Education In Switzerland: University of Geneva

Oct 22, 2018 | Education in Switzerland | 0 comments

Education in Switzerland is the most in-depth and innovative in the world. Since it is integrated into a realistic economy and has the ability to adapt to a range of conditions, the Swiss education system is able to cover all its requests and needs. Geneva, the second largest city in Switzerland, is the most recognized international city in Europe, and is a hub for international politics, business, and higher education.

Let’s take a look at the University of Geneva.

About the University of Geneva

The University of Geneva (UNIGE) is a public research university. Founded in 1559 as a seminary and law school by the famous French theologian John Calvin, UNIGE is the second largest university in Switzerland after ETH Zurich, with a student body of 16,500 students from more than 150 nations. The university admits students of all races, genders, ages, religions, ethnicities, and cultures. This is why 40% of UNIGE’s student body is composed of international students, and 60% of the university’s teaching staff comes from other nations. It also has set up successful partnerships with the University of Michigan in the USA, the University of Oxford in the UK, the University of Ottawa in Canada, and the University of Sydney in Australia. This has allowed students from all corners of the world to take part in its exchange programs.

UNIGE offers close to 300 degree programs, including 129 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, 80 doctoral programs, and more than 280 Continuing Education programs. These programs cover a wide array of fields, such as exact sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences, economics, law, and much more. Here, students are provided in-depth knowledge, skills, and experience in their chosen program(s). The university campus provides many modern learning facilities, including libraries, sport centers and clubs, classrooms with cutting-edge computers, SMART boards with high-tech sound systems, and Wi-Fi. All of these amenities are available to teachers and students.

Photo: @veryhappybird

Although the majority of programs and classes are taught in French, there are individual subjects that are taught in German and Spanish. There are also over 100 programs taught in English. To be accepted to the University of Geneva, an applicant must have a high school diploma that is equivalent to a Swiss diploma. If French is not your native language, then students must take an additional language exam in the summer.

There are 9 faculties at UNIGE: Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Protestant Theology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Geneva School of Economics and Management, Geneva School of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Translation and Interpreting.

UNIGE also has 13 additional interfaculty centers and institutions: the Computer Science Center (CUI), the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability (CIGEV), the Global Studies Institute, the Institute of Reformation History (IHR), the Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE), the University Institute of Teacher Education (IUTE), the Geneva Neuroscience Center (CIN), the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (SCAS), the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), the Interfaculty Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicinem, the Institute of Genetics and Genomics in Geneva (iGE3), the University Center for Bioinformatics, and the Maison de l’Histoire (Interfaculty Center for History).

Studying at the University of Geneva is an extraordinary experience, different from the Russian one 10 years ago.

The system of credits and courses for students is very comfortable. They collect them like a puzzle. During the exams, everything [is] very transparent. It is just impossible to write off or ask a neighbor to help. If one just tries, he or she will be immediately expelled from the University without being warned. Everything is very strict. You have only a pen. Gadgets are prohibited!

What struck me at UNIGE regarding Moscow universities is freedom. During the lunch, you can buy a glass of wine, in the canteen-coffee buffet. You can enter the building just like that, there is no access system. The entrance to the lectures is also not controlled. As far as I know, for CHF 50 francs a year, you can also get a free listener card and come to listen to lectures.

Daria, a student of UNIGE from Russia

UNIGE is host and co-host to 6 National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs) – PlanetS, SwissMap, Chemical Biology, Affective Sciences, Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases and LIVES-Overcoming vulnerabilities in a life course perspective. It is also a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Coimbra Group, and the European University Association (EUA). The University of Geneva often takes part in the European Union Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, and is constantly cooperating with the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other well-known institutions.  Because of its location in the city of Geneva, the university has close ties with international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The final argument in favor of the University of Geneva is its intellectual heritage. Among the outstanding students that have graduated from the university include the father of 20th century linguistics Ferdinand de Saussure, founder of the Red Cross Henri Dunant, and Martin Hairer and Vaughan Jones, both recipients of the Fields Medal (the “Nobel Prize” in mathematics). These are just a few individuals that have walked through the university’s doors, as well as many other brilliant minds that have left their mark on this planet.

So, if you are seriously thinking about a quality education for yourself, friends, or children in Europe, then it is possible at this university. Welcome to Geneva!