Yesterday… and today University of Lausanne

The Academy, the forerunner of the UNIL, was founded in 1537. Its vocation at that time was to train ministers for the church. The university enjoyed a certain renown due to the fact that it was the only French-language Protestant school of theology. As the centuries passed, the number of faculties increased and diversified until, in 1890, the Academy received the name and status of a university.

In 1970, the university moved progressively from the old city of Lausanne, around the Cathedral and the Château, to its present site at Dorigny. The end of the 20th century witnessed the beginnings of an ambitious project aiming at greater co-operation and development among the French-speaking universities of Lausanne, Geneva and Neuchâtel, together with the EPFL. In 2003, two new faculties were founded concentrating on life and human sciences: the Faculty of Biology and Medicine; and the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment.

UNIL Research Policy

Promoting research, supporting the development of research and encouraging an international, interdisciplinary approach are the three key strands of the University of Lausanne’s research policy:

Promoting research

This is an essential part of the process of securing funding that complies with Swiss and European legislation, to guarantee the authenticity, integrity and reliability of research results. Transparency in the way data are stored and managed helps to increase the visibility and impact of research and promotes the interests of both researchers and their institutions. Promoting open access and open data is an essential part of the policy.

Supporting the development of research in all areas, including its international dimension

UNIL invests heavily in infrastructure and facilities to ensure its research remains at the highest level. It is committed to further improvements in its internal research support network, to encourage all faculties to produce and monitor research projects and encourage applications for funding (SNSF, H2020). UNIL researchers must have the opportunity for continuous improvement by pitting themselves against the world’s leading groups and facing the most demanding expert committees. Securing external funding is part of the process.

Developing interdisciplinarity

Cutting-edge research needs specialists but it is also a question of breaking down barriers, particularly between the human and social sciences, life sciences and environmental sciences. UNIL is committed to promoting interdisciplinary synergies in research (through funding interdisciplinary projects and selected post-docs, support for preparing Sinergia-type applications or incorporating this approach into assessing researchers) as well as in teaching. It aims to embed a culture of interdisciplinarity at all levels, including among students, to allow its young graduates to take an integrated view of the multiple technical and societal issues we face.

Source: University of Lausanne


European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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