UZH and ETH impressions

my initial impressions of the University of Zurich and of ETH were that they were extremely old, well-funded institutions. They seemed to embody every ideal about the classical academy from the architecture, to the imposing nature of end of term examinations, to the student-advisor relationships. However, when digging a little deeper they still have similar undertones that are present in the US. The difference really  is that their issues haven’t become full-blown problems like in the US. Their Universities talk a lot about gender equity in terms of percentage enrollment, not in terms of perceived level of effort for the same tasks. It seems, at least through cursory conversation, that women still perceive they have a harder time in the academy than their male counterparts. In the US however, we haven’t even made substantial progress in closing the gender enrollment gap in fields such as engineering and computer science.  All in all, there is a lot to learn from the Swiss system but no institution is ever without areas of possible improvement.


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