red square   Quality
>>> Lire la version française <<<

Quality Newsletter #3

May 2024


Dear EPFL community member,

We would like to thank the many of you who have voted on our enhancement measures using the Vote feature on the Quality Office website. Please keep giving us your valuable feedback. 

Happy reading!

Paul Sunderland, Chief of Staff, Deputy to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Ewa Mariéthoz, Quality Assurance Officer

Managing EPFL

Quality assurance survey

Now that many of the enhancement measures we introduced have been implemented effectively, we’ve decided to move on to the next step: assessing their impact. To that end, we’ve put together an anonymous, 10-question survey that should take only three minutes to complete. 



Take our quality assurance survey


New enhancement measures

Vote now on two proposed new measures: 

  • Access to institutional data (Managing EPFL process).
  • Promoting respect “e-learning” (Living Together process).

Learn more at:
EPFL Facts presents EPFL’s institutional data and informs you about ongoing data projects
EPFL Monitoring contributes to the transparency of key elements of EPFL’s activity. 


Evaluations of EPFL Schools and Colleges

Key element of our quality management system at EPFL is conducting periodic evaluations of EPFL Schools and Colleges. Each evaluation consists of three steps: a self-assessment by the School or College, a site visit by independent experts, and the implementation of an action plan.

The experts’ evaluation reports are not made public because they contain confidential information about how the School or College is run and about the work being done in its research laboratories. But to provide maximum possible transparency, the VPA provides the executive summaries of the reports on its website.

The Vice Presidency of Academic Affairs (VPA) has put together a handbook to streamline the evaluation process, ensure that best governance practices are applied – especially in the areas of data protection and conflict of interest – and smooth coordination between Central Services and the School or College being evaluated. For more details, please visit the  Evaluation of EPFL's Schools and Colleges webpage.



Learn more at:
Evaluation of EPFL’s Schools and Colleges
Executive summary for the School of Computer and Communication Sciences


Evaluations of EPFL PhD programs

A group of international experts evaluated all 22 of EPFL’s PhD programs in November 2023. They identified a number of areas of improvement that are currently being reviewed by the Associate Vice Presidency for Postgraduate Education, which will then discuss implementation with the EPFL Management Board and the Schools and Colleges in question.


Donor survey 

A recent survey of EPFL donors shows that we’ve made significant progress in EPFL fundraising efforts. EPFL now sits just behind ETH Zurich and is close to the levels seen at top universities elsewhere in Europe. EPFL donors are proud to support the core missions of research, education and innovation. When asked about the success factors behind the growth in EPFL fundraising and the formation of long-term partnerships, respondents pointed to the simple administrative procedures and EPFL effectiveness at working across functions. This increase in donations reflects the hard work done by our newly created philanthropy team. 


For more information, you can contact Michaël Thémans


Updated Quality Policy 

EPFL Quality Policy is one of the guiding documents and spells out the quality assurance methods and processes governing our operations. It calls on the entire organization to:

  • comply with legal requirements and best national and international practices for institutes of higher education, research and innovation
  • be accountable to our community for the activities in which we engage
  • take stakeholder opinions into account in our decision-making processes
  • undergo periodic evaluations.

EPFL units are responsible for applying the policy at their level and for making sure quality assurance procedures are followed. 


Learn more about our Quality Policy

Operational processes (finances, HR, operations and proximity services)

Nexus project

Nexus is a large-scale IT transformation project being carried out jointly by our Vice Presidency for Finances and Vice Presidency for Operations. The goal is to update our enterprise applications for finance, human resources and the associated administrative processes. Some new features have already been implemented. In the area of human resources, for example, EPFL employees now receive personalized letters informing them of their annual salary increases, thus meeting a need that was identified during our employee satisfaction survey. We have also introduced a fully online process for carrying out performance reviews. That process is being tested in central services and then rolled out across EPFL in 2025. 


Learn more at:
Development and Appraisal discussions
Nexus Program


More space for students

At EPFL, we continually struggle with a lack of space for our students. In 2025, we’ll get a new 200-seat lecture hall in the RTS building currently under construction. And in 2029, the new Esplanade building will open, giving us lecture halls with 1,500 additional seats. Work on the Coupole renovation project – which includes the Esplanade building – is slated to begin in September 2025. EPFL recently held an on-campus exhibition unveiling the winning design for the project by Perrault Architecture. 


Learn more at: Teaching placed front and center on EPFL's Lausanne campus


Employee satisfaction survey

2,352 EPFL employees took part in our latest satisfaction survey, for a 40% response rate. The overall satisfaction rate was 70%. You can view a summary of the results, the measures we’ve taken, our next steps and the full survey report online.


2023 Satisfaction Survey Results


MyPrint survey

Over 2,300 people took part in a satisfaction survey on the EPFL Print Center (12% response rate). The majority of respondents were happy with the Center’s services. The Associate Vice Presidency for Education is now weighing different options for meeting students’ requests to have printed copies of class notes available, while adhering to EPFL’s sustainability goals.


For all your comments and questions about Quality at EPFL, one email: ewa.marié