The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Zurich is the best university in Switzerland according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The ARWU is published by the Institute of Higher Education at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and several indicators of academic or research performance are used to establish the ranking, these include highly cited researchers, articles indexed in major citation indices and staff winning Nobel Prizes.
There are eight Swiss universities in the Word’s Top-500 universities (2008). The Top-5 universities in Switzerland are: 1.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Zurich (ranked 24th in the world); 2. University of Zurich (ranked 53rd); 3. University of Basel (87th); 4. University of Geneva (101-151th) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Lausanne (101-151th). Switzerland has a very high density of the world’s top universities, with 1.1 ARWU universities per 1 million inhabitants .
The S F I T – Zurich (ETHZ) is a specialised university. It mainly covers science and technology, with 16 departments that teach mainly in the engineering sciences and architecture, system-oriented sciences, mathematics and natural sciences fields.
The S F Institute of Technology – Zurich was established in 1855 and is a federally funded university. The only other university that is federally funded in Switzerland is the Swiss Institute of Technology – Lausanne (a ‘sister’ university). All other universities are funded at a cantonal level (regional level). Federal funding means the university is a national institution and this gives it a broader and more open educational mandate.
The total number of students at the S F I T – Zurich is 15,093 (roughly 50% undergraduates and 50% graduates). The university has two main campuses: one in the city centre and the other at Honggerberg. The city centre campus is on the top of a hill overlooking the city of Zurich. It sits alongside the Main Building of the University of Zurich, a university that has many links to Institute of Technology Swiss Federal – Zurich.