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Amelie on visiting two technical universities in Switzerland

Published Apr 24, 2024

Head of School Amelie Eriksson Karlström writes about visiting major technical universities in Switzerland.

This week, together with the President and several members of KTH's management team, I have been in Switzerland and visited their two major technical universities: EPFL in Lausanne (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) and ETH in Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich). These universities are largely similar to KTH, with research and teaching in similar subject areas, but much is also different, and it has been incredibly interesting to share experiences and discuss future opportunities.

One important difference is the admission system: at EPFL and ETH, anyone with a relevant high school diploma is admitted, but then many drop out after the first year if they don't pass the course requirements. Another major difference is funding: EPFL and ETH have significantly greater resources than KTH, and the basic funding is given in a joint pot for both research and teaching, while in the Swedish system we have a strict division between the two types of funding.

Even though the conditions are different, there is a lot to be inspired by at EPFL and ETH and we come home with many new ideas!