QS: Switzerland has the world's highest concentration of top university courses

QS: Switzerland has the world's highest concentration of top university courses

The latest university subject ranking by Quacarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed that Switzerland has the highest concentration of top academic courses in the world. Swiss universities and institutes of higher education were rated highly for their natural science, geography and hospitality programmes.

University course ranking by QS

To create the ranking, QS analysed 16.400 university programmes at 1.559 different universities around the world to see which offer the highest quality teaching and academic value. Each course at each university was analysed through five separate categories:

  • Academic reputation: How highly a course is regarded by academics.
  • Employer reputation: Which courses offer the best job opportunities upon graduation.
  • Research citations per paper: Number of academic papers published by members and faculty of each course.
  • H-index: A QS metric designed to see how impactful and productive university course members and faculty are, as measured by citations.
  • International research network: How “well connected” a course is through partnerships with other programmes.

Each university course was then given a score of 0 to 100 in each category, with an average of all five used to place each institution on the ranking.

This year, as with most academic rankings, the higher echelons were dominated by universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the five major subject areas, Harvard University took first place for Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences and Medicine, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences & Management, while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was rated highest for Engineering and Technology.

Switzerland has highest proportion of top university courses

However, QS wrote in a statement that considering the total number of courses on offer, Switzerland has the highest concentration of top university programmes in the world. According to the study, 2 percent of the best study programmes in the world are based in the alpine nation.

As is the case with the Times Higher Education and traditional QS ranking, ETH Zurich was Switzerland’s tour de force. The university was rated as the best place to study earth and marine sciences, geophysics and geology, and placed fourth for architecture. In all, 17 ETH subjects found themselves ranked among the world’s top 10.

Eight of the 10 best hospitality schools are in Switzerland

Switzerland was also found to be home to seven of the world’s best hospitality schools. The École hôtelière in Lausanne (EHL) was ranked best in the world, scoring 99,2 points out of 100. It was followed by the Swiss Hotel Management School in Leysin in second.

César Ritz Colleges Switzerland placed third, Global Training in Hotel Management in Les Roches took fifth, Hotel Institute Montreux placed sixth, the Culinary Arts Academy nabbed seventh and the Institute of Higher Education de Glion rounded out the top Swiss entries in eighth.

For more information, and to see how other universities ranked, check out the QS website.

Thumb image credit: EQRoy /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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