Environmental sciences at ETH ranked third in the world

26.02.2014 | News

By:  Fabio Bergamin

In the QS World University Ranking by Subject published lately, ETH Zurich ranks third in the world in the environmental sciences. The following subjects at ETH are also in the top 10: electrical engineering, chemistry, computer science and information systems, earth and marine sciences, mathematics and biological sciences.

ETH-Umweltwissenschaftler bei der Arbeit  
Environmental scientists from ETH Zurich are among the world’s best. Researchers in the picture are measuring methane emissions in marshland. (Photo: Josef Zeyer / ETH Zurich)

In a global comparison, research and teaching at ETH Zurich in the discipline of environmental sciences is in an excellent position. The QS World University Ranking by Subject, published today, ranks ETH as the world’s third best university, just after the Universities of Berkeley and Harvard and tied with the University of Cambridge. ETH Zurich is also ahead of renowned universities such as Stanford University, MIT and the University of Oxford. Environmental sciences at ETH has climbed several spots in this ranking in recent years: in 2011, it was ranked 13th; last year, it came in fifth.

ETH Zurich is also among the world’s top 10 universities in the disciplines of electrical engineering (5th), chemistry (7th), computer science (8th), earth and marine sciences (9th), mathematics (9th) and biological sciences (10th).

QS-Ranking by Subject 2014

Environmental Sciences
Electrical Engineering
1. UC Berkeley 1. MIT
2. Harvard University 2. Stanford University
3. ETH Zurich 3. UC Berkeley
3. University of Cambridge 4. University of Cambridge
5. Stanford University 5. ETH Zurich
6. MIT 6. National University of Singapore
7. University of Oxford 7. University of Oxford
8. Wageningen University
8. Imperial College London
9. Imperial College London 9. Harvard University
10. University of Michigan 10. Nanyang Technological University

The QS World University Ranking is one of several international tools by which to compare universities. ETH Zurich regularly performs very well and is usually ranked the best continental European university. In the most recent QS university ranking, published last September, ETH ranked 12th overall (ETH Life reported). The QS ranking is based on the frequency of publications by the institution, how often research is cited in other research publications and on a reputational survey of 90,000 academics and employers.

QS Head of Research Ben Sowter has been quoted in various online media: “The Swiss universities have the potential to compete against the world’s best schools in many disciplines. ETH Zurich and EPFL in particular are part of a group of global elite universities.” In addition, he says: “ETH performs excellently in the MINT subjects. This is particularly noteworthy because there is an international concentration of competitors in these disciplines.

In the MINT subjects (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology), in addition to the top universities in the Anglo-Saxon countries and ETH Zurich, those in Singapore and Japan also perform well. These include the National University of Singapore, where ETH maintains a research centre, Nanyang Technological University (also in Singapore) and the University of Tokyo.

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