Science and Culture in Switzerland

According to educationvv, there are many universities in the country of Switzerland, in almost every major canton, the oldest of which is located in Basel (since 1460). Switzerland has always had a reputation as a promising developer of innovative technologies, but in their development it is clearly inferior to other countries. To overcome this shortcoming, a special fund “Swiss Innovation Network” (SNI – RSI) was created.

Two well-known Federal technological higher schools were chosen as the main locomotives: in Zurich (ETH) and Lausanne (EPFL). They prepare approx. 18-20 thousand students to work at Swiss high-tech firms, as well as at the Center for Electronics and Microelectronics (CSEM), an IBM research laboratory (near Zurich).

The activities of, for example, the Federal Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne (EPFL) are based on the principle that “a breakthrough in science and technology occurs, as a rule, at the intersection of traditional disciplines”. Therefore, 12 faculties were merged into 5 larger ones, and many interdisciplinary centers arose. In this higher school, approx. 5.5 thousand listeners, incl. 800 PhD students, 400 people get a second degree. The teaching staff is 210 professors and 2.4 thousand specialists, entrepreneurs and administrators (3/4 of them receive their basic salary from external sources). Particular emphasis is placed on medical engineering, biotechnology, digital modeling, information systems and telecommunications. Switzerland has high hopes for the success of this model.

Among the outstanding personalities who lived and worked in Switzerland, one can distinguish, first of all, prominent religious figures of the Protestant direction: W. Zwingli and J. Calvin. The leading philosopher of the Enlightenment is considered to be the Genevan J.-J. Rousseau. The famous Swiss architect Jean-E. Corbusier remains a landmark figure in modern urban planning.


The success of solving social problems is usually closely linked to an increase in economic efficiency. Modern social conditions in the country are considered among the best in the world. But recently, due to the rapid aging of the population, there has been some imbalance in the state pension system. It is known that Switzerland has huge gold reserves. They amount per capita to approx. 10 ounces, which is 10 times higher than in the US and Europe. Some political groups (especially populist radical nationalists) propose using these golden resources to strengthen the financial basis of the state pension system.

In the 1990s public finances were characterized by an increase in the budget deficit and public domestic debt. In the 21st century significant progress has been made in addressing these issues. The state budget has become balanced, i.е. the amounts of financial receipts and expenditures became equal ($30 billion in 2001). The growth of domestic debt has stopped, and the country has no external debt.

The country’s monetary policy is carried out by the Swiss National Bank. It is aimed primarily at solving three main problems: ensuring monetary stability, strengthening the position of the Swiss franc, maintaining low lending rates (the country is traditionally considered such a zone).

The world market has long been a major factor in the business cycle in Switzerland. Therefore, the principle of diversification of foreign economic relations is actively used, which makes it possible to reduce the negative impact of economic downturns on the stability of the national economic situation. At the same time, the focus is on gaining strong positions in those sectors and industries that are least affected by cyclical fluctuations in production.

Switzerland is among the world’s top ten capital exporters and the second ten commodity exporters. Switzerland has already shifted a significant part of its industrial production outside the country. In terms of the volume of accumulated foreign direct investment (215.2 billion dollars), Switzerland ranks 5th in Europe (2000). Switzerland is the undisputed world leader in terms of their cost per capita (27 thousand dollars) and when compared with GDP (89.2%). Swiss enterprises abroad employ 1.73 million people, i.e. 43.3% of the number of employees within the country. This figure is the highest in the world. In the field of foreign trade, Switzerland occupies a more modest position. Commodity exports amounted to 100.3 billion dollars (2002). Main export partners: EU – 61%, USA – 10%. Import of goods – $ 94.4 billion. Main import partners: EU – 79%, USA – 5.1%.

Switzerland is among the top ten major exporters of direct investment in the Russian Federation ($0.7 billion in 2002). Some elite companies have already created powerful production units (Nestle, ABB, Holcim, etc.). But the majority continues the commercial development of the Russian market, although some are already starting to implement production projects (Novartis, Roche, Swatch Group, etc.). Leading banking and insurance companies (UBS, Credit Suisse, Zurich) are also very active. Swiss capital is preparing for a large-scale development of the promising Russian market.

Education of Switzerland