Annual Report


Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends of UZH

Rektor Michael Hengartner

It is my pleasure to present the 2014 Annual Report of the University of Zurich. The report features key facts, figures, and milestones from the past year, as well as insightful information on our University’s research, teaching, and services.
In the section “Highlights,” you will read reports on the master plan for the Zurich Central University District, on prize-winning mobile lectures, and on the events surrounding the 100th anniversary celebrations of our main building, one of Zurich’s major landmarks.
The report is rounded off by statistics and financial data that illustrate the impressive scope of the University. In the past year, 25,634 students dedicated themselves to the challenges of scholarship in our lecture halls and laboratories. We have portrayed 15 of our students in a photo gallery, thus bringing their diversity as well as their personal and academic development to life.
We hope you find the report interesting and informative.

Prof. Dr. Michael O. Hengartner


Grand Plan Taking Shape

A 3D impression of how the Zurich Central University District may evolve: Model by Diener & Diener.

Zurich’s Cantonal and City Councils have approved the master plan for the Zurich Central University District, bringing UZH one step closer to realizing the third milestone in its building history.

Read more on UZH News

Bountiful Crops

Cultivation of mixed crops has a bright future in agriculture: Bernhard Schmid with PhD candidate Terhi Hahl in the conservatory.

Monocultures are the agricultural norm, but not necessarily for good reason: Environmental researchers have discovered that mixed crops are more productive and can be specially cultivated to enable greater yields.

Read more on Mediadesk

Unknown Poetry

Ancient historian Christian Marek deciphers the "squeeze" of the newly discovered Ancient Greek verses.

In the Turkish city of Milas, ancient historian Christian Marek has discovered a stone stela inscribed with poetry. At 124 lines, it is the longest known Ancient Greek inscription carved in stone.

Read more on UZH News

High Flyers

Drones that assess damage, measure radioactivity and search for survivors in disaster areas: Davide Scaramuzza develops versatile flying robots.

Davide Scaramuzza, Professor of Robotics, has an ambitious goal – to develop drones with autonomous flight capabilities. His research is supported by the new Wyss Translational Center Zurich.

Read more on UZH News

A Molecule like a Swiss Army Knife

The Cas9 protein has the potential to revolutionize genetic engineering: Biochemist Martin Jinek.

Biochemist Martin Jinek is working on one of the world’s hottest and most promising research topics, the Cas9 protein.

Read more on UZH News

The Railway Lecturer

Linguist Heiko Hausendorf researches on everyday textuality and interaction in public spaces.

In a novel approach to melding theory and practice, linguist Heiko Hausendorf held a mobile lecture at Zurich Main Station. He was awarded the 2014 Teaching Award for his innovative idea at the Dies academicus ceremonies.

Read more on UZH News (in German)

Happy Birthday Main Building!

Former President Andreas Fischer, initiator of the anniversary celebrations, tells the story of the main building.

UZH celebrated the 100th anniversary of its main building from mid-April to mid-May 2014 with presentations, concerts, an exhibition, guided tours, a film about the Zurich art scandal and an anniversary book.

Read more on UZH News (in Germam)


Students, Teaching Staff and Degrees Awarded

UZH statistics on the website of the Finances Office

Students by Faculty

Student statistics on the website of the Finances Office

Enrollment since 1970

Student statistics with time series on the website of the Finances Office


Staff statistics on the website of the Finances Office


Table: Students by Faculty

Faculty 2014 2013
Faculty of Theology 304 291
Faculty of Law 3,728 3,623
Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology 3,422 3,544
Faculty of Medicine 2,970 2,865
Vetsuisse-Faculty 697 671
Faculty of Arts 10,903 11,238
Faculty of Science 3,610 3,483
University of Zurich Total (exkl. MAS) 25,634 25,715
Number of women 14,651 14,598
Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) 722 672
University of Zurich Total (incl. MAS) 26,356 26,387

Detailed statistics of the number of students on the website of the Finances Office

Table: Staff

(as at 31 December 2014)

Staff group Full time equivalents Employees
Professors 588.4 602
Non-professorial academic staff 3,424.9 5,288
Administrative and technical staff 2,084.4 2,699
Total 6,097.6 8,548 1

1 These numbers do not necessarily correspond due to dual-employment status of individual employees.

Detailed statistics on staff on the website of the Finances Office

Students in Focus

In 15 portraits, photographer Robert Huber casts the spotlight on UZH students, bringing to life the diversity of people and academic careers to be found at the University.

Chilean Experience

During his time in South America, Florenz Menke, 23, was impressed to discover how hard his fellow students at the University Adolfo Ibáñez work. Unlike in Europe, where much taken for granted, the opportunity to study is considered a great privilege in Chile.

Florenz Menke is studying psychology, with a minor in business administration. Thanks to an agreement between UZH and the University Adolfo Ibáñez, he could study for one year in Chile.

Before the Battle of Words

Poetry Slam in Zurich's Acapulco Bar: Poet Hazel Brugger, 21, relaxes before her performance. From Wittgenstein to queuing in the cafeteria, she finds inspiration for her work almost everywhere.

Hazel Brugger, Swiss Champion in poetry slam, is in the third semester of her philosophy studies.

Final Curtain

Two decades ago, Sebastian Dietsche, 50, followed the call of the stage and cut short his studies to work as a theater director. Now he is returning to his Alma Mater and will be among the last students to complete a licentiate degree.

Sebastian Dietsche is studying German language and literature, philosophy, and social and cultural anthropology. He still directs theater works and is planning to become a teacher after completing his studies.

Delicate Balance

While Sabrina Musarra, 27, was working on her Master's thesis, acroyoga helped her maintain her inner balance.

Sabrina Musarra has completed her Master's degree in law. She would like to become a laywer specializing in criminal law, and medical and health law. Her next goal is to pass the bar examinations.

Federer's Handshake

Datong Qui, 21, finds life in his host country fascinating. One highlight of his time in Switzerland was shaking hands with his idol, Roger Federer. The Chinese exchange student hopes to return to Switzerland in the future.

Datong Qiu is studying Chinese studies in Zurich through an agreement between UZH and Fudan University.

Injured Owl

An owl with an injured wing tip: Lara Heimgartner, 25, (right) and Leila Huston, 33, give the shy, woodland bird specialized treatment.

Lara Heimgartner and Leila Huston are in the fifth year of their veterinary medicine studies.

Colorful Classes

"My students are open-minded, curious and enthusiastic" says Sandra Valisa, 47: A great basis for them to absorb their teacher’s passion for German literature.

Prior to studying at UZH, Sandra Valisa worked as a journalist and taught at a university of applied sciences. Since 2013, she has been teaching at an upper secondary school in Zurich. She is currently studying for her Teaching Diploma for Upper Secondary Education in the subject of German.

Blues Man

Home provides the greatest inspiration: Silvio Liesch, 26, is working on new songs for his singer-songwriter project. He also plays guitar for church services. In his music, he aims to express his contemplation of God and the purpose of life.

Prior to studying at UZH, Silvio Liesch studied at a university of applied sciences. He is currently in the seventh semester of his theology studies and is considering becoming a church minister after graduation.

Over Hill and Dale

Carmen Binder, 31, is studying medicine and also works part time in a pharmaceuticals company. She finds regular rides on her Holstein gelding the best way to relax.

After completing a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering at ETH Zurich and working for two years in a consulting firm, Carmen Binder took advantage of a program to transfer to medicine that recognized part of her ETH degree. She is currently in the third year of her medical studies.

A Cappella

Music is the lifeblood of Patricia Pálffy, 21. She is a member of the Swiss Youth Choir and sings together with her twin sister Nathalie at church services and weddings.

Patricia Pálffy is in the third semester of her psychology and business administration studies and hopes to become an industrial and organizational psychologist.

In the Thick of Things

From the origin of life to genetic engineering, science is too exciting to keep a lid on.

Joel Lüthi is in the fifth semester of his biology studies. He is active in student politics as co-president of "Interessengemeinschaft Irchel"and as a board member of the student think tank "reatch", which addresses topics of science communication.


His medal finish at the European Championships in summer 2014 enthralled Swiss sport fans: Hurdler Kariem Hussein, 26, juggles the demands of elite sport and studies in medicine.

Kariem Hussein is in the fifth year of his medical studies and wants to become a sports physician.

Next Stop Zurich

Emily Raubach, 21, loves traveling through Switzerland by train and bus. The American linguist is helping a PhD candidate to develop an app that can translate loudspeaker announcements on trains into sign language.

Emily Raubach is at UZH courtesy of a ThinkSwiss scholarship from the Swiss Embassy in America. She completed a research stay at the Institute of Computational Linguistics and is studying general linguistics.


What better than a trip around the world for a break from routine? Jonas Böhler, 31, demonstrates to his son how the images that he evaluates for the European Space Agency are produced.

Jonas Böhler completed an apprenticeship as a electronics technician and studied geography after finishing his school-leaving certificate. He is currently a PhD candidate at UZH’s Remote Sensing Laboratories. He has two sons.

Counting Bones

How many bones are there in a canine skeleton? Stella Pagnamenta, 33, studies anatomy. An animal lover from the canton of Tessin, she would like to make her passion for her four-legged friends into her profession.

Stella Pagnamenta is in the first year of her veterinary medicine studies. She completed previous studies in biochemistry at ETH and worked for eight years as a corporate consultant. (A canine skeleton, by the way, has 321 bones).