10 Best Universities in France


When it comes to studying abroad, many people tend to go to the United States or Canada for getting a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. The other popular option is Germany, where one is able to get a higher education with zero tuition fees (though, there is a condition of knowing the German language). Yet, France appears to be also quite an attractive place for studying, given a large number of top-quality universities that are based in this country (mostly in Paris). Besides, you get an opportunity to learn one of the world’s most spoken languages and the language of diplomacy during your studying there! So, if you want to enroll in one of the top French universities, here is a list of 10 best universities in France.

  • Aix-Marseille University. This is a pretty “young” university in Marseille, though its origins can be traced back in 1409. At that time, Alexander V had got a task from Louis II of Anjou to establish a university in Marseille, and that was the University of Provence. But this university appears to be pretty young because it was officially established in 2012 after a merge between Paul Cézanne University, the University of the Mediterranean, and the University of Provence. Almost 75,000 students study at this public institution every year, with a share of international students being 13%. Even though the university is ranked between 300 and 350 in the list of world universities, it occupies the 50th place in the top of world young universities. Four Nobel Prize winners are associated with the university.
  • Mines ParisTech. Studying at this university would be a perfect choice for any soon-to-be-engineer. This prominent educational institution in engineering was founded back in 1783 and focused on the developments in the mining industry. The university comprises several prestigious business and engineering schools, educational institutes, and the university appears to be one of the founders of the cluster. Several Nobel Prize winners are associated with this university. Besides, all the university students have free access to the world’s largest Mining Museum. The number of students reaches almost 1,300, but the share of international students and student to staff ratio appear to be really great for any learner: 26% and 5.5 respectively.
  • Paris Diderot University. Frequently referred to as Paris 7 and named after the renowned French philosopher Denis Diderot, this university also appears to be among the best universities in France. The university can boast numerous connections with other universities abroad, while having the share of international students as high as 17%. Every year, more than 25,000 study at this university, though the student to faculty staff ratio is quite high: 14.8.
  • Paris Descartes University. This university is considered among the best universities in France that cover health and social sciences. In particular, it ranked to be 73rd university in the world in the field of crinical, pre-clinical, and health. At Paris Descartes University, you have got a selection of more than 105 Master’s Degree programs and 82 research labs. 13 doctoral schools give enough room for further self-development for promising and talented doctors. Each year, more than 32,000 students study at this university.
  • École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. Often abbreviated as ENS Lyon, this educational institution is one of the very few of the best universities in France that are based not in Paris. In particular, this university can boast to have a good rating and giving top-notch education in physical sciences. What gives the students a room to develop and start their own projects and businesses is the university’s own start-up business innovator. The student to staff ratio is 8.4, while the share of international students exceeds 15%.
  • CentraleSupélec. CentraleSupélec appears to be a result of a merger of the France’s two leading universities in engineering. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that this university ranks 40th in the Global Young University Rating. This university is definitely one of the best universities in France to study engineering at, given the share of international students exceeding 32%.
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10 best french universities

École Polytechnique is frequently included to the top 3 French universities

  • Paris-Sud University. When it comes to defining the best universities in France, it can be surely said that Paris-Sud University cannot be missed out of one’s attention. Even though the university has a long history, it was actually revived just some four decades ago. The university deals especially well with preparing students in math and science. More than 26,000 students study at this university every year, with a 17% average of international students.
  • Pierre and Marie Curie University. Nowadays, UPMC (the university’s abbreviature) appears to be the largest scientific and medical institution in France. The university was formed back in 1971, yet its origins can be traced back in the 11th century. 17 Nobel laureates are associated with this university. Over 30,000 students study here every year, the share of international students exceeds 17%, and the student to faculty staff ratio is 8.0.
  • École Polytechnique. This university deservedly occupies the second place in this list, as it appears to be one of the best universities in France. Basically, the figures speak themselves: 39% of the faculty staff is international, student to faculty staff ratio is equal to 5.0, and over 31% of students are international. At the same time, the number of students studying at this university every year does not exceed 3,000. 1,350 publications are produced every year by the university’s staff and students.
  • École Normale Supérieure. ENS was established back in 1794, during the time of the Revolution, and the aim of this university was to educate professionals in all spheres regardless of the social class and background of students. Nowadays, ENS appears to be the most recognized French higher educational institution and is ranked 66th in the World University Rankings. Getting enrolled to ENS is not an easy task, as this university is well known for its stringent process of student selection and admission. While a bit more than 1,500 students study at this university every year, student to staff ratio is equal to 9.6.

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