Table of contents
The University of Zurich is placed among the top 100 institutions of higher learning in the most important rankings. The following pages provide a detailed overview of the methodology and data used in the Shanghai Ranking, QS Rankings and the Times World University Rankings.
1. UZH in the Academic Ranking of World Universities
|Academic Ranking of World Universities (Top 500)|
|University of Zurich||56||54||54||58|
|University of Geneva||66||58||53||60|
|University of Basel||90||87||101-150||95|
|University of Bern||151-200||151-200||101-150||101-150|
|University of Lausanne||151-200||201-300||201-300||151-200|
|University of Fribourg||-||-||301-400||401-500|
|University of St. Gallen||-||-||-||-|
In the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (formerly the Shanghai Ranking), the University of Zurich is placed 58th, putting it among the 100 best universities in the world. In Switzerland it ranks second-best, ahead of the University of Geneva, which slipped back seven places to 60th worldwide. ETH Zurich remains in 18th place as the best university in Continental Europe. Also ranked among the world’s 100 best universities are EPFL Lausanne (76th) and, for the first time, the University of Basel (95th).
The Academic Ranking of World Universities, which has been in existence since 2003, rates more than 1,000 institutions worldwide on the basis of factors including the number of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists among alumni or employed researchers, papers published in Nature or Science, and Highly Cited Researchers at the university. In addition there is a single indicator that takes account of the size of universities by measuring the publication performance of teaching staff. Because of its methodology the ranking is very controversial. Nevertheless, it is one of the better-known rankings worldwide and enjoys a great response among the general public.
2. UZH in the QS Rankings
|QS Rankings (Top 800)|
|University of Zurich||85||80||73|
|University of Geneva||89||95||98|
|University of Basel||139||141||149|
|University of Bern||166||181||167|
|University of Lausanne||143||138||146|
|University of St. Gallen||329||288||372|
In this year’s QS World University Rankings, the University of Zurich has moved up seven places and is now ranked 73rd of the over 950 higher education institutions assessed. This means that UZH now numbers among the top 8% of all universities included in the ranking, and in the top 1% of all universities in the world.
UZH rated particularly well in the indicators student-instructor ratio (43) and proportion of international instructors (44). The data on the student-to-instructor ratio are surprisingly positive both on the national and international stage: As Switzerland’s largest university, UZH is in first place; worldwide, the University improved by 10 ranks. Regarding the proportion of international members of the teaching staff, UZH – along with all Swiss higher education institutions – is a global leader. Other universities have made ground in the indicator “proportion of international students,” in which UZH ranks 18 places lower than in the previous year.
Another positive result is in the survey of employees: UZH is now ranked 19 places higher. These changes are most likely related to a modification in the methodology used by the QS Ranking. Now, statements by domestic (i.e. Swiss) employees are weighted the same as those by international employees.
3. UZH in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings
|THE Rankings (Top 400)|
|University of Zurich||104||106||136|
|University of Geneva||131||137||130|
|University of Basel||101||98||95|
|University of Bern||120||110||105|
|University of Lausanne||144||151||152|
|University of Fribourg||201-250||251-300||201-250|
The new Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking ranks the University of Zurich 136th worldwide. UZH has dropped 30 places compared to the past year.
According to the Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking, a deterioration in an establishment’s position is due mainly to three factors: the reputation of its teaching, the productivity of its researchers, and the frequency of citation of academic papers.
The THE Ranking itself says that the deterioration in UZH’s position is primarily due to its performance in a survey of teaching. With no access to the survey data or precise details of the evaluation, UZH cannot verify this indicator.
According to the THE Ranking, there has been a massive deterioration in the productivity of researchers at UZH, with the University managing only around half the number of points it earned for this metric last year.
The indicator is based on an analysis conducted over a period of five years, which shifts one year forward for each ranking. Against this backdrop, the strong decline in publication activity is hard to understand without further analysis. Especially since other rankings measured in terms of the number of researchers show an increase in the number of publications from UZH.
While the decline in UZH’s citation rate since last year is only minimal (0.5 out of 100 points). Since the universities are very close together in that field, this has had a major impact on its ranking, which has fallen from 101 to 133.
4. UZH in the US News & World Report Best Universities Rankings
|US News Rankings (Top 600)|
|University of Zurich||77||70||59|
|University of Geneva||104||91||88|
|University of Basel||132||131||120|
|University of Bern||140||143||116|
|University of Lausanne||216||180||179|
|University of Fribourg||507||559||529|
|Global research reputation||12.5%|
|Regional research reputation||12.5%|
|Normalized citation impact||10%|
|Number of publications that are among the 10 percent most cited||12.5%|
|Percentage of total publications that are among the 10 percent most cited||10%|
|Percentage of total publications with international collaboration *||5%|
|Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited in their respective field||5%|
|Percentage of total publications that are among the top 1 percent most highly cited papers||5%|
* This indicator was added this year for the first time.
Rankings of Institutions: In the Top 100 in 10 of 13 Indicators
UZH achieved an excellent overall rank of 59 worldwide, and 15th within Europe. Only two Swiss higher education institutions achieved higher rankings (ETH Zurich at 25, and EPFL at 36), and UZH is Switzerland’s best-ranked comprehensive university, ahead of the University of Geneva, which was ranked 88th. The welcome results are mainly due to excellent performance – when compared globally – in the following indicators:
|2017 Global Rank||Indicator|
|21||Regional research reputation|
|43||Percentage of total publications with international collaboration|
|56||Number of publications that are among the 10 percent most cited|
|57||Percentage of total publications that are among the 10 percent most cited|
|60||Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited in their respective field|
|73||Percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited in their respective field|
|75||Normalized citation impact|
|98||Global research reputation|
Overall, UZH numbers among the 100 best universities worldwide in 10 of 13 indicators. That these indicators focus largely on actual achievements in research rather than reputation underline the high quality of scholarship at UZH.
Subject Rankings: In the Top 100 in 16 of 18 Subject Areas
In the rankings of individual subjects, UZH was rated among the 100 best universities worldwide in 16 of 18 subject areas.
|2017 Rank||Subject Area|
|22||Biology and Biochemistry|
|30||Neuroscience and Behavior|
|32||Plant and Animal Science|
|65||Economics and Business|
|65||Molecular Biology and Genetics|