For those who are not familiar with Geneva, the international dimension of the city and the cultural diversity of its population are surprising: 40% of the inhabitants of the Canton of Geneva are foreigners, 25% are Swiss originating from other cantons and only 35% are Genevans. The high quality of life which prevails in Geneva and the surrounding Lake Geneva area constitutes a significant attraction for foreigners, who feel warmly welcomed here. Moreover, a broad range of public and private services is at their disposal to facilitate their social integration.
The welcoming conditions reserved for the foreign population have made – and continue to make – Geneva the preferred headquarter location for around 24 international organisations, 300 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 140 multinational companies. With nearly 30% of its adults holding degrees in higher education, the population of the Lake Geneva area benefits from an especially high level of training and offers companies and institutions an extremely highly qualified labour force. The Universities of Geneva and Lausanne as well as, of course, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology or EPFL) are regularly listed among the best in the world. The specialised university-level institutions (Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées - HES), firmly oriented toward practical instruction, complete the wide selection of advanced training. Moreover, Lausanne hosts the IMD, a management school with a worldwide reputation.
Training is not the only mission of these schools of higher education: with 2.9% of the GDP invested in research (compared with an average of 1.9% for the countries of the European Union), Switzerland is betting on the future and actively promoting the transfer of technologies between academia and industry. This is how Switzerland became the world leader for the number of patents per inhabitant. With a large number of start-ups and innovative enterprises coming out of the universities and university-level institutions, the Geneva region offers its researchers the ideal framework conditions for extraordinary development opportunities, both on a national and international scale.
Endowed with two major university hospitals, the University Hospital of Geneva (Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève - HUG) and the University Hospital of Lausanne (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois - CHUV), as well as numerous other public and private medical establishments, the Lake Geneva region provides its population with a healthcare system that is among the best in the world. Moreover, partnerships between the university hospitals and innovative companies in medical technologies (medtech) and bio-technologies (biotech) are very beneficial to the growth and influence of these extremely dynamic activity sectors.