Lausanne is a small city of 145,000 inhabitants, such as The le Mans or in Villeurbanne, wedged between the lake and the mountains. There is however, one of the best science universities in the world – the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) -, the best hotel school of the world – the EHL -, one of the best MBA in europe – the IMD, and an excellent university generalist – the university of lausanne. The example of the EPFL shows that a technology institute was banal can, in twenty years, achieving excellence : young people around the world are fighting now to enter.

The swiss model

In the 2000s, under the leadership of its new president Patrick Aebischer, EPFL performs a turn towards the life sciences and has become a reference in oncology, bio-engineering, infectious diseases and neuroscience with the project “Blue Brain”. The goal is to become the equal of Oxford or Cambridge. Its annual budget approach 900 million euros, compared to 130 for our Ecole polytechnique is located in Palaiseau. This allows you to attract outstanding teachers, including French : the rules of the school plans, in 2018, an annual salary of 303 000 euros for the good teachers. These may have an activity of council and their spouses a program of pampering.

A university French class outstanding, on the last level, put caps on, him, at 6,200 euros gross per month (74 400 euros per year). At the EPFL, the young teachers are recruited as post-doctoral students, and get around 1 million euros as credit facility, on an annual budget of several hundred million euros. They are free to recruit, with this budget, their doctoral students. Their research results are the sole criterion of their employment as teachers.

“They don’t need to wait for the retirement of another teacher to get a position,” said Patrick Aebischer. The former president has had to fight : “The first time I announced that EPFL was to become a university of world ranking, three-quarters of the teachers said : ‘He is crazy, he will never do that’.” His architectural vision is also bold : the sublime library of the Learning Center, the congress center, SwissTech Convention Center, or the new ArtLab, which houses the humanities digital, are successes.

learning valued

The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is considered by professionals as the best school in the world for executive education in the hospitality industry. She is a breathtaking beauty, incomparably more modern than our Ecole polytechnique, which looks like a building of the soviet-era Brezhnev. And not talking about the professional schools the French, who are almost ashamed in comparison.

in Lausanne, the young people who do not wish, or are not permitted to take general studies go on learning, where they are remarkably well-framed. It would not come to the idea of the person, in Switzerland, send them to vegetate in universities bins. At the end of their apprenticeship, they do not know the unemployment and their minimum wage workforce revolves around 3 000 euros, even if there is no legal minimum wage.

12 kilometers from France, Lausanne shows us that our facs dirty, dilapidated, demoralized and impoverished, employing teachers under-paid, are not inevitable, but a choice of political suicide at the time of the “capitalism of knowledge”. Imitate the Swiss. It is necessary to offer a TGV rail ticket Paris-Lausanne to the Prime minister, Edouard Philippe, and to the minister of higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal.


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