Top Rated Universities In France

A courtyard at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
A courtyard at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

Times Higher Education ranked École Normale Supérieure as France's leading university in 2015-2016. ENS, as it is commonly referred to, is a school outside the usual framework of establishing public institutions and is a very competitive university in France. École Polytechnique is supervised by the Ministry of Defense and admits very few undergraduate students. Paris Descartes University, a prestigious institution in France has shown tremendous development in the faculty of science and had one of the best laboratories in the country. Pierre and Marie Curie University have the largest and most advanced health facilities in France thanks to its many years of operation as a school of science. Paris-Sud University is the most advanced facility in France in physics and chemistry, and it offers almost all the primary fields of physics including nano-science and atomic physics.

5. Paris Descartes University -

Paris Descartes University, commonly referred to as Paris V, is one of the most prestigious universities in France. Located in Paris, the facility started as an established leaning center with the aim of replacing the University of Paris medicine department. Shortly afterward, the latter ceased to function on December 31, 1970, as a result of the 1968 French Cultural Revolution. Main of areas of study are medical sciences, biomedical sciences, computer science, law, economics, and psychology. The university have about 33, 500 students enrolled. During admissions, only 11% of applicants get accepted. The second year of a Masters program is selective as well where only some 1.7% of applicants are admitted. Notable alumni from the University include the former Prime Minister of France François Fillon, and Nadey Hakim who works in the Royal Society of Medicine as a vice president and surgeon.

4. Paris-Sud University -

Paris-Sud University is a French university located in the southern suburbs of Paris. It is one of the most renowned French institutions in science and mathematics. Paris Sud started as part of Université de Paris which had many campuses in France. After World War II, the need to create space for the rapidly developing nuclear physics and chemistry drove the mother university to look for more areas in the southern regions of Paris. It was then that Paris-Sud got transferred to Orsay, and on March 1, 1965, the Orsay Center was given its independence owing to its massive increase in students. The university has more than 30,000 enrolled student taking different courses. It has numerous laboratories in its main campus which focus mainly on particle physics, atomic physics, nuclear physics, nano-science, and nanotechnology, among other disciplines of science. There are also biology and chemistry labs. Prominent alumni include Albert Fert, a Nobel Laureate of 2007 in Physics, and Bertrand Serlet, who was a Vice President in the Apple Inc. Software Engineering program.

3. Pierre and Marie Curie University -

The Pierre and Marie Curie University, also known as the University of Paris VI, was conceived in 1971 after the split of the Université de Paris. After the division, the institution inherited the faculty of science. As a result, the faculty has the most sophisticated and largest medical facility in France with 125 laboratories majority of which are associated with the Center for National Research Science. Academic Ranking ranked it 1st in Europe and 35th worldwide. Some of the university's most notable alumni include Nobel laureates such as Serge Haroche of 2012, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi of 2008, and Pierre Curie of 1903. The University of Paris VI currently has 32,000 enrolled students.

2. École Polytechnique -

École Polytechnique is a public institution located in Palaiseau to the southwest of Paris. École Polytechnique was established in 1794 during the French Revolution by Gaspard Monge, a mathematician. In 1804, under the Napoleon I rule, the faculty operated as a military academy. Today, the Ministry of Defense manages and supervises the institution. It has a population of about 2,888 students. 500 are Polytechnic engineers, 439 masters, and 572 are Doctoral students. Only 400 students are admitted each year through a selective entrance which involves at least two years in classes préparatoires after high school, written examinations in spring, and oral examinations over the summer. Some of the notable alumni have included three French presidents, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1903, and Andre Citroen, the founder of the automobile manufacturing company Citroen.

1. École Normale Supérieure -

École Normale Supérieure, more commonly referred to as Normale Sup’, is a grand École PSL Research University. It was established during the French Revolution with the intention of being an enlightenment center. Today, it is a center of excellence for people seeking careers in the government and other academic fields. Admissions involve a competitive selection process involving written and oral examinations. The institution focuses on training researchers, professors, and administrators. It has achieved recognition in mathematics and physics. The undergraduate program has about 250 students, but postgraduates programs have at least 2,100 students. Notable alumni from the faculty have included French Prime Ministers Laurent Fabius and Alain Juppe.


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