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aprs le doctorat > Western Switzerland

Western Switzerland

Information on French-speaking Switzerland compiled by Slavica Masina and Verity Elston for the CUSO (“University Conference of Western Switzerland”).
The complete study "L'insertion professionnelle des docteurs en Suisse", march 2015, is available here Ressources.

Key figures

  • 6 cantons: Geneva, Vaud, Valais, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Jura.
  • Around 2,100,000 inhabitants, or 26% of the Swiss population, occupying 29% of the nation’s territory.
  • Around 50,000 university students, 25,000 in specialised and educational-training hautes écoles (vocational universities).
  • 2013: 1,146 new doctorate holders from the 5 hautes écoles universitaires.
  • Switzerland’s hautes écoles award the greatest number of doctorate degrees per age group in the world: 3.4%, compared to a global average of 1.5% (source: OECD).


Western Switzerland is home to an active and very international population, including many citizens from the surrounding countries.
The region’s economy is strongly dependent upon research and innovation, which fuel numerous sectors, such as biotechnology, medical technology, micromechanics, energy and sustainable development, computing and finance.

Switzerland was rated the most innovative country for the 4th consecutive year by the 2014 Global Innovation Index (GII).

The region’s assets
- The high level of research and innovation creates great demand for well qualified, multilingual researchers.

- Good living conditions: while the cost of living is high (rental prices in the Lake Geneva region are often quite expensive), salaries reflect this situation and are much higher than those to be found elsewhere.

- Despite current policy at the federal level, the region remains open to qualified immigrants.