Frequently asked questions

1.What are the UNIGE statistics used for?

Our statistics are sent to different official offices like the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO), The Cantonal Office (OCSTAT) or the Research in Education Service (SRED). They are also available to the public and to all University faculty, staff and students. Our data does not contain any personal information about our students, faculty orstaff.

2. Who can ask for UNIGE statistics?

The Statistics Office can answer any questions concerning the student population, degrees awarded and the UNIGE faculty and staff within certain limits. Anyone can send us a query, but personal data  (like names or addresses) concerning students or staff are protected by law and can not be divulged.

3. What informations are common between the Statistics Office and  the "Observatoire de la vie étudiante"?

Their data and ours come from different sources and have different goals. Our data is purely administrative and comes from student registration files or faculty and staff contracts. We have access to student numbers per faculty, their age, nationalities, previous and future degrees, etc..

Data from the Observatoire de la vie étudiante comes from studies and questionnaire given to student samples. Their goal is to study the student's social and academic life during their stay at UNIGE. They can answer questions like "what's the student's quality of life?" or " what is the impact of Bologna reform?" for example.

4. Where does the data used for the statistical publication come from?

The data comes from the annual extractions done from our historical databases for the SFSO. These extractions are used for all statistics we do throughout the year*. 

- For student population, the extraction is done around november 15th each year. We take into account all students enrolled at UNIGE in the fall semester, whatever the year and level of studies. 

-For degrees, the extraction is done between february and march each year. Data includes all three exam sessions of same civil year .

- For faculty and staff, the extraction is always on december 31st.

* In some cases ( i.e. between the first day of the academic year and the day of the extraction) the Office can access the "live" database of students to answer urgent queries. In those cases, the number given will always be indicated as being provisional since this database is updated every monday.

5. How are the contents of the publication calculated?

From the official extractions done for the SFSO. Some data (nationalities, new students..) are simple queries in our database. For faculty data we take the number of students per degree, add them together to get the number of students per section/ department and add these to get the students per faculty. We then check the totals using filters on the databases. Of course, some typos and/or mistakes can be made in the process and we would like to be told about them so we can be corrected.

6. When are the student's / degrees'/ faculty & staff' data collected?

- For the student population: around november 15th each year.

- For the degrees, between february and march each year.

- For faculty and staff, the extraction is always on december 31st.

7. Why doesn't the student population correspond between the Statistiques Offices and the numbers collected by faculty and staff members?

The number of students in the publication come from the annual extraction of students enrolled in the different formations on the day of the extraction (november 15th). This number does not vary throughout the year, unlike the result obtained by faculty and staff members who count the number of students they see in class, or have files for. For example, the Office cannot "see" any student drop-out or change of faculty/section before the next extraction.

8. Why does the statistics publication come out so late in the year?

Some of the informations it contains aren't avalaible before the end of may.

Therefore the publication cannot be completed before june. We do plan on putting most of the information online as it becomes available.

9. Why don't the finances appear in the publication anymore?

Since the Division of finance edits it's own brochure, we chose not to publish the same information twice. Anyone interested in the budget can ask the Division of finance directly.

10. Why don't the student population from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and UNIGE correspond?

UNIGE classifies its data according to different Faculties/Schools/Institutes per section and departments. THE SFSO classifies data according to the branches of the Swiss University Information System (SIUS).The difference are shown in the table below:

Branches de l'OFS (SIUS) Equivalent UNIGE
1. Sciences humaines et sociales 
1.1 Théologie     Théologie, Lettres (histoire des religions), CEO
1.2 Langues et littérature Lettres, ELCF, ETI
1.3 Sciences historiques et culture Lettres (philosophie, musicologie, archéologie, histoire de l'art), SES (histoire économique et sociale)
1.4 Sciences sociales FPSE (psychologie, sciences de l'éducation), SES (géographie humaine, sociologie, sciences politiques), Lettres (journalisme, communication), IUHEI, Sciences (études urbaines)
1.5 Pluridisciplinaires/autres Lettres (pluridisciplinaire)
2. Sciences économiques SES (économie politique, économie d'entreprise, informatique de gestion, sciences économiques autres)
3. Droit Droit 
4. Sciences exactes et naturelles 
4.1 Sciences exactes Sciences (mathématiques, informatique, astronomie, physique, autres)
4.2 Sciences naturelles Sciences (chimie, biologie, sciences de la terre, autres), SES (géographie physique)
4.3 Pluridisciplinaires/autres Sciences (formation des enseignants du degré secondaire I), autres
5. Médecine, pharmacie 
5.1 Médecine humaine Médecine (médecine humaine), Sciences (ingénieurie biomédicale)
5.2 Médecine dentaire Médecine (médecine dentaire)
5.3 Médecine vétérinaire -
5.4 Pharmacie Sciences (pharmacie)
5.5 Pluridisciplinaire/autres Médecine (pluridisciplinaire, autres)
6 Sciences techniques  
6.1 Sciences de la construction et mensuration Architecture
6.2 Génies mécaniques et électriques -
6.3 Agriculture et sylviculture -
6.4 Pluridisciplinaire/autres Sciences (ingénieur chimiste)
7. Interdisciplinaires/autres Lettres (études européennes, logique, développement), IUED, SES (études genre), EEPS


11. What do " EPT, Fonds DIP, Tous Fonds" mean?

EPT : "équivalent plein temps" ( Full time equivalent). Most people who work for  UNIGE don't have a full-time position. To be able to compare the faculty or staff members, their activity ratios are always converted to EPT. One person working half-time be worth 1/2 position EPT.

"Fonds DIP" : Funds that comes from the Canton and the Confederation for the Department of public schooling.

"Tous Fonds" :Funds whatever their provenance ( DIP, FNR..)

12. What are the different faculty and staff categories used by the SFSO?

Catégorie de personnel SIUS
Corps professoral
Cat. I Prof. Ordinaire (PO), Prof. d'école (PE)
Cat. II Prof. Adjoint (PAD)
Corps intermédiaire supérieur 
Cat. III Prof. Associé (Pass), Prof. titulaire (PT), Chargé de cours (CC), Privat Docent (PD)
Cat. IV Maître d'enseignement et de recherche (MER), Chef de clinique
Cat. V Chargé de cours ETI (CC ETI), Chargé d'enseignement (CE), Conseillers aux études
Cat. VI Prof. Invité (Pinv), Prof. Suppléant (Psup), Suppléant (supl)
Corps intermédiaire inférieur
Cat. VII Maître assistant (MA)
Cat. VIII Assistant 3 (A3)
Cat. IX Assistant 2 (A2), Assistant 1 (A1), Assistant médical, Cand doc
Cat. X Moniteur
Personnel administratif et technique
Cat. XI Personnel administratif
Cat. XII Personnel administratif: stagiaires et apprentis
Cat. XIII Personnel technique et de laboratoire
Cat. XIV Personnel technique et de laboratoire: stagiaires et apprentis
Cat. XV Personnel de nettoyage et conciergerie
Cat. XVI Personnel des services sociaux, sports
Cat. XVII Personnel des bibliothèques


13. What difference between "poste"and "person"?

A "poste" (position) can be divided between several "real" people, i.e a full time position can be shared between two part-time people. The positions indicated in our statistics are always converted into "full-time equivalents" (EPT) to account for this ambiguity.

14. Where can one find student forecasts for UNIGE?

The best ones are available on the SFSO site. They have several types of forecasts:

Future number of students in UNIGE

Future undergraduate students ( whole Switzerland)

15.  Where can one find social level information about students?

For Switzerland as a whole, the best information ins on the SFSO site. For UNIGE, this type of question can be asked to the Observatoire de la vie étudiante.

16. Where can one find information about students before their entrance into UNIIGE?

It depends on which type of information. If it's the country of origin of students or the degree enaibling them to register to UNIGE, the Statistics Office can answer. If it's the schooling history before UNIGE, one should ask the Research in Education Service, or the SFSO for Switzerland.

17. What is the use of the yearly survey  on activity ratios?

These questionnaires are part of the analytical accounting mode.

When the modele is complete, it lets us calculate certain indicators like the cost of a certain degree, or students/ professor ratios.

18. Why can't we know in which year of study each student is?

Our databases contain different informations like registration year, semester of study, number of semesters present, etc.. but not in which year the students are. A student in his 3rd semester can either be a 2nd year student, can be repeating the 1st year, or can even be doing a post-graduate degree. We can provide estimations though, using the different indicators available.

19. Why don't we have comparisons with the other swiss or outside Universities?

Comparisons between Swiss Universities are available on the SFSO site. For the Universities outside Switzerland in Europe, OCDE site  or  Eurostat.

20.Why can't we have failure and success ratios ?

The SFSO extractions contain which students are studying for which degree et the winter semester and which ones obtained a degree for a certain year. They do now contain information on failure or dropping out. If we receive a query about this, we have to check each individual to see who failed or dropped-out, which is a time-consuming procedure