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Local News Summary of, September 6th

  • University of Basel improves by 3 places while University of Zurich falls 30 in university ranking
  • Roger Federer moves into the quarterfinals of the US Open
  • Bishop of Basel reorganises his management

University of Basel improves by 3 places while University of Zurich falls 30 in university ranking

Seven Swiss universities are ranked among the top 200 best universities in the world, according to the latest ranking by the journal "Times Higher Education" (THE). However, there was a nasty surprise for the university of Zurich which dropped 30 ranks compared to last year's list.

Swiss universities have a good standing in a worldwide comparison by "THE World University Rankings": both ETH science and technology universities in Zurich and Lausanne, as well as the universities of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zurich, and Lausanne were ranked among the top 200 of the world. The universities of Basel, Bern, and Geneva climbed several ranks and were ranked 95 (98 last year), 105 (110), and 130 (137) respectively.

The ETH Zurich could also defend its ranking among the top 10, even though it fell from 9th to 10th place. It remains the best university on the European continent. Among the European universities, only the British institutions were better with the University of Oxford ranking No. 1, and the University of Cambridge at No. 2, as well as the Imperial College London on a ranking of 8. Otherwise, universities in the USA dominated the top 20.

University of Zurich slips 30 rankings

The ETH Lausanne fell by eight rankings compared to the previous year and is now ranked 38. The university of Zurich slipped even further, from 106 to 136. This was the result of a poor assessment of teaching standards which makes up 15 per cent of the total assessment, as well as lower research productivity, the Times Higher Education wrote in a release.

Speaking on request of the news agency sda, a spokesperson for THE said the assessment of teaching relies on 10,500 answers of a representative, and is a worldwide survey about the discerned prestige of a university concerning teaching. Due to the harsh competition among the top 200 universities in the world, a difference of only a few votes can have a huge impact on the final ranking.

Fewer publications per head

The downward turn for the University of Zurich is based on a number of factors: for example, the number of doctor titles awarded has tailed off. However, especially the assessment research productivity compared to previous years has worsened, as well as the number of publication per researcher. In the area of research, reputation, and research grants raised, the university has slightly improved.

A spokesperson for the university said on request of the sda news agency that they "recognise the ranking" however they declined to comment on the details.

The ranking includes the 1,000 best universities in 77 countries around the world. The list is based on performance evaluations in five core areas; teaching, research, international faculty members, knowledge transfer to industry, as well as scientific influence, i.e. how often the institute's research is referred to.

Roger Federer moves into the quarterfinals of the US Open

Basel tennis ace Roger Federer had to get over just one tricky moment in yesterday's game against Philipp Kohlschreiber to win 6:4, 6:2, 7:5. Now he is ready for the quarterfinal.

During the round of 16, Federer had only a small difficult moment which prompted the Swiss player to leave the court after the second set. After the game Federer said that at some point during the match he had felt a muscular tension in his back. "I ran directly to the physiotherapist, and after three minutes I was back," he said, adding: "It was a precautionary measure rather than a serious problem. I am not worried about it."

Kohlschreiber did not cause him any concerns, he said. The German did not even come close to winning during the 109 minutes of the game and did not even have one chance of a break. "I played well," Federer said, adding "but I can always play better." In comparison to earlier rounds, especially in the US Open, he had better concentration. He gave a consistently strong performance.

After two smooth successes, he may however face more challenges in the quarterfinals. He has an exciting match ahead of him against Juan Martin Del Potro. "I look forward to it," he said. "We like each other very much and play well together." At the US Open in 2009, both played against each other in the final. The South American ended the victory of the Swiss player which he had held since 2004. "In those days I did not use the many chances I had," Federer said.

Federer said the game against Del Potro, which will start on Wednesday as a night session, will not be the first difficult test. "The first test was against Feliciano Lopez (in the third round). Then I realised that it was getting better," he said. After the first two difficult matches, which took five sets, Federer got into his rhythm. He won the last eight sets in New York.

As for the race to be number one on the world ranking, Federer claimed he had not thought about it for a long time. "I only concentrate on the matches," said the 19-time Grand Slam winner, who could overthrow Nadal from the number one spot after the US Open. Federer could find himself leading the world ranking list as early as the semi-final. Before a possible semi-final against Nadal he must beat Del Potro, who beat Dominic Thiem 1:6, 2:6, 6.1, 7:6 (7:1), 6:4 in a spectacular performance.

Bishop of Basel reorganises his management

The bishop of Basel has purified his management structure. The 34 deaneries will be abolished and their duties taken over at pastoral level. As part of the changes, the management levels of bishop, deacon, pastoral, and parish will be reduced by a third

Speaking on Tuesday, the bishop said he has been working for some time on joining together the 511 parishes and 104 pastoral areas. In doing so, he hopes the pastoral services should match the changing needs of churchgoers and worshippers. The new structures will come into force on 1st August 2018.

The diocese of Basel - with its headquarters in Solothurn - consists of 10 cantons and thus is the biggest Swiss diocese. More than 1,300 employees work in 511 parishes and look after 1.1 million worshippers. The diocese was established in the 4th century. Since 2011 it has been headed by