Top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland 2017. Switzerland is a higher education powerhouse. There are numerous reasons why you would want to study in Switzerland. The educational calibre of the establishments is incredibly good, the country is naturally beautiful and the culture is diverse, with numerous languages spoken across the nation. Eight of the institutuons listed here appear in the QS World University rankings 2016-17 which, given the size of the country, is an impressive feat. ETH Zurich and EPFL, both within the global top 15, are joined by five more Swiss universities ranked among the world’s top 200. The country is also good when it comes to the international flavor of accepting international students.

Four of the eight ranked Swiss universities make the world’s top 65 for their percentage of international students, and the country’s performs well when comparing the percentage of international academic staff members. So, without further ado, here is the list of the top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland 2017:

List of Top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland 2017

10. University of Neuchâtel


The University of Neuchâtel, located in the city of the same name, can be found in the top 500 list of the Times Best Universities in the World guide. It is a French speaking institution with four different faculties and more than a dozen institutes. It has approximately 4000 students.

9. University of Fribourg

University of Fribourg Top Popular Universities in Switzerland 2018

Found in the Times Higher Education rankings at 201-250 in the rankings sections. The roots of the university can be traced to 1580 but the university was officially founded in 1889. The University of Fribourg is Switzerland’s only bilingual university and offers full curricula in those two Swiss national languages. It has five faculties and about 10,000 students.

8. University of St Gallen (HSG)

University of St Gallen Best Universities in Switzerland

Ranked 288 in the QS world rankings, St Gallen is a research University founded in 1898 in the German speaking part of Switzerland. It specializes in the fields of business administration, economics, law, and international affairs and has about 8000 students. It has often been ranked in the top 5 universities in Europe for business administration. It is famous for its collection of modern art.

7. University of Bern

University of Bern Most Largest Universities in Switzerland 2018

Ranked 181 in the QS World university rankings. It was founded in 1834 and is a comprehensive university teaching across eight faculties and an incredible 150 institutes. It is the third biggest university in the country with over 17000 students. The university has made a name for itself for interdisciplinary research and has the following institutes dedicated to it:

Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research
Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
Center for Cultural Studies (CCS)
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
Center for Global Studies (CGS)
Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)
Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)
Center of Competence for Public Management (CCPM)
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
World Trade Institute (WTI)

Notable alumni include Albert Einstein and Max Weber.

6. University of Basel

University of Basel Top Largest Universities in Switzerland 2017

Ranked 141 in the QS world rankings for 2016, Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland, having been founded in 1460. It has seven faculties and a number of interdisciplinary institutes. Notable alumni include Paul Hermann Müller, (1899-1965) the Swiss chemist and Paul Erdman (1932–2007), the American business and financial writer.

5. University of Lausanne

University of Lausanne Top Most Biggest Universities in Switzerland 2019

Ranked 138 in the QS world rankings for 2016. Lausanne was founded in 1537 as a school of theology but was awarded university status in 1890. It has about 13,500 students who come from about 150 different countries across the world. It forms a vast campus at the shores of Lake Geneva, although in addition to its main lakeside campus there are other campuses dotted across the city. This is one of top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland 2017.

4. University of Geneva

University of Geneva Top Most Popular Universities in Switzerland 2019

Ranked 95 in the QS world rankings.Geneva is a public research university founded in 1559 by John Calvin. It focused on theology until the 17th century although it became officially secular in 1873. It has a large 9 faculties and is consistently one of the highest ranked research universities in the world. The University of Geneva had for 2013 a budget of CHF 558,211,000. It mostly comes from the cantonal subventions, the other notable contributors being the federal state and the tuition fees. Alumni of the University of Geneva have been awarded 10 Nobel prizes, including Norman Angell (1872–1967), Nobel Peace Prize 1933; Karl Gunnar Myrdal (1898–1987) Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1974; Daniel Bovet (1907–1992), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1957; Niels Kaj Jerne (1911–1994), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1984; Maurice Allais (1911–2010), Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1988; Edmond H. Fischer (1920–), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1992; Martin Rodbell (1925–1998), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1994; Alan Jay Heeger (1936- ), Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000; Werner Arber (1929– ), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1978; Kofi Annan (1938– ), Nobel Peace Prize 2001.

3. University of Zurich


The University of Zurich is by far the largest university in Switzerland with a student population of 26,000. It is ranked 80th in the QS world rankings system. Founded in 1833, it has seven faculties and offers the widest range of courses of any Swiss higher educational institution. The university is scattered all over the city of Zurich. Bachelor courses are taught in Swiss Standard German (“Hochdeutsch”), but use of English is increasing in many faculties. All Master courses at the Faculty of Science are held in English. 12 nobel prize winners studied at Zurich.

2. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

The EPFL is a research university, located in Lausanne, that specialises in engineering and physical sciences. It is ranked 14th in the QS world rankings. In connection with its research and teaching EPFL even runs a nuclear reactor. It is the sister institution of the German speaking ETH Zurich. EPFL is French speaking.

1. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich Top 10 Best Universities in Switzerland 2017

Ranked 8th in the QS world rankings of universities, ETH Zurich specialises in mathematics, science, technology and engineering. It is consistently ranked in the top universities in the world, especially when it comes to technology. It was founded by the Swiss Federal government in 1854 and has thrived ever since. It is incredibly competitive to get in.

So, there we have it, ten of the top universities in Switzerland 2017, a nation that punches far above its weight. If you are considering applying to any of the above either as a research student or bachelors student check out their website and speak to other people who went there. Also, check out their employment ratings as after all, that is the important thing in a competitive world!

As mentioned in the introduction to this article, Switzerland has a lot to offer beyond these universities. As with anywhere it is a good idea to look at the location itself and think about whether it is a place where you could live as well as study. The language issue can put some students off, particularly English speaking students but the language barriers should be seen as opportunities to be grasped hold of. The universities in the list above offer a wide range of languages, and there is teaching in English as well as French and German. Look for what will work best for you and go for it!

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