Universities and institutes of technology

The ten cantonal universities, both federal institutes of technology and several other institutions of higher education form together the universities and institutes of technology (UIT). The main services offered by the UIT are teaching and research across seven broad areas: humanities and social sciences, economics, law, natural sciences, medicine and pharmacology, engineering sciences and an interdisciplinary field.

Generally, master rather than bachelor degrees are more appealing to foreign nationals who come to study in Switzerland. At the universities and institutes of technology, this observation is also valid but above all doctoral studies are preferred by this group. The percentage of foreign entrants educated abroad at doctoral level increased from 36% at the start of the 2000s to 58% in 2022/23.

Entrances (at bachelor/diploma level) and students at universities and institutes of technology by group of fields of study, sex and nationality (category), 2022/23
  Entrances Students    
  Total Total % Female % Foreign
Humanities and social sciences 5 183 46 800 68.7 27.2
Economics 2 936 22 679 35.5 37.1
Law 2 030 16 590 61.5 19.4
Exact and natural sciences 4 736 33 894 39.9 45.6
Medecine and pharmacy 2 286 21 675 64.1 24.5
Engineering, architecture 2 631 21 281 32.3 47.6
Interdisciplinary and other  429 4 829 47.2 26.8
Total 20 231 167 748 51.9 33.7
Source: FSO - SHIS-studex

In 2022/23, more than 167 700 students pursued a university education. Humanities and social sciences attracted the largest number of students (28%). The percentages of men and women do differ by fields of study. Although women make up 69% of people in education in the humanities and social sciences, they account for 32% in the engineering sciences. The number of foreign students is highest in engineering, architecture (48%) and in exact and natural sciences (46%) and lowest in law (19%) and in medecine and pharmacy (25%).

We highly recommend checking the results published in the tables available under the heading "tables" beforehand.

Further information




Federal Statistical Office Section Educational Processes
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