Academic autonomy is what makes Swiss excel in research

See on Scoop.itBusiness education @GIBS

The high quality of academic research in Switzerland, recognised at the highest levels of the European Research Commission, is largely due to the open manner in which it is organised, says Patrick Aebischer. …

KISs @GIBS‘s insight:

“. . . researchers from Swiss institutions stand out. According to Thomson Reuters, Switzerland has been among the world’s top countries in terms of scientific productivity since 1990. Between 2007 and 2012, scientists from the two polytechniques won no fewer than 133 “ERC grants” from the European Research Commission.     This research success is the result of our academic system’s open approach. The nationality of our professors is never a criterion for hiring; the only thing that matters is their ability. The “tenure-track” system allows us to hire internationally competitive young scientists who then have eight years to prove their scientific mettle and obtain the title of associate or full professor.     Finally, the widespread use of English in our master’s programmes reduces linguistic and cultural barriers, allowing us to welcome students and researchers from around the world. No less than 120 nationalities are present on the EPFL campus! This international outlook also leads to cooperation: the Human Brain Project brings together 85 research institutions from 23 European countries. We also maintain close relationships with institutions in countries on every continent. In Europe, we are in the process of building new ties with several universities in Eastern Europe and Russia.     This policy of autonomy, openness and excellence is what gives rise to the high quality of our research. In addition to our record in obtaining grants – whether they’re exceptional, like the FET Flagship Initiative, or regular, like the ERC Grants –our success can also be measured by our position in the most widely reputed university rankings. EPFL is, for example, first in Europe in Leiden’s Crown Indicator, which is largely based on research impact in the scientific community. We are second in Europe in the Shanghai ranking in engineering, technology and computer science, and fifth among European universities in the Times Higher Education ranking.”

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