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Why Pakistani Students Should Study in Switzerland

The Swiss brand is recognized globally. Swiss chocolate, cheese, watches, and the Swiss army knife. But, what’s lesser known is the prestigious place that the Swiss higher education system holds in the world. With several top-ranked universities, the Swiss higher education system offers students the opportunity to take their education and future careers further. Switzerland is one of an ideal choice for international students to study abroad.

Swiss Higher Education System 

Swiss universities have an advisable reputation around the globe. Indeed, no less than 7 Swiss higher education institutions are featured in the top 200 of QS World Rankings (2019). Switzerland is country with a long tradition of higher education, its first university was founded in 1460 at Basel. As a result of sustained academic progress over the centuries, Switzerland is now home to some of the most renowned higher educational systems of Europe.

There are around 12 state-run universities in Switzerland. Out of those, 10 are cantonal, and 2 are federal institutes of technology. The differences between these two is that cantonal universities are operated and managed by individual cantons, and federal institutes of technology are run directly by the government of Switzerland. Canton is like an administrative area. The federal institutions are aligned in structure to international American universities, making it easier for foreign students to transfer there.

Apart from these twelve institutions, there are also two other types of institutions, 8 Universities of Applied Sciences and the Arts (UASAs), which provide scientific and professional education, and 20 Universities of Teacher Education (UTEs), which offer practice oriented teaching education.

Quality of Education

In terms of categories by which universities are measured, knowledge, teaching, research and international reputation, higher education institutions in Switzerland are ranked consistently high.

The highest ranked, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) is focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. ETH Zurich has produced more than 20 Nobel Prize winners, and one of the 1former students include Albert Einstein.

University ranking – QS ranking 2019


QS ranking 2019

ETH Zurich


EPF Lausanne


University of Zurich


University of Geneva


University of Bern


University of Basel


University of Lausanne


An International Network

According to Studies, in Switzerland nearly 25% of the student population is comprised of international students. Well, that’s a great news for a student who has newly arrived in Switzerland, meeting other international students will be the quickest way to make friends and grow both your professional and social network. It’s also the perfect way to open your mind to new traditions and customs and even to learn a new language.


Compared to other European countries, tuition fees in quite low. Making it one of the top choices for international students to study abroad. There are several scholarships that are offered through bilateral agreements between governments and/or universities, within the frame of a rules and regulations. Some of them are

  • Swiss excellence scholarships for foreign students promotes international exchange and research co-operation between Switzerland and other 180 countries. Post graduate researchers can claim for this scholarship who are planning to pursue their research education in Switzerland.

  • ETH Excellence scholarships supports students from both the ETH and from other universities (national and international) who wish to pursue a Master's degree at ETH with a two year scholarship program.

  • University of Lausanne Master's Grants for foreign students are specifically for international students who wish to pursue their Master's degree at Lausanne University.

  • EPFL Excellence Fellowships offers a select few number of scholarships for students with a solid academic record and who wish to continue their Master degree studies in Switzerland.

  • Graduate institute scholarships aim to support students with financial needs by offering a partial/complete financial assistance while completing their studies in Switzerland.

  • IMD MBA Scholarships are offered to international students from different countries and backgrounds.

  • University of Geneva Excellence Master Fellowships are offered in collaboration with several sponsors to support outstanding and highly motivated candidates who intend to pursue a Master’s of Science in any of the disciplines covered by the faculty.

Work While Study

After obtaining your residence permit and proving that you have sufficient funds to cover your studies expenses in Switzerland, you may be able to take a part-time job. In fact, the student residence permit definitely allows for a part-time job as long your university provides a statement confirming that your job will affect your studies. You can work up to 15 hours per week, but this is flexible depending on the canton (for example, in Geneva, you can work up to 30 hours per week). It is easier to find employment in the large urban centers like Geneva and Zurich. Each university has a job placement office that provides information to students over student employment.

Wages of an average part-time job vary between CHF 20 – 35 per hour according to the type of job and your skills.

Safe place to live

Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, students can be relaxed if they have any concern about their safety while studying abroad. Violent crime is almost non-existent and the risk of petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, are very low compared to other countries. Therefore, international students feel safe exploring Switzerland.

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