Universities and federal institutes of technology

Key terms: Coordination in the higher education sector / European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) / Mobility and exchange / Bologna Process

In Switzerland, there are twelve recognised universities: ten cantonal universities and two Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH). These are traditional academic universities and primarily conduct fundamental research, in contrast to universities of applied sciences, which primarily conduct application-oriented research.

The universities in Basel, Bern, Lucerne, St. Gallen and Zurich, as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, are located in German-speaking Switzerland. The university of Fribourg is located in the bilingual canton Fribourg (French and German). The universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne are located in French-speaking Switzerland. The Università della Svizzera italiana is situated in Lugano, in the Italian-speaking canton Ticino.

The universities offer a wide range of degree programmes.

Other higher education institutions include the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva and the Distance Learning University Switzerland, Brig.
Alongside the two Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH), the ETH Domain also encompasses the four research institutes: the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag).

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Last update of this page: 11.04.2017

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