. Three earth sciences departments (Earth & Marine Sciences, Geology and Geophysics) once again took the number one spot.

ETH also maintained or improved its rankings in fields where it is traditionally strong: in architecture, for example, it rose to third place. ETH ranked higher in all the engineering sciences than in the previous year – from eighth to fifth place in Engineering – Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing, for example.

And it put in a strong showing once again in Chemistry, moving up three positions to seventh place. In Mathematics, as well as Physics and Astronomy, ETH moved up one place, with both disciplines landing in eighth place.

“We can be proud of the fact that ETH so consistently achieves such excellent results across the disciplines. This ultimately reflects well on all of Switzerland and cannot be taken for granted,” says Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich. “My appeal goes out to politicians to ensure that the appropriate framework conditions are in place so that we can continue to keep up with the best in the world in the future.”

Best university system in the world

The QS rankings by discipline not only awarded high marks to ETH Zurich as an institution but also to Switzerland overall as a centre of education: According to QS, Switzerland has the best higher education system in the world. This is because, according to their ranking, Switzerland has the highest concentration of first-ranked disciplines in the world (four, three of them at ETH Zurich) as well as the third highest concentration of top-ten disciplines (15% of all programmes in Switzerland).

About the QS World University Rankings by Subject

The QS World University Rankings by Subject have been published annually since 2004. Currently, the Rankings by Subject compare over 18,300 individual university programmes offered at around 1,600 universities based on five indicators. The QS World University Rankings are heavily weighted in favour of the reputation a department enjoys in expert circles. Depending on the subject area, this factor makes up between 30 and 90 percent of the total. The evaluation also factors in employer surveys on the quality of graduates from different universities (10 to 30 percent) and the number of citations per publication (also 7.5 to 25 percent). The H-index also counts for between 0 and 30 percent. This index aims to measure how productive and influential researchers are based on the number of their most frequently cited publications as well as the number of times these are cited in other publications. Finally, the ranking also includes the new “International Research Network” indicator (2022) to evaluate research collaborations (0 to 10 percent).