The UNIL in the 21st century


The “coronacell” Covid unit was set up in 2020 to support the Rectorate and continued its work in 2021, another challenging year with a drop in morale in the spring semester, due mainly to the extension of remote working and distance learning. Face-to-face teaching resumed in the autumn semester for students with a Covid certificate.

The new Rectorate took office on 1 August and immediately began finalising its Statement of Intent 2021-2026, led by Rector Frédéric Herman. The need to strengthen the role, image and impact of the sciences emerged as a major issue in response to the major challenges of the future, a theme that also featured in the 2021 Annual Report. The aim is to position the institution so that it can provide support for the future.

Les Mystères de l'UNIL event took place online, while the campus magazine uniscope went online during the pandemic, for environmental reasons among others. A young researcher from the Faculty of Biology and Medicine won the final of the international competition “My Thesis in 180 Seconds” in Paris. Several UNIL academics were honoured: Honorary Professor Thomas Römer, chairman of the Collège de France, was awarded the University of Lausanne Prize at the Dies Academicus led by Nouria Hernandez, who remains the first women to have occupied the post of Rector in the history of UNIL.

The Nobel Prize awarded in 2017 to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson has boosted research in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). In 2021, UNIL, together with its partners EPFL and UNIGE, opened the Dubochet Center for Imaging, which is home to the most powerful electron microscopes in the world (Titan G4); these enable the study of biological samples, which is so important for exploring how life and diseases work.

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UNIL in the 21st century