Intermediate Evaluation of the ETH Domain

Every four years, the ETH Domain undergoes an in-depth evaluation by a group of national and international experts on behalf of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).

The expert committee first obtains an initial picture of the ETH Domain by reviewing the comprehensive Self-Assessment Report prepared by the ETH Board and the institutions of the ETH Domain as well as additional documents on the Domain’s activities, processes and resources. Afterwards, the committee members hold discussions over the course of a week with key figures from the ETH Board and the ETH Domain institutions – including, for example, representatives of the teaching staff and the students – and interview ETH Domain stakeholders from academia, business and politics.

The experts then record their impressions of the ETH Domain and formulate their recommendations in the Report of the Expert Committee. In a subsequent response paper, the ETH Board responds to the expert committee’s recommendations and in turn adopts action programmes with which it – together with the ETH Domain institutions – plans to address these recommendations in the coming years.

The Report of the Expert Committee and the Response of the ETH Board serve as a basis for elaborating the Federal Council’s strategic goals for the ETH Domain for the next four-year ERI period.

2023 Intermediate Evaluation

The ETH Board would like to thank the Expert Committee of the 2023 Intermediate Evaluation for its in-depth examination of the ETH Domain and its institutions. The examination of the current strengths and weaknesses as well as the productive exchange and stimulating discussions resulted in forward-looking recommendations that are both supportive and challenging. The implementation of these recommendations will support the ETH Domain’s development to the benefit of Switzerland’s education and research sector, economy and society.

The ETH Board is pleased by the experts’ overall assessment of the exceptional quality of the ETH Domain institutions. The ETH Board is also satisfied that the experts have noted significant progress since the last Intermediate Evaluation in 2019 and is aware of the need to continue its constant reflection on how best to further improve the performance and the impact of the ETH Domain and to respond to upcoming challenges.

The ETH Board believes that it is crucial for the ETH Domain institutions to maintain their ability to compete with the best institutions worldwide and to remain the flagship of the Swiss education, research and innovation (ERI) sector. Through their excellence in teaching, research and knowledge and technology transfer (KTT), the institutions of the ETH Domain enhance the attractiveness of the Swiss ERI sector as well as the prosperity and competitiveness of Swiss society and the Swiss economy.

Bibliometric study

As stated in the mandate for the present Intermediate Evaluation of the ETH Domain, the ETH Board commissioned a bibliometric study on the institutions of the ETH Domain. For the fifth time in succession, the analysis was carried out by the Center for Science and Technology STUDIES (CWTs) at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Overall, researchers from the institutions of the ETH Domain contributed to 136,535 publications between 2009 and 2020. The impact of these publications remained high throughout this period: the average citation score was well above the global average (MNCS>1.59), while around 20% of publications from the ETH Domain were among the top 10% most cited publications in the world (PP[Top10%]>18%). Between 2009 and 2020, 79% of publications from institutions in the ETH Domain were published in collaboration with at least one other organisation; 67% of publications were the result of international collaborations. The foreign institutions that co-publish with the ETH Domain are mainly in the USA (20% of publications), Germany (18%), the UK (12%), France (11%) and Italy (9%). Almost 60% of the ETH Domain’s publications are Open Access.

The impact of Open Access publications is higher than that of closed publications over the entire period under review.

In addition to a report for the ETH Domain as a whole, CWTS has carried out a detailed study of the bibliometric performance of each of the institutions in the ETH Domain.

Bibliometric study of the ETH Domain

Bibliometric study of ETH Zurich

Bibliometric study the EPFL

Bibliometric study of PSI

Bibliometric study of Empa

Bibliometric study of the WSL

Bibliometric study of Eawag

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