Top Rankings for Anatomy and Physiology

UZH places among the top 50 in four subjects in the current QS World University Rankings by Subject. In Anatomy & Physiology, which is new in the 2017 survey, it is ranked 20th in the world – UZH’s best result. Johannes Loffing, head of the Institute of Anatomy, and Carsten Wagner at the Institute of Physiology, are delighted with the results.

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Loffing / Wagner
Pleased about the very good results in the QS Rankings: Johannes Loffing (left), who heads the Institute of Anatomy, and Carsten Wagner, professor at the Institute of Physiology.

Johannes Loffing and Carsten Wagner, are you surprised your subjects got such good rankings?

Johannes Loffing: We do excellent work in anatomy and physiology, and have come up with many interesting research findings in recent years. Even so, I hadn’t expected us to place so high in an international ranking. I’m delighted with the results.

Carsten Wagner: The same goes for me. The ranking means that the work we’ve been doing in recent years is getting broad recognition.

What do you think were the decisive factors in this excellent ranking?

Johannes Loffing: Work on the University Research Priority Programs and the National Centers of Competence in Research, plus translational cancer research involving a number of different Clinical Research Priority Programs, has been decisive. Networks of this type are boosting visibility and reputation both in this country and abroad. Another factor could be that we’re working on the cusp between pure and applied science. In both anatomy and physiology pre-clinical and clinical aspects are closely connected.

What have been the outstanding achievements in anatomy at UZH in recent years?

Johannes Loffing: In the last few years we’ve conducted many successful research projects, for example in brain, tumor, and kidney research. Our gravitational research, which has created major waves, also deserves mention. It’s by no means a matter of course for there to be so much research in anatomy as at UZH. In many places the focus of anatomy within medicine is more on teaching than research. For this reason these subjects are often neglected by research bodies and policymakers. That makes it all the more gratifying that anatomy and physiology have been introduced as a category in the QS Rankings.

Professor Wagner, where do you see the strengths of physiology at UZH?

Carsten Wagner: The high level of recognition our research has earned from our peers internationally and the good reputation of our teaching is down to a number of factors. They include UZH’s support for the former Human Physiology University Research Priority Program (ZIHP) and the ongoing Kidney.CH NCCR, the involvement of our researchers in various EU projects, and the broad support our research is receiving from the Swiss National Science Foundation. We’ve also been very successful in recruiting new professors from Switzerland and abroad.

QS by Subject 2017: UZH Achieves Better Results in All Subjects

Compared to last year, the University of Zurich (UZH) has achieved a higher ranking in all five subject areas in this year’s “QS World University Rankings by Subject.” In the subject Anatomy & Physiology, which is new in the 2017 survey, UZH is ranked 20th in the world; in Dentistry, UZH is ranked 29th.  UZH also numbers among the world’s 50 best universities in Communications & Media Studies (40) as well as in Economics & Econometrics (49). And in Switzerland, UZH is Number One in 11 subjects.

Named after its publisher, Quacquarelli Symonds Limited, the QS Ranking compares higher education institutions in a total of 36 individual subjects that are grouped (and rated) in five general subject areas. Thanks to the improvement in all areas, UZH is now rated among the world’s top 100 universities in four of the five subject areas. In Life Science & Medicine, UZH achieved a rank of 43 (last year: 50) and made a large advance in Natural Sciences, now ranking 59th (117th last year). UZH also ranks among the top 100 universities in the Social Sciences & Management (91st) and Arts & Humanities (97th). Another large improvement was made in the fifth subject area, Engineering & Technology, where UZH moved up from the 228th place to rank 188.

In addition to the subjects in which it ranks among the top 50 universities in the world, UZH is one of the best 100 universities in eleven other subjects. These are: Archaeology, linguistics, modern languages, theology, biology, medicine, geography, environmental sciences, mathematics, physics, and anthropology. Compared to other Swiss higher education institutions, UZH is the country’s best university in 11 of 36 subjects surveyed and second-best in seven additional subjects.

The QS World University Rankings began rating the world’s top universities in 2004 and – like the THE Ranking – publishes one of the world’s most widely read and respected surveys of higher education institutions. In 2011, an annual ranking by subject was introduced, the “QS World University Rankings  by Subject.” Unlike the institutional rankings, the subject rankings focus on individual subjects rather than rating an entire institution. The best universities in the subjects are then defined based on four indicators: Citations per scholarly paper, H-index, and reputation surveys of academics and employers. The weighting of the indicators and the size of the best-of lists are adapted to the individual subject.

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