France has always been known as the most popular tourist destination in the world, mainly since it is the home of fashion and culture in general. However, it is also renowned in the field of higher education and the proof of this is its prestigious universities.

If you are looking into options for studying in this beautiful country, I invite you to continue reading while I tell you about the four best universities in France. 

  • École Normale Supérieure (Paris):

The École Normale Supérieure in Paris (ENS) was founded on 30th October 1974 and, thanks to the excellent work undertaken since then, it is considered to be the most prestigious in France.

Focused on excellence, it is one of the best-performing schools in the field of science. ENS gives particular attention to introducing its students to innovative research, making it one of the leading schools in this field. Its graduates include 13 Nobel Prize winners and 10 Fields Medals.

Located at the heart of Paris’ Quartier latin, this higher education centre has one of the most demanding admission processes. Only those high school students with the best academic records can attend the ENS and the foreign students that are selected have to pass some of the most rigorous entrance exams in the country.

Although it wasn’t until 1985 that this institution began to welcome both men and women equally, it is currently committed to defending gender equality in science and equal opportunities.

  • École Polytechnique (Paris):

Together with the École Normale Supérieure, the École Polytechnique or l´X, as it is also known, is another of France’s most prestigious universities. Founded in 1794, this institution has been training the best professionals in the field of engineering and at the forefront of science and technology for more than 200 years.

Another distinguishing factor of this university is that various departments work together with important centres such as the National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) in France.

Like ENS, the École Polytechnique’s admissions system is considered one of the most selective among the engineering schools. Students who wish to study there must pass the required entrance exams.

The student group includes some of the greatest minds in the country and, indeed, in the world, and the study programmes focus on offering the best conditions for the development of science and research.

Moreover, this centre has a financial support system for those students who do not have the necessary resources to cover the necessary school fees.

  • École Normale Supérieure de Lyon:

The École Normale Supérieure de Lyon or Normale Sup’ Lyon, as it is also known, is one of the leading universities in France.

When it opened at the end of the 19th century, its mission was to educate students who go on to work as secondary school teachers. However, the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon currently has an academic programme that produces excellent professionals in all fields of knowledge.

Like its “twin” centre, the ESN in Paris, it has gained its prestige by maintaining an excellent record of accomplishment and being a leader in the field of learning sciences. This centre also has a rigorous admission process during which the students must pass the country’s most demanding entrance exams.

  • ParisSud University:

This prestigious university located in the Orsay commune in Paris, also comes out on top of others due to its high performance in scientific research.

This university offers a wide degree and post-graduate programme, specialising in exact sciences, including mathematics, computer sciences, physics, biology, earth and space science.

Moreover, the results obtained in the field of medicine and technological innovation, by both the professors and students of this centre, are particularly relevant and have gained international recognition, making it one of the country’s best universities.

It should also be noted that the laboratories in this university are considered to be among the best of their type and, in many of them, joint work has been undertaken with organisations like the National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

Without a doubt, France is home to some of the best higher education centres in the world. Although it is true that it is difficult to get into some of them and the study system is rigorous, it is also worth noting that each of them has the best conditions for studying a degree and any student accepted by any of these institutions is guaranteed a successful career.