In 2017, there were 31,293 doctoral students at Switzerland’s two federal technical universities, EPFL in Lausanne and ETHZ in Zurich. This record figure is 1,000 more than in 2016 and 10,000 more than 10 years ago.
The biggest rise in 2017 was the number in computing (+7.5%) and in science and engineering (+4.1%), both higher than the average rise (+3.1%)
The percentage of female students was 30.6%, up from 30% in 2016.
In 2017, across everyone at the two federal universities, 34% were women and 52.8% were foreigners, up form 52.4% in 2016.
Based on native language, the largest groups were German speakers (48.1%), French speakers (17.1%), Italian speakers (6.8%), English speakers (6.5%) and other languages (21.5%). Switzerland’s three main languages are German, French and Italian.
The two universities focus on four areas: data science, health, advanced manufacturing and energy. These sectors are a big part of Switzerland’s economy. It is estimated that every franc invested these two places of learning generates four more. In 2016, the two together generated an estimated CHF 13 billion and 100 000 Swiss jobs.