Annual Report

Welcome

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends of UZH

President Michael Hengartner

It is my pleasure to present the 2015 Annual Report of the University of Zurich. The report’s photo gallery invites you to explore the the various puzzles and manifestations of life – the focus of our publication. We have asked 15 researchers at UZH to answer life’s big questions from the perspective of their field. Their answers are naturally well-informed – and surprising.

We have also summarized the past year’s highlights from research and education. For instance, the findings on a cancer antibody – an example that underlines the importance of UZH as a research university. The same is valid in an entirely different discipline: The project to develop an online reference work on regional grammatical variation of standard German. In the area of education, a major project focuses on simplifying the structures of the University’s study programs. The role of Bachelor’s degree programs as the source of a broad, basic scholarly education is to be strengthened, while Master’s degree programs will focus on specialization.

Finally, a major highlight of 2015 concerns infrastructure: The Canton of Zurich granted the University the right to act independently in matters related to new building projects. We have rounded off our report with the latest statistics and financial information. Last year, some 25,400 students came to the University’s lecture halls and labs to explore the world of scholarship and science. In doing so, they provided an answer to the question of what life means for a university.

Sincerely
Prof. Dr. Michael O. Hengartner, President

Highlights

The Intricate Web of Banking

The Intricate Web of Banking
Interconnectedness in the banking sector increases the risk of financial crises. Financial market specialist Stefano Battiston conducts detailed analyses of the banking network to develop a basis for an early warning system.

Interconnectedness in the banking sector increases the risk of financial crises. Financial market specialist Stefano Battiston conducts detailed analyses of the banking network to develop a basis for an early warning system.

More: Website Prof. Stefano Battiston

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap
UZH has grand construction designs for the coming decades. The long term strategy is underway and key projects have already been realized at various sites.

UZH has grand construction designs for the coming decades. The long term strategy is underway and key projects have already been realized at various sites.

More: UZH News

Bologna Reform

Students
Bologna Reform The University of Zurich is redesign-ing its study programs: By 2020, Bachelor’s degree programs will be dedicated to a broad academic edu cation, while specialization will be reserved for the Master’s level.

Bologna Reform The University of Zurich is redesign-ing its study programs: By 2020, Bachelor’s degree programs will be dedicated to a broad academic edu cation, while specialization will be reserved for the Master’s level.

More: UZH News

Broken Hearts

Broken heart syndrome
A ventricle that looks like a Japanese octopus trap, and symptoms resembling a coronary: UZH's cardiologists are researching the mysterious and dangerous “broken heart syndrome.”

A ventricle that looks like a Japanese octopus trap, and symptoms resembling a coronary: UZH's cardiologists are researching the mysterious and dangerous “broken heart syndrome.”

More: UZH News

Antibodies against Cancer

Thomas Kündig
A biotech firm is developing a new cancer antibody that also improves the patient’s sense of well-being – innovations that are based on the research of UZH dermatologist Thomas Kündig.

A biotech firm is developing a new cancer antibody that also improves the patient’s sense of well-being – innovations that are based on the research of UZH dermatologist Thomas Kündig.

More: UZH News

 

Dialectics on Dialect

Christa Dürscheid
The Swiss are proud of their dialects – and have their reservations about high German. This is set to change thanks to linguist Christa Dürscheid's thoughtprovoking work on regional variation in the grammar of standard German.

The Swiss are proud of their dialects – and have their reservations about high German. This is set to change thanks to linguist Christa Dürscheid's thought provoking work on regional variation in the grammar of standard German.

More: UZH News

 

Communicative Campus

Communicative Campus
After a short, four-year building phase, the new Balgrist Campus was officially opened. The new center for musculoskeletal research and development unites diverse research groups thanks to the transparent building that largely does without dividing walls.

After a short, four-year building phase, the new Balgrist Campus was officially opened. The new center for musculoskeletal research and development unites diverse research groups thanks to the transparent building that largely does without dividing walls.

More: UZH News

UZH in Figures

Students

Students in 2015

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Students by Faculty

Students by Faculty

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Students by Academic Level

Students by Academic Level

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Enrollment since 1970

Enrollment since 1970

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Mobility Students (incomings and outgoings) by Faculty

Mobility Students (incomings and outgoings) by Faculty

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

New Students by Faculty

New Students by Faculty

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Student to Instructor Ratio

Student to Instructor Ratio

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Teaching Staff

Teaching Staff in 2015

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Teaching Staff / Faculty

Teaching Staff by Faculty

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Professors: Gender Mix  (2010 to 2015)

Professors: Gender Mix (2010 to 2015)

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Staff

Staff

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Staff 2010 - 2015

Staff 2010-2015

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Income 2015 (in CHF millions)

Income 2015

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Expenditure 2015 (in CHF millions)

Expenditure 2015

Detailed statistics are available on the website of the Finance Office.

Researchers in Focus

UZH researchers answer life’s big questions. Photos by Marc Latzel

What Is Life?

Bücherstapel

A literature expert and an astrophysicist, a veterinarian and a theologian: The fifteen UZH researchers portrayed in the 2015 annual report generate knowledge. And they deal in very different ways with the mysteries of life. Their surprising answers to life's big questions are presented in our report.

Is There Life in Outer Space?

Ben Moore

I hope so! In our galaxy, we estimate there are 10 billion earth-like planets that revolve around stars similar to our sun. That’s why I would find it surprising if life existed only in our solar system. Many of these other worlds might be empty and deserted, others might only host microbial life. But there may also be civilizations out there that are more advanced than our own world.

Ben Moore
Professor of Theoretical Physics

Does Literature Change Our Lives?

Elisabeth Bronfen

Reading literature is much like seeing ghosts: We hear the voices of unknown narrators. Scenes we have never experienced ourselves appear before our inner eye. We live alongside fictional characters. And so, reading also schools our imaginations: We open ourselves to an “as though.” I make my own experiences by participating in the life of others as a reader.

Elisabeth Bronfen
Professor of English and American Literature

How Much Does a Human Life Cost?

Markus Leippold

In Germany, roughly 1.65 million euros (as of 2005), for men a little more, for women a little less. But putting aside my love for economics: Everyone has to decide for themselves what their own life is worth.

Markus Leippold
Professor of Financial Engineering

Why Are There So Many Forms of Life?

Ueli Grossniklaus

Over the course of evolution, organisms continually specialize and adapt to new ecological niches. In doing so, the tap into yet unexploited resources, which leads to increasing diversification and, finally, to the creation of new species. That explains why there are more species today than ever before in Earth’s history.

Ueli Grossniklaus
Professor of Plant Development Genetics

When Does an Animal Have a Good Life?

Brigitte von Rechenberg

When it can develop naturally and can lead a life free from abuse. And when an animal’s dignity is respected in all situations.

Brigitte von Rechenberg
Professor of Experimental Surgery and Dean of the Vetsuisse Faculty

Are Humans Living Longer?

Heike Bischoff-Ferrari

Medical care for the sole purpose of prolonging life is not worth striving for. The goal of modern medical research in geriatrics is to enable people to live the longest, healthiest life possible. They should remain physically and mentally fit. Scholarship in this field helps to delay physiological aging at all organ levels.

Heike Bischoff-Ferrari
Professor of Geriatrics and Research on Aging

When Does Life Begin?

Brigitte Tag

From a medical point of view, life begins when a sperm cell and an ovum merge. Today, life can begin in an artificial environment. As such, legal and ethics scholars are called on to monitor the developments and to prevent abuse.

Brigitte Tag
Professor of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, and Medical Law

What Is Life?

Francis Cheneval

In its most basic form, life is self-organization, growth, irritability, reproduction, and the ability to develop. For humans, life is experiencing and narrating. One way or another, life is a mystery.

Francis Cheneval
Professor of Political Philosophy

Is Our Life Arbitrary?

Hanna Kokko

Yes and no. A human animal that can philosophize in annual reports – that is not a preconceived condition of life. There are, however, regular patterns. Our legs aren’t the same length by accident: Asymmetrical walking would be inefficient. But why only kangaroos developed their fast and energy-efficient hops...probably we humans were just unlucky.

Hanna Kokko
Professor of Evolutionary Ecology

Should We Create Life?

Nikola Biller-Andorno

As humans, we have an inherent will to create. And we have achieved an impressive number of masterpieces: We can design, manipulate, preserve, and clone life. But for all that, we should never forget we are the result of evolution. As such: Beware of all-too human hubris!

Nikola Biller-Andorno
Professor of Biomedical Ethics

What Threatens Our Life?

Janina Reichenbach

The constant microbial threats to our bodies mean that a functioning immune system is essential to our health. We can’t afford malfunctions. That as why we at UZH have set the goal of studying immune defects in order to develop innovative, targeted therapies for people with these disorders.

Janina Reichenbach
Professor of Pediatric Immunology

Will We Live as Cyborgs in the Future?

Philipp Theisohn

Strictly speaking, we already do. In how we communicate today, how we read and write, seek and find, see and think – we have already merged with machines. What bioelectronics will contribute to the trend remains to be seen. Either way, it will be interesting to hear what Cyborgs tell of their beginnings.

Philipp Theisohn
SNSF Assistant Professor at the Department of German Studies

What Makes Life Good?

Christoph Riedweg

A combination of external and internal factors. The “messenger” (daímon) should be well-disposed toward us – in health, in career, in partnerships and friendships. Fulfillment is achieved when we move past our own limitations, at best in the service of the community, or in thinking about the fragile foundations of human existence. Not for nothing did Aristotles believe that contemplation (theoría) is the key to a truly happy life.

Christoph Riedweg
Professor of Classical Philology and Greek Studies

How Did Life Begin?

Christian Mosimann

Whether it was chance, creation, or the primordial soup – fact is, life is incredibly complex. And we live all the same. How dead materials ever generated something living remains a fascinating mystery of science. In the lab, we can create and modify building blocks of life, but we can’t create life. Today, we can only form life from existing life – because life is more than the sum of its parts.

Christian Mosimann
SNSF Assistant Professor at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences

Is There Life After Death?

Konrad Schmid

Many religions have conceptions of a life in the afterworld. Despite the mythic undertones, the thought behind these fascinating thoughts is that an individual human life is not all that counts, and that death doesn’t have the final word on a human being’s life. In Judaism and Christianity, however, the exploration of our own mortality is rightfully more pronounced than speculation on immortality or forms of life after death.

Konrad Schmid
Professor of Old Testament Studies and Early Jewish Religious History