USI stands out in National Comparative Survey 2022 


Institutional Communication Service

21 December 2022

The survey of medical students at several Swiss universities, conducted by SWIMSA's education committee, confirms the positive performance of Università della Svizzera italiana. 
The allocation of Master of Medicine students to partner universities for 2023 was carried out and reported by ETH Zürich. Whereas at the beginning of the human medicine degree programme at ETH, the choice of the Master's program in Southern Switzerland needed more explaining, USI is now the first choice among ETH medical students.
The reasons for this are many and are documented and outlined in detail in the "National Comparative Survey 2022" by the Swiss Medical Students' Association (SWIMSA) education committee. The survey involved 1176 medical students investigating the quality of education, organisation and well-being at universities in Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lugano, Fribourg, Geneva and Lausanne.
The purpose of the survey was to determine if there are significant differences among medical schools in Switzerland in terms of student satisfaction. For this, eight criteria were examined, as well as the general satisfaction of students at their universities.
The following criteria were evaluated:

  • General satisfaction
  • Curriculum and schedule
  • Lectures and teaching
  • Examinations
  • Practical courses
  • Clinical courses
  • Communication
  • Teaching materials
  • Mental health

Results show that USI is above the Swiss average in all surveyed items.
According to local students, the high level of satisfaction with their course of study and schedule can be pinned on the good implementation of PROFILES. This is also due to the emphasis on practice with 2 clinical days per week and one practice week per semester on a specific topic (e.g., pediatric practice, family practice).

The lectures' high level of interactivity and the faculty's supportive nature also lead to a very positive evaluation of the teaching experience. In addition, active discussion of clinical cases in the classroom makes the content interesting and relevant, leading to greater learning motivation on the student's part.
Theoretical lectures and clinical practice days are perceived as well coordinated, and the 1:2 tutor-to-student ratio in almost all clinical courses also contributes significantly to good performance in this area.
In Lugano, satisfaction with examinations appears to be higher than the Swiss average. Thorough discussions of exam questions in advance create less confusion and better tailoring of questions to students' level of knowledge.

Communication between students and the school administration is rated as very good. Concerns are taken seriously, and the Dean's Office is open to solutions.

A particularly referenced event related to communication is a survey conducted by the Dean's Office in January 2021 to determine if students felt sufficiently prepared for OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exams during the pandemic. As a result, the exams were postponed as most students voted in support of this option.

Regarding mental health, students have several support systems available, such as the helpline line "USI in Ascolto," to address their concerns and problems.

The ETH Medicine project team has prioritised the partnership with USI from the beginning. The study concept and elaborate organisational structure meet the high standards of today's modern medical education. A theoretically and practically sound master's programme geared to the challenges of future medicine.


The study results can be found in detail here