City of study

Lausanne, city of study
Lausanne has nearly two hundred public and private schools ranging from nursery to university with specialist schools in between. Whether in science, art or modern technologies, Lausanne has become a global point of reference in terms of academic and vocational education, attracting high numbers of foreign students every year. its university and institute of technology – which are home to prestigious centres of research – are placed at the top of international rankings.

The grandes écoles make a significant contribution to Lausanne’s vocation for education and training. Some 25,000 students of 125 different nationalities spend anything from a few months to a few years studying on the university campus in Lausanne – the second biggest in Switzerland – served by a metro and a motorway. On the shores of Lake Geneva, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) has more than 14,000 students enrolled in its eight faculties. It is also a very busy research centre of international repute with 3000 researchers.

As another internationally acclaimed beacon of training and research in close proximity to the university, the Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) welcomed more than 10,000 students in 2016 compared with 5000 just ten years ago. A leader in numerous fields of science and technology, the EPFL has 4000 researchers and is a base for seven national research centres. Since 2010 it has been enhanced by the famous Rolex Learning Center, an architecturally striking building full of life, learning and knowledge, and since 2014 by the futuristic SwissTech Convention Center, devoted to international scientific conferences. Several international projects have links with the EPFL, including the design of the Alinghi boat and the solar-powered aircraft “Solar Impulse” of Bertrand Piccard.

Apart from its universities, Lausanne is also home to other prestigious training centres. It has a dozen or so colleges providing courses for managers, engineers, hoteliers, business executives, graphic art specialists, communication specialists, musicians and dancers. In the field of administration and finance, mention may be made of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Public Administration (IDHEAP), the Institute for Management Development (IMD), one of the first in Europe, and the Business School Lausanne (BSL). The Vaudois University Hospital Centre (CHUV) and numerous institutions for medical research are more factors appealing to young people hoping to pursue a vocation in the field of health care. In Lausanne they can take courses at the La Source School of Health Studies, the School of Social Work and Health Care (EESP) or the University of Health Sciences (HESAV).

The arts are not neglected either. The renown of the ECAL (University of Art and Design) transcends frontiers, while talented musicians can enrol at the Lausanne Music School (HEMU), the Lausanne Conservatory, Lausanne School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (EJMA) or the Lausanne Social School of Music (ESM). Young people hoping to tread the boards can enrol in Manufacture (Swiss Theatre School, HETSR).
Sportspeople will be able to obtain a “Masters of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration & Technology” at the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS), founded by the International Olympic Committee, EPFL, IMD and IDHEAP, among others, or to follow various educational programmes ranging from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates at the Institute of Sports Science of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL). Last but not least, the celebrated Rudra-Béjart dance school welcomes the stars of tomorrow.

The Lausanne Hotel School (EHL), the world’s first hotel school (1853), embodies the vocation of Lausanne in matters of advanced professional training. A Swiss school of higher education (HES) and a beneficiary of American accreditation (degree equivalent), this “université des metiers” (corporate university) aspires to train, on its campus in Le Chalet-à-Gobet, future executives and managers in the hotel industry and the hospitality and leisure sector as a whole.


LT/ Jacques Straesslé LT/ Jacques Straesslé

Over the past century Lausanne has also forged a reputation as a propitious location for private schools: over 120 are listed in all areas of education from nursery school to university level, with many occupational specialisations and language schools in between.  Many are international in character, while some take boarders and offer bilingual French/English courses. The education provided at all levels and in all forms has brought thousands of young people flocking to this city, who are now its ambassadors in every corner of the globe. Their heavy presence in Lausanne has much to do with its cultural, sporting and social dynamism.

Many international figures have completed their studies in Lausanne, such as the current King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who attended the École Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, the cantonal grammar school, in his youth before going on to study law and political science at the University of Lausanne. To express his gratitude for the enjoyable time that he spent in Lausanne, the King has donated a magnificent Thai pavilion to the city; it has been an attractive adornment to the Denantou Park.

Editor: Newcom Partners Lausanne – Aurélie Moeri

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