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Quality Newsletter #1

July 2023


At EPFL, we strive to continuously improve how we work, whether in terms of executing on our core missions or running our campuses on a daily basis. Continuous improvement is also a key element of our quality culture. We’ve introduced an array of mechanisms – including class evaluations, polls and surveys, and peer assessments of our schools and colleges – that form the basis of our quality-assurance system and underpin our confidence that we’ll be able to maintain the high standards you’ve come to expect from EPFL.

In this EPFL Quality newsletter, twice a year you’ll find the latest information on the tangible decisions taken in response to the feedback from the evaluations, polls, surveys and assessments. This feedback informs our quality assurance efforts.

The active involvement of everyone in our community will be essential for further developing and implementing our quality assurance system. We’re counting on all of you!

In the meantime, happy reading.

On behalf of the EPFL Quality Commission, Tristan Maillard, Secretary General and Ewa Mariéthoz, Quality Assurance Officer

Teaching and education

Providing a quality education to a growing student body

We’ve rolled out a series of measures to ensure we keep delivering a high-quality education to our growing student body. For instance, we opened the Propaedeutic Center (CePro) for our first-year Bachelor’s students. CePro’s aim is to ensure our large first-year classes run smoothly and the exercise sessions are well-organized. It also trains the teaching assistants who help administer and grade exams. Further measures are currently being elaborated.


More information: Propedeutic Center (CePro)


New class evaluation procedures

EPFL students already play a role in continuously improving our courses by completing course evaluations each semester. Teachers take the feedback they receive into account and share their class evaluation results with both students and their teaching department, creating a feedback loop that lets us enhance our services and implement any necessary changes. We’ve also recently advanced the moment of informal feed-back so that changes can be made while students are still taking a class.


Certifications for our Master’s programmes in engineering

Our 19 Master’s programmes in engineering have been certified by the French Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI) and have received the European Accredited Engineer (EUR-ACE) label. These accreditations are valid until 2028 and will make it easier for our graduates to have their degrees recognized in all EU countries.


More information: Programme accreditation


Promoting transferable skills

According to a recent survey, with a response rate of 48%, EPFL’s PhD students are generally satisfied with their degree programs. However, respondents indicated that EPFL could do more to develop their transferable skills and to prepare them for the job market. We’ve therefore set up additional psychological support programs for students and created a Transversal Skills and Career Center that gives classes on topics like project management, ethics, sustainability and entrepreneurship.


More information: EPFL takes steps to better equip students with transversal skills


Regular assessments of EPFL centres

EPFL has more than thirty centers and technology platforms, federating resources and services around strategic themes for the institution and its researchers. The Associate Vice-Presidency for Centers and Platforms has created new rules for harmonizing the governance and operation of EPFL centers. Lex 1.2.12 imposes a periodic evaluation of centers every 4 years, to inform EPFL’s Direction of their research, education and innovation activities and to decide on their future strategic orientation.



More information: Regulations Concerning the Organization of LEX 1.2.12 EPFL Centers


Stepped-up support for joint R&D with industry

EPFL’s Innovation Park is almost full. We still want to maintain our capability to start partnerships with new companies, so we’ve introduced a new joint R&D program with industry, called KNOVA, that aims to spur innovation by building bridges between academia and the business world.


More information: KNOVA


Ridding our campuses of violence and discrimination

In 2020, the #payetonepfl campaign, launched by student association Polyquity, revealed the extent of harassment and discrimination problems on campus. A few months later, an A-Z Harassment & Promoting a Culture of Respect Task Force was set up with 6 working groups, resulting in several deliverables: a survey to measure the scale of the problem, an online training module for the whole community, the creation of the Trust and Support Network (TSN) to align the relevant departments, several awareness and prevention campaigns, as well as the adoption of new guidelines.

With the appointment of Emmanuel Noyer as Respect Compliance Officer (RCO) on May 1st 2023, EPFL has taken a further step towards responding adequately to the problems of harassment, violence and discrimination.


More information: Respect website


Transparency and access to EPFL data

One way we communicate about our School’s identity, progress and dynamic spirit is by making data used by the direction to monitor EPFL’s activities readily available. To that end, we recently created a special webpage where you can view the report prepared by the Person of Trust, statistics on administrative inquiries and the results of our assessments of working conditions, social inclusion, diversity and more.


More information:


Contact: Ewa Mariéthoz, Quality Assurance Officer